The competition in today’s society, in fact, is often no longer manifested in the competition between strengths, but in the competition of preparations.
When reading history, I don’t know if you have noticed a phenomenon, that is, over the past few hundred years, important meetings in the world, especially the meetings at the national level and among the top leaders, the meeting time is getting shorter and shorter. Just give a few examples, you can feel it.
In the 19th century, after the Napoleonic Wars, the Vienna Conference of European powers was held from September 1814 to June 1815, nearly a year. A hundred years later, the Paris Peace Conference after the First World War was a little shorter, also six months. The emperor, the prime minister, the prime minister, the president, and their large entourage, at these meetings, are ready to settle down, bargain, join forces, and chat slowly when they have something to say.
And now? Even important international summits are a day or two, and real talks are a few hours. The relationship between major powers is so intricate, how can the leaders finally meet each other for a few hours, how can they tell clearly?
The book “Yalta” is about the famous “Yalta Conference” in the later period of World War II. It is also an international summit meeting. The three giants of this conference are Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin. The meeting was already very short, only eight days in total. This book also gave me a brain hole: the duration of world conferences is getting shorter and shorter, not only because of the more advanced communication technology, but also because of the way that human powers work in diplomacy. There was a meeting during the Yalta Conference. upgrade.
Let’s briefly review the process:
The year before the Yalta Conference, in September 1944, Roosevelt proposed to Stalin whether a conference could be held in a city in northern Scotland, England. Stalin refused, saying that the Soviet Union was at that time The Red Army is engaged in a major military operation and must stay in Moscow.
Roosevelt did not give up. In October and November, he provided Stalin with more than a dozen options for meeting places, including Athens, Jerusalem, Istanbul, Rome and so on. Anyway, it will be open, and the location is good to discuss. Stalin refused for various reasons, saying that he was not in good health, he had to listen to the doctor, he could not go out, and he had to hold a meeting, preferably near the Black Sea or on the territory of the Soviet Union.
In December, after all, the meeting was finally set on the territory of the Soviet Union, which is Yalta on the Black Sea coast.
So why did Stalin make such a fuss? In fact, it is three words: delay time. Why take time? Also three words: prepare. At that time, the Soviet offensive in Germany was shattered. The longer it dragged on and the more land it occupied in Europe, the more confident Stalin became when he met with Roosevelt and Churchill.
In the choice of the meeting place, Stalin was well prepared. As for the conference itself, the Soviet Union’s preparations were more detailed.
In just three short weeks, and don’t forget, the war was still going on at the time, the Soviet Union renovated Yalta and turned it into a giant meeting place.
These are small things, and Stalin’s most important preparation for the Yalta Conference was actually intelligence.
As early as two weeks before the Yalta Conference, Soviet intelligence provided Stalin with a document. what document? It is a Russian translation of the British Mission’s strategic memorandum. The document laid out in great detail Britain’s position on all the important issues at Yalta, including how it was going to divide Germany, how the UN Security Council should vote if the Polish border was drawn up, how members of the Soviet Union could join the UN, and more. Britain’s trump card has been laid out on Stalin’s table.
The situation in the United States is similar, and the Soviet intelligence personnel also have an extremely detailed grasp of the situation in the United States. That is to say, no matter what ideas Roosevelt and Churchill came to Yalta with, Stalin already knew their cards clearly. Then how to talk about it? Looking back at Stalin’s two opponents, Roosevelt and Churchill, not only lacked preparation for the Yalta Conference, but even hated preparation in their hearts, especially Roosevelt.
It can be seen from a detail.
After Roosevelt came, he was interested in sightseeing, and Churchill had to accompany him. In fact, Roosevelt didn’t want to go sightseeing, he just didn’t want to have a deep chat with Churchill. On the one hand, he wanted to avoid making Stalin think that Britain and the United States were ready to deal with him; on the other hand, he also wanted to avoid holding back at the Yalta Conference after forming a common position with Britain.
Although Roosevelt had his own reasons, deep down he actually believed in the old-fashioned diplomat’s way of playing. He believed in on-the-spot performance and interpersonal interaction. The results of it? Although it is impossible to say how much the Soviet Union won at the Yalta Conference, judging from the progress of the conference, the Soviet Union has indeed been holding the initiative.
Although the book “Yalta” was written about the political game of the year and the content is also very exciting, what left the deepest impression on me was this point, the importance of preparation. Why am I following this? Because this is related to one of my feelings.
Our generation is living in an era of increasingly fragmented time. The time of dealing with people is more and more like short-handedness, and the importance of preparation has been greatly strengthened. The current summit meeting is shorter than the Yalta meeting of that year, but the intensity of preparations and the depth of specialization are unimaginable back then. Stalin’s performance at the Yalta Conference actually created a precedent for the style of major powers’ diplomatic work.
The competition in today’s society, in fact, is often no longer manifested in the competition between strengths, but in the competition of preparations. The preparation work is to put the strength together at one point. For example, I give a New Year’s speech. In terms of eloquence and expressiveness of speeches, I certainly do not belong to the first class. But around this product, our company has been preparing for a year, holding many planning meetings, and writing speeches word by word. I have to rehearse dozens of times by myself.
A friend who has been doing recruitment work for a long time told me that, in fact, the interviewer is not required to look at the rest. Just look at how much he has prepared for this interview. The more preparations he has made and the richer his perspectives, the more he can actually prove his future work potential. This proves that he is a person who is good at planning, a person who is good at learning, and a person who is willing to cooperate. He is also a person who can act. Such a person can do anything.
In an era of more and more hand-to-hand combat, life is more and more like a stage, and competition is more and more rehearsal.