You will find references in much of our work to many of the great men and women in history who inspire what we do. Alanbrookes was chosen as our name because the particular characteristics of the man so clearly align with what it is we strive to do.
“Alanbrooke was undoubtedly the greatest soldier that England has produced since Wellington”
Alanbrooke had a long and distinguished career in the British army ending up as The Chief of The Imperial General Staff (CIGS) and one of Churchill’s closest advisers and confidantes. It wasn’t just the military analogy (appropriate as that may be) that drew our attention to him; and it wasn’t General MacArthur’s opinion that“Alanbrooke was undoubtedly the greatest soldier that England has produced since Wellington” that decided matters. It was the way his conduct, especially in adversity, so perfectly describes how we would like our relationship with our clients as their most trusted advisor to be regarded by them and their adversaries.
These may best be illustrated by the following observations: After a particularly bruising encounter during which he strongly opposed a cherished project of Churchill’s, Winston turned to General Ismay and said “CIGS clearly hates me, he’ll have to go". When this was reported back to Alanbrooke, he responded “I don’t hate him, I love him; but when I tell him he is right when I believe him to be wrong, that will be the time to get rid of me, as I will be of no value to him and serve no further purpose". A recurring theme throughout his life was his ability to combine patience, realism, and attention to detail. Churchill’s restless sense of urgency, his prescient imagination and skilful oratory became all the more formidable when combined with Alanbrooke’s unflinching realism. Devising strategy that correlated prophetic vision with the realities of what was immediately practicable became Alanbrooke’s task and he was supremely good at it. No wonder his epitaph read “Master of Strategy”. [Ref David Fraser ISBN 2163608]
The parallels for us are manifold, but the ones that stand out include:
- Having the confidence and moral courage to think, say and do what we believe to be right, not what appears merely commercially expedient.
- The imperative of bringing a cool, clear understanding and realism to the strategies we advocate.
- Being patient and committed to the long haul.
- Demonstrate dispassion to the task in hand but great compassion to our fellow men and nature.