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"Learn Napoleonís Secret To Success: Stop Multitasking" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP05 Oct 2019 10:41 p.m. PST

"Napoleon won nearly 90% of his battles, a remarkable statistic for a coach, but unheard of for a military commander. Napoleon's great adversary, the Duke of Wellington, was once asked who was the greatest general of his age. Wellington replied, "in this age, in past ages, in any age, Napoleon." Napoleon dominated Continental Europe, developing a system of laws, administration, and education that still influences governments around the world. Only a coalition of Britain, Prussia, Austria, and Russia would ultimately defeat him.

What made Napoleon such an outstanding leader? His strong rapport with his troops, his organizational talents, and his creativity all played significant roles. However, the secret to Napoleon's success was his ability to focus on a single objective. On the battlefield, Napoleon would concentrate his forces to deliver a decisive blow…"
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setsuko06 Oct 2019 2:44 a.m. PST

It's a strange thing to write, considering that I can't imagine anyone who did MORE multitasking than Napoleon. I think the writer misunderstands (or didn't read at all) about Napoleon. Juggling everything in the French state, from top level international diplomacy to personally checking the quality of food supplied to his troops. Yes, he usually aimed at a single, decisive concentration of his forces, but he would commit to an absolutely exhaustive amount of multitasking of everything he could think of to arrive at that point.

4th Cuirassier06 Oct 2019 4:40 a.m. PST

The instances of Napoleon dictating four letters at a time to secretaries are quite specific examples of multitasking, I'd have thought.

Scott Sutherland06 Oct 2019 5:56 a.m. PST

I think we can safely toss this "insight" into a dustbin. Multi-tasking is so clearly a feature of Napoleon life that it seems clear the author is not familiar.

Looks more like, tet another 3rd rate management consultant trying to pump a basic superficial service by miss associating it with a big name.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP06 Oct 2019 7:48 a.m. PST

If you take a look at what Napoleon wrote, you might get an inkling of what he actually thought.

Napoleon's statement, which is one of the more well-known ones, of 'There are many good generals in Europe, but they see too many things; as for me, I see only one: masses. I seek to destroy them, knowing well that the accessories will then fall of their own accord.'

And by 'masses' he meant the opposing/enemy army, which was always his target.

Cerdic06 Oct 2019 10:52 a.m. PST

I don't think anyone is disputing the way Napoleon focused everything on the main enemy army with the aim of destroying it.

But when he was not in battle, he was an absolute master at multitasking. Being able to dictate multiple letters simultaneously is pretty much the definition of multitasking!

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP06 Oct 2019 3:44 p.m. PST



nsolomon9906 Oct 2019 4:44 p.m. PST

Gee whiz! There sure is some silly, uninformed rubbish being written and published these days.

La Fleche07 Oct 2019 6:00 a.m. PST

Napoleon's mind multitasked in a manner that, in computer science, is known as 'Cooperative Multitasking'. Consider the following quote from Napoleon:

My mind is a chest of drawers. When I wish to deal with a subject, I shut all the drawers but the one in which the subject is to be found. When I am wearied, I shut all the drawers and go to sleep.

In computing terms cooperative multitaking works by allowing processes to cede time to other processes. While not running more than one process at any one time the speed at which processes switch between each other in the course of their opertaion makes it appear as if they are running concurrently. In the above quote, a process is a matter contained in one of the drawers.

Napoleon could open and close many drawers quickly, hence his ability to dictate multiple letters seemlingly simultaneously.

In computing, poorly written code can see programs monopolise processing time and the same can be seen in Napoleon's mind at certain periods when under pressure; for example his indecisiveness at Moscow when Alexander did not behave as expected, and his poor judgement at Waterloo due to being preoccupied by his health.

4th Cuirassier07 Oct 2019 8:30 a.m. PST

This feels a bit like a repurposing of Frederick the Great's dictum that he who defends everything defends nothing. Don't faff about, go for the key thing.

In a similar way, Clausewitz's observation that no plan lasts more than five minutes after contact with the enemy was pithily re-stated by Mike Tyson, when he remarked that "everybody's got a plan till they get punched in the mouth".

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