There are moments where a single act of brilliance or heroism will make all the difference in whether you win or lose.
And those are the moments that stick out. We remember Caesar crossing the Rubicon and Washington crossing the Delaware. We marvel at brilliance and heroism.
But what put Caesar or Washington in a position to lead their troops and nations?
The balance sheet is pretty clear: a thousand, perhaps ten thousand smaller actions.
These little actions are not celebrated and most will never be known. But on a very cold winter's morning in Gaul or Virginia, the commander would have risen despite not wanting to, and on that day applied himself to working a little harder, training an officer a little bit more, writing just another letter or dispatch -- and certainly, if you remove many of these single very small heroic actions, the cause would have failed.