Paul Ingrassia RIP: “He was allergic to anything that smacked of unnecessary bureaucracy”

From an appreciation, “Mastering the Art of Impatience,”  of Paul Ingrassia, a Wall Street Journal editor who died Monday at the age of 69.

Winning requires belief in a cause and disdain for the red tape and naysaying—or a good night’s sleep—that gets in the way. Paul had no appetite for what many consider the necessary evils in business.

For instance, more than once I was on an email chain that he was copied on. These conversations can continue on message after message, with multiple people weighing in on whether we should do the story, who should do the story, what the story line should be.

The response from Mr. Ingrassia inevitably went like this: For the amount of words and time we’ve wasted talking about the story, we could have had it published by now.

Gordon Crovitz, a former Wall Street Journal publisher, said if executives signaled support for an Ingrassia initiative, he would go in for the kill even as others were still thinking it over.

“He was a master of the presumptive close,” Mr. Crovitz remembered. “He would say, ‘Are we going to announce this on Tuesday or Thursday?’ It forced more urgent discussion.”…

Paul, who chronicled the epic downfall of General Motors , was allergic to anything that smacked of unnecessary bureaucracy, whether it was born from laziness, an unwillingness to change or hubris.

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