Lessons in Leadership

I just read a great blog post about the book “Warfighting” and wanted to share a few of the leadership quotes from it that I thought were valuable:

“Errors by junior leaders stemming from overboldness are a necessary part of learning. We should deal with such errors leniently…Abolishing ‘zero defects’ means that we do not stifle boldness or initiative through the threat of punishment”

“Until a commander has reached and stated a decision, subordinates should consider it their duty to provide honest, professional opinions even though these may be in disagreement with the senior’s opinions. However, once the decision has been reached, juniors then must support it as if it were their own.”

“Because … no two situations … are the same, our critiques should focus not so much on the actions we took as on why we took those actions and why they brought the results they did.”

“Freedom for initiative that permits the high tempo of operations that we desire….mission tactics requires subordinates to act with “topsight” — a grasp of how their actions fit into the larger situation…..we cannot allow decentralized initiative without some means of providing unity, or focus to the various efforts…>we seek unity not principally trough imposed control, but through harmonious initiative and lateral coordination within the context [ed: frame!] provided by guidance from above.”

“A subordinate commander who is not given a clear purpose for the assigned mission should ask for one….It is often possible to capture intent in a simple “…in order to …” phrase….statement of intent should be brief and compelling–the more concise, the better…Subordinates must have a clear understanding of what their commander expects. Further, they should understand the intent of the commander at least two levels up.”

“[Maneuver warfare] requires a certain independence of mind, a willingness to act with initiative and boldness, an exploitive mindset that takes full advantage of every opportunity, and the moral courage to accept responsibility for this type of behavior. It is important that this last set of traits be guided by self-discipline and loyalty to the objectives of seniors.”

The post looks to be a summary of the book, which appears to be a very interesting read and applicable in many areas.  For more of the blog post written by Zachary Burt, see his post entitled Social Warfare.

For the book on Amazon, see Warfighting.

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