Quite literally, literally. The quotes, of motivational nature or other, that you meet every time again — but aren’t, since they are garbled versions of the original. And the original had much more profound wisdom, or was even true where the misquote isn’t.
OK. The first one, then. A favorite of mine, since it is so often True and demonstrates the futility of the busybodies’ eager beaver detailed roadmap approaches:
“Even the best strategy does not survive first contact with the enemy.”
As said, this is true.
But as also said, this does not capture the fullness of the original, which is:
“No plan of operations extends with certainty beyond the first encounter with the enemy’s main strength.” [Von Moltke the Elder]
Which is a bit more elaborate (though still an extreme shortest of sound bites, for the period and original language), and for one focuses on the plan of Operations, for a second mentions (no) certainty, and for thirds talks about the enemy’s main strength, not just any lost recce squad.
This, to be interpreted as to say that strategy has no place when it comes to operations, execution in the hostile terrain out there (a.k.a. marketplace, blue ocean, or whatever), really, just completely fugeddaboudit — not quite the elucidation you expected, right ..?
And, instead of the original rather absolute (and slightly pessimistic), here we have a true risk-based approach: Scr.w It Let’s Do It (© Richard B.) has quite a probability to work, to result in positives.
Third, indeed, it’s the main strength that should concern you. What comes before, one can ‘control’ quite precise, in a Sun Tsu sense, right? And (in mirror) may or may not have any bearing on the main force.
So, we all agree that the original Quote was the better? Better enough to diss the latter-day shorthand? Or keep both ..?
I welcome your suggestions, by the way, for the next round of Miss Quotes.
Oh, and of course this:
[Here Be silly mistakes. And Pickett’s Line.]