People in the Wrong Jobs

Jan 2013
1,016
Toronto, Canada
Andrew McNaughton was a senior Canadian general during World War II. He was a brilliant military scientist who figured out how to use oscilloscopes to pinpoint artillery targets and then sold his invention to the Canadian Army for $10. He also developed a northern radio signals system using a cathode ray detection finder which became an important advance in the development of radar. Unfortunately, he was a mediocre field commander which became a problem when he was appointed head of the First Canadian Army. He was fired largely because of his disastrous performance during a major training exercise when he famously left his HQ to personally supervise construction of a bridge.

McNaughton failed because he wanted the wrong job. He should have been running a military R&D program or the Canadian version of DARPA. Can anyone think of other examples where talented people failed because they didn't play to their strengths?
 

Lord Fairfax

Ad Honorem
Jan 2015
3,398
Changing trains at Terrapin Station...
Lloyd Fredandall was far better at organizing stateside than a field command in North Africa.

Churchill was well suited as a war leader but put in a rather poor performance as Minister of Defence or as a military strategist (planner)

Eisenhower & Montgomery: Eisenhower was better suited as Supreme Commander and Monty was better suited as Ground Forces Commander in 1944/45, but unfortunately it wasn't set up that way.
 
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Jan 2013
1,016
Toronto, Canada
Lloyd Fredandall was far better at organizing stateside than a field command in North Africa.

Churchill was well suited as a war leader but put in a rather poor performance as Minister of Defence or as a military strategist (planner)

Eisenhower & Montgomery: Eisenhower was better suited as Supreme Commander and Monty was better suited as Ground Forces Commander in 1944/45, but unfortunately it wasn't set up that way.
Churchill is a great example. He and Fisher couldn't get along because both of them wanted the other's job.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,708
SoCal
Lloyd Fredandall was far better at organizing stateside than a field command in North Africa.

Churchill was well suited as a war leader but put in a rather poor performance as Minister of Defence or as a military strategist (planner)

Eisenhower & Montgomery: Eisenhower was better suited as Supreme Commander and Monty was better suited as Ground Forces Commander in 1944/45, but unfortunately it wasn't set up that way.
Monty was the Supreme Commander in real life?
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
13,800
He's been unfailry scapegoating for Napoloen's failings. Grounchy, Ney, Soult anyone but the guy making the actual bad decsions who was in command.
What was Grouchy's strength ?

And quite aside from Napoleon, Grouchy's pursuit of the prussians was not very effective
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,475
What was Grouchy's strength ?

And quite aside from Napoleon, Grouchy's pursuit of the prussians was not very effective
Iy was not very effective because Napoleon got it all wrong sending him out.

Which was all Napoleon;s fault, he sent him quite late and in the wrong direction putting the Prussians between Grouchy and Waterloo. It was Napoleon who decided the Prussians were beaten and withdrawing along thier lone of communications and supply in an easterly direction, rather than more Northerrly maintaining contact with Wellington. It was Napoleon who did not maintain light cavalry contact in the Ligny evening, enabling the Prussians to break contact. It Was Napoleon who waited far too long to send Grouchy the next morning. All these doomed Grouchy as a factor at waterloo even if he had marched to the sound of the guns which is the populalr history charge against him their were other Prussian forces between him and Waterloo, he would not have made it even if he had. Grouchy gets Criticized because Napoleon just has teflon.

Napooen also sent too much of his strength which Soult put to Napoleon a couple of times, but Napoloen thought he knew better. 10,000 infantry at waterloo might have been decisive. Perhaps in napoleon had attacked sooner rathe than waiting. Perhaps if he had not appointed the totally incompetent Jerome who wasted much of the French infantry strength. People go one and on about Napoleon appionting people on Merit well, the worst cases of nepotism in the Napoleonic wars are Napoloen's appiontments. And after 15 years of the great meritocracy apparently tehre were not a handful of decent generals or staff officers in all of France,
 
Apr 2018
709
India
obviously Hitler and Stalin to start off a long list
Nopes. Both had Godlike personality cults in their heydays despite whatever they did. They wouldn't have been better at anything else. We're talking effectiveness here. Not means.

At least Hitler most certainly would never have become a noticeable painter and no one probably would have had heard about Joseph the priest or cobbler.
 
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