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The Art of Action: Leadership that Closes the Gaps between Plans, Actions and Results by Stephen Bungay

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CLAUSEWITZ AND FRICTION

In 1832, the wife of a recently deceased Prussian general published a work containing 125 chapters divided into eight books and running to over 1,000 pages, which her late husband had labored over for some 25 years. He was only fully satisfied with the first chapter, which describes the nature of his subject: contemporary warfare. In these pages he tried to convey what warfare was really like. At their heart is an account of the problem of execution. War is an environment, he argued, in which getting simple things to happen is very difficult and getting difficult things to happen is impossible.

The work was called Vom Kriege (On War) and its author was Carl von Clausewitz. In struggling to give an accurate account of the ...

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