Are you listening to Richard Sorge?

Ross Rant March 2018.png

He is out there. He is speaking to you. He is sending you the signal.

But you fail to recognize him. You can't hear what he is saying. You think it is all noise.

Richard Sorge was Soviet agent operating out of Tokyo in 1941. Sorge repeatedly warned the Kremlin that Nazi Germany would soon invade the USSR. 

On May 15 he predicted that the invasion would come on June 20-22. 

But Sorge’s information displeased the big boss - he didn't want to hear it.

At the time, Stalin was then still in alliance with Nazi Germany. Even though Hitler had advocated the conquest of the USSR as early as 1924 in his book, Mein Kampf, Stalin famously believed Hitler to be the only person he could fully trust.

Stalin dismissed Sorge as “a little shit who has set himself up with some small factories and brothels in Japan.” 

How could someone operating in such an environment know what Nazi Germany was planning? 

Stalin knew best. He was the big boss in Moscow after all. He wasn't running in the underbelly of Tokyo. It didn't matter what was written in 1924.

Operation Barbarossa, the Nazi German codename for the invasion of the USSR, commenced on June 22, 1941. 

Launched by someone Stalin trusted entirely and against the terms of the existing non-aggression treaty, Hitler was doing what he always believed and was doing what some lesser person said he would do.

Are you listening to Richard Sorge?

Is someone telling you something that you don't want to believe? 

Is someone telling you something that goes against your station?

Are you overwhelmed by the noise and failing to hear the signal?

Marc A. Ross is the founder of Caracal Global and specializes in global communications and thought leader management at the intersection of politics, policy, and profits. Working with boardrooms and C-Suite executives from multinational corporations, trade associations, and disruptive startups, Marc helps leaders create compelling communications, focused content, and winning commerce.