I recently read the book “Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief”. (McPherson, Penguin, © 2008), a documentary on, as the title suggests, Lincoln as the Commander in Chief for the United States during his presidency and the Civil War (the war having begun for all intent and purposes simultaneously with him being elected President.)
One of the great many eloquent statements made by Lincoln regarding the war is,
“The political objective (in this case, keeping the United States intact and not allowing States to secede from the Union) is the goal, war is the means of reaching it, and the means can never be considered in isolation from their purpose. Therefore, it is clear that war should never be thought of as something autonomous but always as an instrument of policy.”
“The objective is winning the opportunity*, the proposal is a key component of achieving this objective. A proposal can never be considered in isolation from the overall sales process. Therefore, the proposal should never be thought of as something autonomous but always as an instrument of the sale.”
* Winning defined as award of contract, next stage, influence, etc. – as defined by sales.