Saturday, January 7, 2012

Lord Root of the Matter

The Engineer as "Trusted Adviser" and pragmatic breaker of logjams is something we should be thinking about more.  Organizations and individuals, given the technical complexity of modern society, need an engineering consigliere.  The engineer that can manage to shed light on a technical or engineering issue or problem with a well-timed insight, or steer a debate toward a practical solution.

History has provided us with rich examples of individuals that mastered the role of Trusted Adviser.  For example, Harry Hopkins, who came to be known as President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "Deputy President", is probably the best recent example (Churchill coined the title "Lord Root of the Matter" when referring to Hopkins).  Hopkins had the unique ability to quickly see to the heart of most problems during the Roosevelt years - - especially during World War II.  Close friend and adviser to the President - - he was the ". . . lighthouse the beams that led great fleets to harbour."

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