When To Wait, And When To Strike

There are times in a leader’s experience when it will be prudent to watch and await developments.  Sometimes more is to be gained by figuratively taking off one’s pack, sitting down on the side of the road, and monitoring the flow of events, than by leaping into the fray.  On the other hand, there are also just as many–if not more–times when decisive and speedy action is necessary to deal with a nascent problem.  Knowing when to wait and when to act is one of those key questions that we all have to confront sooner or later.  It is ultimately a tactical decision for which no firm rules can be laid out:  every situation must be evaluated on its own merits.

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The Emperor Julian’s Advice: Know Your Offspring


Julian (A.D. 331-363) was one of the most fascinating emperors of the later Roman empire.  While a full description of him and his reign is beyond our scope here, a few words may be said.  He spent a great deal of time and energy trying to revive paganism, only to see his hopes dashed on the rocks of reality.  He was an ascetic personality, subsisting on little food and many books; and it is said that he preferred the salons of the philosophers to the intrigues of the palace.

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