139 Lessons: D-Day 2024

139. That number made me stop and look at the radio. Okay, it made me scrunch my brow, figuratively hold my finger on my Airpods, and think, “Did I hear that correctly?”

I heard this number and its meaning when I listened to a replay of the Michael Smerconish show on the Sirius/XM channel POTUS (Politics of the United States). Smerconish is a radio and TV host, author, and lawyer who programs independent political content.

Another D-Day book?

Yesterday, June 5th, he interviewed author Garrett Graff about his new book, When the Sea Came Alive: An Oral History of D-Day. The book, soon to be on my list, is different because it has more than 5,000 first-person accounts of one of the most memorable battles in history. At one point during the short interview, the host talked to the author about interesting numbers. 139 was one of those numbers. (here’s a review of the book https://bit.ly/3XghufN )

It represents the number of commercial automobiles built in the U.S. during World War II. Those autos likely were built before February 1942. Ford, GM, Chrysler, Packard, AMC, and other manufacturers retooled their facilities to make tanks, bombers, guns, ammunition, and military automobiles. Those factories didn’t return to standard automobile production until October 1945.

Americans are proud of the term American Ingenuity. The stat I heard on the radio interview exemplifies how people, corporations, and governments pivot in a time of greater need. D-Day is fascinating, melancholy, and jaw-dropping to me every year.

But what can we learn on the 80th anniversary of D-Day and apply to our lives in 2024?

This number will stay with me for a while

139. Which part of my business could be refocused for the good of the company…now? I don’t mean eliminated. Those auto manufacturers didn’t close during the war years. It was repurposed labor for a different need. And yes, I realize a lot of businesses didn’t survive during those years. It was one of the most contracted economies the country ever experienced. However, I’m focusing on one industry and one number.

139. Which part of my personal life could be refocused for the good of my physical, mental, and spiritual health…now, not later? Some of those changes are permanent, but some take a sabbatical until the balance returns or the needs shift again. Circumstances force us to change, but what do I ignore during good seasons that would prepare me for the drama coming later?

History provides emotional and entertaining stories. Additionally, I benefit by applying those stories to my present reality. What can I learn from their mistakes or their triumphs?

Today, I honor the people who served during D-Day 1944 and those who made business and life-altering changes in the years before that day.

Ron Harrell

Ron Harrell

Harrell is a Fractional Manager, Talent Coach and Consultant specializing in brand analysis, strategy and execution for radio and audio mediums. Contact for a No Copy & Paste review.

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