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#224 Charles de Gaulle
January 5th, 2022 | E224

What I learned from reading Charles de Gaulle by Julian Jackson. 


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[6:45] The Winston Churchill episode is #196 based on the book The Splendid and The Vile

[7:07] Don’t turn your back on he who will not accept defeat.

[7:54] The greatest founders in history have identified a series of ideas that are extremely important to them and they repeat these ideas over and over again. Repetition is persuasive.

[12:24] De Gaulle was a voice before he was a face.

[16:45] Whatever happens the flame of the French resistance must not be extinguished, and it will not be extinguished.

[19:15] De Gaulle spoke about the army the way Enzo Ferrari spoke of his cars. Founders #97 Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari, and Their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans

[23:30] Nothing dented his belief in victory.

[23:38] The victor is the one that wants victory most energetically.

[32:17] “Henry Singleton always tries to work out the best moves and maybe he doesn't like to talk too much because when you're playing a game, you don't tell anyone else what your strategy is.” —Claude Shannon

[32:51] A country (or a person, or a company) is defeated only when it has lost the will to fight.

[36:19] Excellence is the capacity to take pain.

[42:13] To be passive is to be defeated.

[48:18] Leadership is a solitary exersize of the will.

[53:23] “I don't want any messages saying 'I'm holding my position.' We're not holding a goddamned thing. We're advancing constantly and we're not interested in holding anything except the enemy's balls. We're going to hold him by his balls and we're going to kick him in the ass. We are going to kick the living shit out of him all the time. Our plan of operation is to advance and keep on advancing.” —General Patton

[53:45] That central is completely opposite of what the French* generals thought.

[54:34] Founders #208 In The Company of Giants

[59:15] The history of entrepreneurship is extremely clear about the need to be able to concentrate.

[1:00:38] All that matters is to survive. The rest is just words.

[1:04:55] He pushed himself to the limits and he expected the same from his men.

[1:05:53] All those who have done something valuable and durable have done so alone and in silence.

[1:07:07] Beyond Possible: One Man, Fourteen Peaks, and the Mountaineering Achievement of a Lifetime by Nims Purja

[1:14:31] What everyone seems to ignore is the incredible mixture of patience, of obstinate creativity, the dizzying succession of calculations, negotiations, conflicts, that we had to undertake in order to accomplish our enterprise.

[1:15:19] He really believed that giving up was treason. That you deserved death for giving up.

[1:20:12] Fortune cannot always be favorable to us.

[1:23:01]  It was from this moment in his memoirs that DeGaulle starts to talk of himself in the third person. De Gaulle appears as a figure whom the narrator of the memoir watches.

[1:27:55] No question or discussion, we must go forward. Whoever stands still, falls behind.

[1:30:05] I have only one aim: to deliver France.

[1:41:10] The effective formula De Gaulle used was 1. Ruthlessness. 2. Brilliance. 3. Total clarity about what he wanted to achieve.

[1:45:36] Paris! Paris outraged! Paris broken! Paris martyred! But Paris liberated! Liberated by itself, liberated by its people with the help of the French armies, with the support and the help of all France, of the France that fights, of the only France, of the real France, of the eternal France!


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