The day started overcast and it then drizzled. We headed via the Royal Waterloo Golf Club out to Ziethen’s Crossroads to learn the tale of that great Prussian chance decision that helped save the day for the Allies. Steve Bird then gave a presentation on ‘Business lessons from the battlefield’.
On this very spot a senior Prussian commander 200 summers ago was faced with an enormous decision of moral courage. Whether to follow his instinct and agreed strategy by moving his corp to support Wellington’s right flank or to follow direct written orders that he had just received to do the direct opposite and move in the opposite direction towards Plancenoit to support other Prussian movement.
Steve highlighted the leadership aspects of what happened directly to that of a modern day boardroom scenario. Pre mortems, intent and the actualities of ‘Decision making under pressure’ in the toughest of environments. He described the strategic value of trust and empowerment that was well exampled within the Prussian leadership model.
We headed off down the sunken lane towards Smohain (scene of the friendly fire), Frischermont (the explanation of why Waterloo) and the Bois de Paris (the location that saw emergence of the Prussians onto the French left flank.)