The Singular Point

Go with me into one of my Creative Conversations. Our topic is your leadership. Our historical river is the life of Winfield Scott. Our goal for these few seconds is to have you think as part of a stream of time.

Scott was the arguably the greatest American general for half of the 19th century. He served for 50 years and left a deep imprint on the American military and the American way of war. Here is the thing I want you to know for your life and leadership.

When the Civil War began, Scott was in his declining years. Nevertheless, President Abraham Lincoln asked Scott to offer his thoughts on strategy for the war. Scott did so.

Drawing on his 50 years of experience, Scott outlined broadly a strategy for Lincoln. The plan came to have the name “Anaconda”, like the snake. For my purposes with you, though, I'm calling this Scott's “Singular Point.” It's the product of his extraordinary record of service, duty, and achievement. He's been right and he's been crucial on countless occasions over those five decades. And now, his crowning work is this strategy at the tip of the end of that length of time. The Singular Point.

Whatever your age, whatever your years of experience, do you feel like you are somewhere on the path to being able to offer your Singular Point? What have you done thus far that would serve as its basis? What feels like is missing and preventing you from the Singular Point? Are you doing things in such a way that you'll be able to see it all so clearly, when called upon?

One more thing. Winfield Scott's Singular Point was rejected by many during the Civil War. It argued for a protracted war instead of a fast resolution to hostilities. And whether anyone, including Scott, knew it at the time, it set the table for a horrifying wartime experience by people in large parts of the American South. It led to Union victory but it also led to Confederate suffering.

The Singular Point. Are you pursuing yours?