What not to do when a VIP requests a cigar

I ran across an interesting vignette this evening that I thought would interest you. One evening during the Casablanca Conference in 1943, General Patton was entertaining guests at his villa. The guests included, among others, Gen George Marshall, General Mark Clark, Harry Hopkins, President Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill.

“When Churchill ran out of cigars and Marshall ordered that some be found at once, Marshall’s staff was stymied, but Patton’s efficient young aide, Capt. Dick Jenson, produced a box of White Owls sent by his wife. The five-cent price on the label was hurriedly obliterated and the cigars presented to Churchill. Later that night Marshall observed, ‘The strangest thing happened. The Prime Minister lit one of those cigars, took one puff and put it aside. I can’t understand – he must be giving up smoking.’ ” (Carlo D’Este: Patton, A Genius For War, 1995. p.451)

Clearly the host that evening fell victim to the famous 5 P’s of management: Prior Planning Prevents Piss-poor Performance.
– Ken Rotker, Riverside, CA

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