Paul Van Riper's Big Victory

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In Chapter Four, “Paul Van Riper’s Big Victory,” Gladwell highlights the special value we place, in Western culture, on complex, analytical decision-making and compares it with our devaluation of intuitive or rapid-fire decision-making. He focuses in particular on Paul Van Riper, the retired Marine Corps officer who led the underdog “Red Team” to victory in the Millennium Challenge 2002, a war game conducted by the U.S. military. Van Riper is highlighted because he makes a convincing argument for decentralized, intuitive decision-making in times of urgency (such as on the battlefield). This chapter raises the question of whether and how one can prepare for such times of under-pressure, down-to-the-wire decision-making, offering both comedy