When Failure is Not an Option
Host, Ken Harbaugh, interviews political leaders, influencers, and other history makers about the choices we confront when failure is not an option. Choices like Alexander the Great made when he landed his troops on the shores of Persia and ordered his men to burn their boats.
“I admired other leaders, but Lee was special. For me, he had this separate place of almost sacred level of leadership. But I went through about a month of wrestling with what Annie had said. And then finally on a Sunday morning, I got up one day, came into my office, took the painting down, took it out to our backyard, threw it in the garbage and they took it away the next day.” - Gen. Stanley McChrystal
In this bonus episode of Burn the Boats, Gen. Stanley McChrystal reflects on his formerly-beloved painting of Robert E. Lee and his perspective on Confederate symbols.
The Atlantic op-ed that Ken reads from in this episode is titled “At 63, I Threw Away My Prized Portrait of Robert E. Lee”.
Pride Month: Gina Ortiz JonesBurn the Boats
More about the name of the show...
In 334 BC, Alexander the Great led Greek troops across the Dardanelles Straits and into Asia Minor, landing on the shores of Persia. He hoped to finally vanquish his greatest enemy, Darius III - the King of Persia. But Alexander was badly outnumbered. The Persian army assembled to attack and Alexander’s troops began to speak openly of retreat. So he gave an order: "Burn the Boats." He told his men, “we either return home in Persian ships, or we die here.” There would be no turning back.
By burning his boats, Alexander hoped to galvanize and motivate his troops. They needed to fully commit to defeating Darius and the Persians. There was no other way - failure was not an option.