What Metrics Are You Overlooking?

For Civil War soldiers, the only thing worse than armed combat was the sheer danger and terror of sitting in camp. Of the 750,000 men to die during the war – a recent revision from the traditionally cited number of approximately 620,000 – two-thirds died of disease. That means that 340+ men died of disease every day regardless of whether the armies fought. To break that number down more, given that the Confederates had approximately 1 million men serve during the war vs. the Union’s 2 million, on average 114 Confederates died of disease each day.

Perhaps those statistics put Robert E. Lee’s plan for the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg in a different light. When we walk the ground of Pickett’s Charge during our Courageous Communication case study Lee’s plan seems completely fanciful. From a tactical point of view, Lee’s decision to assault the Union center still may seem flawed, but from a strategic point of view, we can understand why he was willing to take risks in order to win the war as soon as possible.

All of this raises the question: what important metrics might you be overlooking that are key to your success or possible failure?

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