At a leadership conference in June, 2000, Weick discussed one of Churchill's great strengths: his willingness to face his mistakes and correct them. To illustrate, he told of a time during WW II when Churchill discovered that Singapore was vulnerable to a Japanese land attack. He quoted Churchill:
"I ought to have known. My advisers ought to have known and I ought to have been told and I ought to have asked."To figure out why none of those things happened, Churchill employed a debriefing protocol:
- Why didn't I know?
- Why wasn't I told?
- Why didn't I ask?
- Why didn't I tell what I knew?
- Tell of a time when you were blind sided as Churchill was
- Answer the four questions of his debriefing protocol
- List what went awry, and safeguards you might have created at the time to make sure the same mistakes were not repeated in the future
- Are there safeguards you can put in place today that reduce your chances of being blind sided tomorrow?
"Look for what's missing. Many advisers can tell a President how to improve what's proposed or what's gone amiss. Few are able to see what isn't there." - Donald Rumsfeld, former U.S. Secretary of Defense
"Far be it from me to paint a rosy picture of the future. Indeed, I do not think we should be justified in using any but the most sombre tones and colours while our people, our Empire and indeed the whole English-speaking world are passing through a dark and deadly valley. But I should be failing in my duty if, on the other wise, I were not to convey the true impression, that a great nation is getting into its war stride." - Sir Winston Churchill, House of Commons, 22 January 1941