There's a memorable story in Jonathan W. Jordan's Brothers, Rivals, Victors.
America had entered the Second World War. General George Patton was running the desert training center in Indio, California and was eager to get into action. General George C. Marshall, the highest ranking officer in the American Army, had asked Dwight Eisenhower, who was then working on the build-up of forces in Europe, to recommend a man to lead a one-division expeditionary force in North Africa. Eisenhower quickly recommended Patton.
Patton was elated. He told Ike, "To get an outfit destined for immediate battle I'd sell my soul!" He flew to Washington, D.C. and met with General Marshall who described the situation and noted that only one reinforced armored division could be spared for the effort. Marshall then sent Patton off to make some preliminary plans.
As Patton reviewed the matter, he concluded that two divisions would be needed and he sent word to Marshall's office. Marshall blew up since he believed that he had already considered the appropriate distribution of available forces. Besides, he was always suspicious of what he called "localitis" or a too-narrow view by commanders. He told his aides, "Send him back to Indio."
You can imagine Patton's reaction. He was devastated. Had he lost his big chance? He returned to California and pestered Marshall's office for days but Marshall didn't take his calls. What Patton didn't know was that George Marshall had already determined that the operation was not feasible so he'd canceled it. He also knew that Patton was a talented warrior who needed to know who was boss. He told his deputy chief of staff while Patton was trying to get through with apologies and explanations, "That's the way to handle Patton." Eventually, Marshall let another officer inform Patton that Marshall had not been offended. Shortly afterwards, Patton was asked if he'd be willing to head an armored corps in an operation overseas.
George C. Marshall had carefully studied the Army's potential talent. He knew George Patton's strengths and weaknesses.
On occasion, it may be necessary to remind certain personalities that Indio is an option.