Archive for leadership principles

Leadership That Is McChrystal Clear

Posted in Leadership with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 15, 2013 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

When a military leader hangs up his combat boots after a long and successful career, I always hope that they plan to share their experiences, wisdom and leadership philosophies in the pages of a book.  It has become commonplace in the last two decades for a military officer who has been successful on the battlefield to write a book about their life in uniform (Schwarzkopf, Franks, Powell).  And, throughout history, we have been fortunate to learn a lot about our greatest, most storied Generals and Admirals (Washington, Grant, Lee, Halsey, Nimitz, Eisenhower, Patton, MacArthur, etc.) through their own writing and words, and those of historians, biographers, authors, and bloggers who have determined that learning and discussing what made these military officers great leaders is valuable knowledge to current and future leaders and scholars.  You can find an assortment of these books on the internet.

General Stanley McChrystal (U.S. Army Retired) has written a memoir entitled, “My Share of the Task,” adding to the list of many great military leaders whose life in uniform has been chronicled.  Stanley McChrystal retired in July 2010 as a four-star General in the U.S. Army.  His last assignment was as the commander of the International Security Assistance Force and as the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.  He had previously served as the direc­tor of the Joint Staff and as the commander of the Joint Special Operations Command.  He is currently a senior fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and the co-founder of the McChrystal Group, a leadership consulting firm.

I have yet to add McChrystal’s book to my bookshelf, so this post is not a review or endorsement of it.  I absolutely intend on grabbing a copy of his book very soon.  Instead, this post is to highlight his leadership philosophy and wisdom that allowed him to climb the ranks of the United States Army to become a Four-Star General.  While most people are focusing more attention on how his career came to an abrupt end following a Rolling Stone article in 2010, I would prefer discussing his leadership.  I think each of us can learn a lot from this warrior, statesman and scholar.

A one-of-a-kind commander with remarkable record of achievement, General Stanley McChrystal is widely praised for creating a revolution in warfare that fused intelligence and operations.  He stresses a uniquely inclusive leadership model focused on building teams capable of relentless pursuit of results. When old systems fall short, McChrystal believes true leaders must look for ways to innovate and change.  From his extraordinary career, McChrystal reveals a four-star management strategy, stressing openness, teamwork, and forward-thinking.

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General McChrystal is the co-founder of the McChrystal Group.  From his time as a commanding general, he revolutionized key leadership principles such as transparency and inclusion; leveraging the power of teams through shared ownership; and sharing a clear vision for winning with an extended team.

He, along with his team at The McChrystal Group, have developed a program called the CrossLead Way.  The principles and operational structure of CrossLead are based on the exceptional military leadership successes of the General and his staff.  The principles of CrossLead are:

1. Trust

Build a foundation of relationships based on trust and teamwork.

2. Understand
Understand the operating environment and your organization while constantly adapting for purpose.

3. Align
Align the team around a clearly defined vision, set of values and an achievable and resilient strategy.

4. Communicate
Force and foster a culture of inclusion, transparency, and accountability through constant communication.

5. Decide
Create shared ownership by decentralizing decision-making and execution to the most effective level.

6. Discipline
Ruthlessly prioritize, maintain a disciplined and sustainable battle rhythm, and focus on what only you can affect.

7. Win
Accomplish your objectives. Succeed constantly by relentlessly assessing and improving performance. Win.

From these principles, the McChrystal Group believes that the collective wisdom of an organization is it’s most valuable resource – that trust, speed and discipline are decisive – that leaders are made and leadership is a choice.  Most importantly, we believe in winning in any environment.

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Since General McChrystal’s retirement, he has shared what he learned about leadership over his decades in the military as a public speaker and lecturer.  His overall leadership premise is how can you build a sense of shared purpose among people of many ages and skill sets?  His answer is by listening and learning — and addressing the possibility of failure.  This blog has featured General McChrystal in the past, but I wanted to again highlight some of the key points General McChrystal emphasizes in his presentations to groups, organizations, companies and students:

1) If your people do everything you taught them to do, and they do those things properly, you led them well. People follow leaders.

2) Leaders can let you fail, and yet not let you be a failure.

3) Leaders build confidence and trust in their people. And, those who you are leading have to have faith and trust in the leader. Leaders have to build faith, trust and confidence.

4) In failure, the leader must reach out to his force and rebuild trust and confidence…rebuilt confidence in the force, rebuilt confidence in the leader, and rebuilt confidence in the seniors of the leader and the force.

5) A leader must build consensus and a sense of shared purpose with his force.

6) How does a leader stay credible and legitimate when they haven’t done what the people their leading are doing? Leaders must become more transparent and a lot more willing to listen.

7) Keep your promises and live up to your obligations; to your subordinates, your peers and your superiors. Be ready to support them when they need you most.

8) A leader isn’t good because he is right. They’re good because their willing to learn, and to trust. If you are a leader, the people you’ve counted on will help you out. And, if you’re a leader, the people who count on you need you on your feet.

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Unfortunately, General McChrystal’s career ended sooner than he or anyone anticipated, but in no way short of victory.  As with any abrupt departure of a high-profile military leader due to controversy, scandal or integrity issues, we should always look at what that person did in their career in total; the quality of the individual, and the successes they achieved.  General McChrystal dedicated 34 years of his life to the United States Army, and his leadership, warrior spirit and patriotism, without question, is what makes him one of the great military leaders of our time.  The military prematurely lost this officer, but the private sector has gained a gem in McChrystal (to use a bit of a pun).  We now become the new benefactors of his teachings, wisdom and philosophy.  Through his new book, we can see inside this man and the principles that have made him successful. , beyond the controversy of the Rolling Stone article back in 2010.  As I said earlier, I intend on purchasing his book, and I think you should too.

Copyright © Dale R. Wilson

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Related Articles –

McChrystal Speaks Out on Rolling Stone Article (foxnews.com)

General Stanley McChrystal: Leadership Lessons from Afghanistan (Forbes.com)

Stan McChrystal: Trading Shadows for Showtime with accompanying video Q & A With General Stanley McChrystal (time.com)

‘I Accept Responsibility’: McChrystal On His ‘Share Of The Task’ (npr.org)

Gen. McChrystal’s Lessons in Leadership

(cnbc.com)

[Video] Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal on Leadership (youtube.com)

Sources –

Plywood Leadership: Lessons on Leadership from a Warrior, Statesman and Scholar – Accessed 13 January 2013 – Association for Corporate Growth (ACG Global) – http://www.acg.org/

CrossLead Way – Accessed 13 January 2013 – McChrystal Group – http://www.mcchrystalgroup.com/home

Listen, Learn…Then Lead – Accessed 13 January 2013 – Command Performance Leadership blog – https://commandperformanceleadership.wordpress.com/

Photo Credits –

Book cover and profile picture – The McChrystal Group via http://www.mcchrystalgroup.com/home – Accessed 13 January 2013

Stanley McChrystal: Listen, Learn…Then Lead – http://images.ted.com/images/ted/1e1176d6968f6b244a1962d6231a5410fa7d8ef9_389x292.jpg – Ted.com – Accessed 13 January 2013

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Leadership (further) Defined

Posted in Leadership with tags , , , , , on December 17, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

My last post has inspired dialogue on this blog, other blogs (here, here and here), and on Twitter.  Obviously, the definition of leadership, and the debate over what is the best, or most proper, definition continues.  If you haven’t read my last post, please read it before reading this post.  Here’s the link ==> Leadership Defined.

Once I publish a post, I share it on the various social media platforms I participate, such as on Twitter and in various discussion groups on LinkedIn.  I posted Leadership Defined in the LinkedIn group, Brilliant Manoeuvres[1]: How to Use Military Wisdom to Win Business Battles, which was started by Richard Martin, author of a book by the same name as the group; Richard also has a blog, Exploiting Change, and can be found on twitter @boldleadership.  Soon after I shared my post in that group, it was commented on by Ned Gravel, who is principal at MOTIVA Training, a Canadian company, and was a Major in the Canadian Armed Forces, where he served for 21 years.  What transpired, as a result of his comment, has become the premise of this blog post.  My reply elaborates on the discussion of the definition of leadership, and expands on the post I wrote last week.  It is an important postscript.

Below is Ned’s comment, and my response to his comment.  Once I replied to Ned’s comment, I realized the breadth and value of this discussion he and I had, and the answer I provided Ned according to his opinion.  Here is that conversation:


I am going to have to disagree with you on some of this. I think you may have overextended the definition I, and many of my colleagues who wore a uniform for a living, grew up with. For us, leadership is: “the art of motivating people to achieve a common goal.” Nothing about obedience, or command, or directing thoughts.

It is only about the people and the goal is a common one, sometimes developed commonly, sometimes not, but motivated to be accepted by the entire group.

A common misconception about military leadership is that everyone will simply obey orders and that is that. Orders delivered to motivate team members so that they become the common goal is the focus of good military leadership. Orders delivered to simply direct others is a failure of leadership. If we have kept our team abreast and engaged them in what we are trying to do – the orders issued can already be understood and accepted by the majority of our team members. They can then succeed without our further involvement.

Even beyond this, good leaders do not just create successful teams and followers, they create more successful leaders from within their teams.

I apologise [sic] for the apparent disagreement. Just my 0.02.

Below is a modified version of my response:

Dale R. WilsonNo need to apologize, Ned.  We’re having a discussion to share ideas.  I tried to write my blog post at a basic level to define leadership.  Maybe this reply to your comment can clarify my philosophy.

I agree with what you are saying.  But, my definition is based on intent…that leads to action…to improvise, adapt, overcome…to change tactics, without changing vision; to achieve ultimate victory.

Leadership is taking your vision and intent as a leader, sharing this vision with your team, motivating and inspiring them to execute the plan, and empowering them with the resources to achieve victory.  I’ll direct you back to my blog post for further discussion on this, as I break it down concisely.  But, for this discussion, I am talking about:

1) Getting the team (organization, company, platoon, crew, etc.) to clearly understand the mission (goal, objective, sales target, profit requirement, etc.) ~ the image that the leader has for the outcome.

2) Ensuring the team understands the leader’s intent, and has the exact same vision, while clarifying with them by asking questions and providing feedback to their questions, and verifying that there is a clear understanding of the end state.

Along with this is the ‘buy-in.’  The people have to not only see the intent/vision/desired outcome, but they must see in themselves the absolute ability to accomplish the mission.

3) Provide the team the resources (tools, training, equipment, information, etc.) to ensure they can conduct operations to their fullest effort to achieve nothing less than victory.  Having discussion is important.  But, in the end, the leader’s vision and intent (with modifications to tactics, from the discussion) remains firm and unchanged.

4) To afford each individual the latitude to improvise, adapt, and overcome; to change tactics, without changing vision, according to the situation on the ground (or at sea, or in the air, etc.).

When the terms ‘obedience,’ ‘command,’ or ‘directing thoughts’ are mentioned, they are discussed in the context of having the absolute necessity to conduct actions, tasks, operations (etc.) towards the goal/objective, without argument, dissention, or modification to the goal.  People cannot change the desired outcome, as it is a fixed ‘destination’ determined by the higher echelon leadership (board of directors, CEO, CFO, CinC, Commanding Officer, Brigade Commander, etc.).  However, when I mention ‘without argument,’ previously, I don’t mean that a discussion shouldn’t be conducted to ask questions, clarify information or offer alternative tactics (or strategy).  Having such discussion is NOT disobedience.  And, ‘directing thought’ is simply ‘selling’ the vision/intent that drives to the shared goal and objective.

I agree with your assessment about the misconceptions about military leadership.  If a leader is simply going to say, ‘this is what I want to see happen…no questions…no discussion…,’ then that is poor leadership, indeed.  As you say, “…orders to simply direct others is a failure of leadership.”

It is because of those misconceptions that drives to the very reason why I write about the topic on my blog (and on Twitter).  My purpose is to write about the subject of military leadership in an effort to change those misconceptions that exist in the minds of those who do not understand the true synergies between military and corporate (private-sector) leadership.

I appreciate your feedback on this.  It is important to share these ideas to provide us the opportunity to dig deeper into the subject.  It is constructive and educational.  In fact, in writing this response, I found it quite instructive and fulfilling.

I want to invite you to read three blog posts I have written that relate directly to our discussion here.  Please read the following:

Leading the Charge: Leadership Lessons from the Battlefield to the Boardroom (no need to watch the video…I’ve broken it down on the post)

Decision-Making in the New ‘Leadership Organization’

Improvise, Adapt and Overcome ~ Changing Plans, But Not Changing Vision

Employee Empowerment in the Decision-Making Process

Leadership is a very popular subject, and discussions like this happen quite frequently in LinkedIn groups, on Twitter, and elsewhere on the internet.  Having these discussions, and engaging in conversation with people about leadership, is quite constructive (and instructive), and can help to broaden your knowledge and ability to become a much better, more effective leader.  I encourage you to find a discussion and join in.  Everyone will benefit from your contribution.

I wanted to use this opportunity to thank Ned for having this conversation with me, and his gracious approval to allow me to use our conversation on LinkedIn as a lab excercise on my blog.  I hope that you found value in having this dialogue with me.

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“Leadership is understanding people and involving them to help you do a job.”

Admiral Arleigh Burke

(TWEET THIS quote)

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Soon after I posted Leadership Defined, I posted the following Tweet, which sums it all up nicely.  Within this Tweet, click on the link to a related Tweet, to keep it in context:

Copyright © Dale R. Wilson

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Share on Twitter

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Related Articles –

Modern Leadership (brassbugles.wordpress.com)

What Is Leadership? (landauleadership.com)

How Do You Rate Yourself? (leadershipquote.org)

What Leadership is Not (stevekeating.me)

Footnote –

[1] ‘Manoeuvre‘ is the French spelling for the word maneuver (US).  It is sometimes considered misspelling.  Because the LinkedIn group was started by someone in Canada, the French version (spelling) of the word is appropriate.

Leadership Defined

Posted in Leadership with tags , , , , , , , on December 11, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

Leadership has been defined as the art, science, or gift by which a person is enabled and privileged to direct the thoughts, plans, and actions of others in such a manner as to obtain and command their obedience, their confidence, their respect, and their loyal cooperation.  Simply stated, leadership is the art of accomplishing [a] mission through people.[i]  Another definition is the process of influencing people by providing purpose, direction, and motivation while operating to accomplish the mission and improving the organization.[ii]  To accomplish this, the leader employs the principles of leadership, core values and the qualities that lead to success.[iii]  Within these two definitions are three basic elements of leadership; to lead, to develop, to achieve.  I discuss these three rudimentary cornerstones (and competencies) of leadership in-depth in one of my previous posts, BookLink: Army Leadership (Lead ~ Develop ~ Achieve) {Book 1, Wk. 2}.

There are many definitions of leadership.  Many articles and books have been written on the topic of leadership, and there are many people, like myself, writing about the topic of leadership everyday on blogs and on Twitter.  In nearly all of what you will find written or discussed, and what is most important to understand, is that leadership is not about the leader; it’s about the people who are being led.  The people are the commodity that are at the heart and soul of everything the leader and the organization are seeking to accomplish.  Therefore, the people become the biggest part of the definition of leadership, as it is their behavior, motivation, training, skills and knowledge that play an integral role in the success and victory of the organization.

This morning, I tweeted my definition of leadership.  Below, I have embedded an active link of that Tweet for you.  If you think the Tweet below has true value to you, and to your Twitter followers, please retweet it.  Simply click on the Tweet below as you would a Tweet on Twitter to reply, retweet or favorite it:

Again, it is very basic and elementary.  But it covers all of the core elements: To lead…taking your vision for the future, and declaring your intentions, goals and objectives…to develop…mentoring, training, inspiring, motivating, informing, equipping, (etc.) the people of the organization with the knowledge and tools…to achieve…the desired outcome, objective and/or goal, ultimately accomplishing the mission, and gaining victory.

Any basic definition of leadership, including my tweet, can be seen as a loaded statement; quite honestly, it is a loaded statement.  It is loaded with much more meaning than the words say on the surface, and has more meanings than you first may think.  Leadership is such a vast subject, and goes far beyond what has been discussed here.  But, at its basic level, it’s not more complicated than this.

I can go further with discussion about the definition of leadership.  But, that is the reason for this blog; to dissect and discuss leadership in great detail.  I would like to know what your definition of leadership is.  What do you see as the important aspects of leadership that go to its basic definition?  Let me know what you think by commenting below.  And, again, please retweet my Tweet if you think it has true value to you, and to your Twitter followers.

Don’t forget to comment on this blog post.  And, please follow me on Twitter; follow @5StarLeadership.

**A follow-up post to this one has been published.  Please proceed to Leadership (further) Defined.

Copyright © Dale R. Wilson

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Footnotes –

[i] Montor, Karel, Anthony J. Ciotti, and Malcolm E. Wolfe. Fundamentals of Naval Leadership. The Department of Leadership and Law, U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute, 1984. page 1. (The definition of leadership is adapted from Naval Leadership, U.S. Naval Institute, Annapolis, MD, 1939, page 1, and Frederick Ellsworth Wolf, A.M., Leadership in the New Age, U.S. Naval Institute, Annapolis, MD, 1946, page 3)

[ii] Army Leadership – Competent, Confident, and Agile {FM 6-22} (formerly FM 22-100) – Headquarters, Department of the Army – 12 October 2006 – Page 1-2 – Web – http://usacac.army.mil/CAC2/repository/materials/FM6_22.pdf – Accessed 11 December 2012 – United States Army Combined Arms Center, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas – http://usacac.army.mil/CAC2/index.asp and/or Army Leadership {ADP 6-22} – Headquarters, Department of the Army – 1 August 2012 – Page 1 – Web – http://armypubs.army.mil/doctrine/DR_pubs/dr_a/pdf/adp6_22_new.pdf – Accessed 11 December 2012 – Official Department of the Army Publications and Forms – http://armypubs.army.mil/ via this link: http://usacac.army.mil/cac2/cgsc/events/adp622/index.asp

[iii] Fundamentals of Naval Leadership – By Dale R. Wilson – Posted February 7, 2012 – https://commandperformanceleadership.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/fundamentals-of-naval-leadership/ – Accessed December 11, 2012 – Command Performance Leadership – https://commandperformanceleadership.wordpress.com/

The Navy SEAL’s Way to Business Leadership Success

Posted in Leadership with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 10, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

Recently, I came across a three part article series entitled, “From the Battlefield to the Boardroom: A Navy SEAL’s Guide to Business Leadership Success,” on Forbes.com.  These articles were written by Brent Gleeson, a former Navy SEAL and a cast member on NBC’s new reality super show “Stars Earn Stripes.”  Brent’s articles are another example of how military experience and leadership are invaluable when applied to business.

I find Brent’s articles to be quite informative and educational, and I wanted to bring all three articles to you.  In his articles, Brent discusses training, planning, communication, teamwork, managing in a chaotic environment, recruiting great talent & hiring great leaders, and successful leadership traits, among other topics taken directly from his Navy SEAL training and experience.  What is discussed in these articles translates nicely to a business environment.  It is Brent’s thesis that it would be beneficial to any organization to put these critical lessons learned on the battlefield into action in the workplace.  Additionally, he emphasises the importance and value of hiring veterans because of their leadership ability and the skills they’ve gained as members of the United States military.  In these three articles, Brent lays out the battle plan that will make business successful, profitable and victorious.

Below, I present abstracts and links to each of the three articles.

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From the Battlefield to the Boardroom: A Navy SEAL’s Guide to Business Leadership Success

Six Aspects of Military Leadership Critical to Building a Successful Business and Developing a Driven Team (Part 1 of 3)

  1. Mission Communication
  2. Mission Planning
  3. Mission Team
  4. Mission Structure
  5. Mission Debrief
  6. Mission Training

Continue reading “From the Battlefield to the Boardroom: A Navy SEAL’s Guide to Business Leadership Success (Part 1 of 3)” via Forbes.com HERE

Managing in a Chaotic Environment – Building a Team In the Midst of Chaos:  Forging SEAL Leadership (Part 2 of 3)

Originally, Part 2 was going to focus on strategic planning but I thought it would be more appropriate to discuss team building first and address that important topic later.  In this post, I will focus on building the team and managing in a chaotic environment. Most of my readers will probably never serve in the military or be in a combat situation, but we all deal with our own chaotic environments every day. In business, this could be a brand crisis, employee turnover, economic issues, or even externalities that mentally affect your staff. It’s essential that leaders know how to successfully guide their teams through these situations.

There is no better time to have a strong unified team than amidst chaos. That’s the basic principle of the Navy SEAL training program.  Before we can manage a strong team within our organizations, we must build one.

Continue reading “From the Battlefield to the Boardroom: A Navy SEAL’s Guide to Business Leadership Success (Part 2 of 3)” via Forbes.com HERE

Identifying Great Leaders (Part 3 of 3)

The Result of War

Having been at war for more than a decade now, it is inevitable that the U.S. workplace has been, and will continue to be, flooded with men and women leaving the military.  This consistent wave of military veterans entering the workforce is a great opportunity for any organization looking for leaders.

Military men and women are taught leadership skills from their first days in service.  In Part 2, I wrote about SEAL training’s brutal Hell Week and how it teaches the students to immediately learn how to lead under pressure and amidst chaos.  In the SEAL teams, both Officer and Enlisted team members are given incredible amounts of responsibility during training as well as in combat.

Continue reading “From the Battlefield to the Boardroom: A Navy SEAL’s Guide to Business Leadership Success (Part 3 of 3)” via Forbes.com HERE

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About the Author –

Brent Gleeson spent five years in the Unites States Navy as a Navy SEAL.  During his service he completed several combat deployments to Iraq and Africa in support of the War on Terror.  His team’s primary objective was running capture or kill missions working in conjunction with the CIA.  Since leaving the Navy, Mr. Gleeson has become a serial entrepreneur that is passionate about leadership, building companies, and fostering positive change in his community and beyond.  As co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Internet Marketing Inc. (IMI) it is Mr. Gleeson’s primary focus to oversee brand development and marketing strategies.  As co-founder and one of the primary owners, Mr. Gleeson also leads strategic planning initiatives and recruitment.  Internet Marketing Inc. is currently one of the fastest growing integrated online marketing agencies in the country and is headquartered in San Diego, CA. with offices in Las Vegas, NV and Miami, FL.

Mr. Gleason earned his undergraduate degree in Finance and Economics from Southern Methodist University, studied at Oxford University in England, and earned master degree in real estate finance and development from the University of San Diego.

Brent is also an accomplished public speaker with topics ranging from entrepreneurship and team building to integrated online marketing strategies for growing businesses.

You can follow him on Twitter at @BrentGleeson.

“Duty, Honor, Country”

Posted in Leadership with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 13, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

General Douglas MacArthur

Sylvanus Thayer Award Acceptance Address 

Delivered 12 May 1962, West Point, NY

“Duty, Honor, Country”

(Click Picture Below to Read Text & Listen to Audio of This Speech)

 

Related Articles –

Eye Witness Account of the Address (usma1962.westpointaog.com)

General Douglas MacArthur – “Farewell Address to Congress” (americanrhetoric.com)

Douglas MacArthur’s Principles of Leadership (commandperformanceleadership.wordpress.com)

The United States Military Academy at West Point ~ Established March 16, 1802 (commandperformanceleadership.wordpress.com)

Strategies That Lead to Victory (Part Five)

Posted in Leadership with tags , , , , , , , , on May 11, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

Yesterday, I posted part four of this series.  I encourage you to read Strategies That Lead to Victory (Part Four).

From an article in Business Insider entitled “33 War Strategies That Will Help You Win Everything In Life.”

UNCONVENTIONAL (DIRTY) WARFAREUNCONVENTIONAL (DIRTY) WARFARE

The following 11 strategies will give a greater understanding of the diabolical psychology involved in dirty warfare, helping to arm you with the proper defense.  It gets nasty.

23) Weave a seamless blend of fact and fiction

Misconception Strategies

Since no creature can survive without the ability to see or sense what is going on around it, make it hard for your enemies to know what is going on around them, including what you are doing. Feed their expectations, manufacture a reality to match their desires, and they will fool themselves. Control people’s perceptions of reality and you control them.

24) Take the line of least expectation

The Ordinary-Extraordinary Strategy

People expect your behavior to conform to known patterns and conventions. Your task as a strategist is to upset their expectations. First do something ordinary and conventional to fix their image of you, then hit them with the extraordinary. The terror is greater for being so sudden. Sometimes the ordinary is extraordinary because it is unexpected.

Occupy the moral high ground25) Occupy the moral high ground

The Righteous Strategy

In a political world, the cause you are fighting for must seem more than just the enemy’s. By questioning your opponents’ motives and making them appear evil, you can narrow their base of support and room to maneuver. When you find yourself come under moral attack from a clever enemy, do not whine or get angry; fight fire with fire.

Deny them targets26) Deny them targets

The Strategy Of The Void

The feeling of emptiness or void — silence, isolation, non-engagement with others — is for most people intolerable. Give your enemies no target to attack, be dangerous but elusive, then watch as they chase you into the void. Instead of frontal battles, deliver irritating but damaging side attacks and pinprick bites.

27) Seem to work for the interests of others while furthering your own

The Alliance Strategy

The best way to advance your cause with the minimum of effort and bloodshed is to create a constantly shifting network of alliances, getting others to compensate for your deficiencies, do your dirty work, fight your wars. At the same time, you must work to sow dissension in the alliances of others, weakening your enemies by isolating them.

28) Give your rivals enough rope to hang themselves

The One-Upmanship Strategy

Life’s greatest dangers often come not from external enemies but from our supposed colleagues and friend who pretend to work for the common cause while scheming to sabotage us. Work to instill doubts and insecurities in such rivals, getting them to think too much and act defensively. Make them hang themselves through their own self-destructive tendencies, leaving you blameless and clean.

The Fait Accompli Strategy

Overt power grabs and sharp rises to the top are dangerous, creating envy, distrust, and suspicion. Often the best solution is to take small bites, swallow little territories, playing upon people’s relatively short attention spans. Before people realize it, you have accumulated an empire.

Take small bites29) Take small bites

The Fait Accompli Strategy

Overt power grabs and sharp rises to the top are dangerous, creating envy, distrust, and suspicion. Often the best solution is to take small bites, swallow little territories, playing upon people’s relatively short attention spans. Before people realize it, you have accumulated an empire.

30) Penetrate their minds

Communication Strategies

Communication is a kind of war, its field of battle is the resistant and defensive minds of the people you want to influence. The goal is to penetrate their defenses and occupy their minds. Learn to infiltrate your ideas behind enemy lines, sending messages through little details, luring people into coming to the conclusions you desire and into thinking they’ve gotten there by themselves.

31) Destroy from within

The Inner-Front Strategy

By infiltrating your opponents’ ranks, working from within to bring them down, you give them nothing to see or react against — the ultimate advantage. To take something you want, do not fight those who have it, but rather join them — then either slowly make it your own or wait for the moment to stage a coup d’état.

Dominate while seeming to submit32) Dominate while seeming to submit

The Passive-Aggression Strategy

In a world where political considerations are paramount, the most effective form of aggression is the best hidden one: aggression behind a compliant, even loving exterior. To follow the passive-aggression strategy you must seem to go along with people, offering no resistance. But actually you dominate the situation. Just make sure you have disguised your aggression enough that you can deny it exists.

Sow uncertainty and panic through acts of terror33) Sow uncertainty and panic through acts of terror

The Chain-Reaction Strategy

Terror is the ultimate way to paralyze a people’s will to resist and destroy their ability to plan a strategic response. The goal in a terror campaign is not battlefield victory but causing maximum chaos and provoking the other side into desperate overreaction. To plot the most effective counter-strategy, victims of terror must stay balanced. One’s rationality is the last line of defense.

A soldier’s greatest weapon is himself

——> Continue reading 33 War Strategies That Will Help You Win Everything In Life via Business Insider

For additional content related to today’s excerpt, please see Part 5: Unconventional (Dirty) Warfare via Wikipedia.

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Source –

33 War Strategies That Will Help You Win Everything In Life – Business Insider / Military & Defense – By Eloise Lee – Posted May 4, 2012 – http://www.businessinsider.com/33-strategies-of-war-you-should-apply-to-everyday-life-2012-5 – Accessed 7 May 2012 – Business Insider – http://www.businessinsider.com/

based on the book The 33 Strategies of War by Robert Greene

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Additional Resources –

The 33 Strategies of War – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – page was last modified on 19 April 2012 at 14:42 – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_33_Strategies_of_War – Accessed 7 May 2012 – Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/

Strategies That Lead to Victory (Part Four)

Posted in Leadership with tags , , , , , , , , on May 10, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

Yesterday, I posted part three of this series.  I encourage you to read Strategies That Lead to Victory (Part Three).

From an article in Business Insider entitled “33 War Strategies That Will Help You Win Everything In Life.”

OFFENSIVE WARFARE

The next 11 strategies outline the form of warfare practiced by the most successful captains in history. 

The secret to their success is a blend of strategic cleverness and audacity — it will give all of your attacks much greater force.

Lose battles but end the war 12) Lose Battles But End The War

Grand Strategy

It’s the art of looking beyond the battle and calculating ahead. It requires that you focus on your ultimate goal and plot to reach it. Let others get caught up in the twists and turns of the battle, relishing their little victories. Grand strategy will bring you the ultimate reward: the last laugh.

Know your enemy13) Know your enemy

The Intelligence Strategy

The target of your strategies should be less the army you face than the mind or women who runs it. If you understand how that mind works, you have the key to deceiving and controlling it. Train yourself to read people, picking up the signals they unconsciously send about their innermost thoughts and intentions.

Overwhelm resistance with speed and suddenness14) Overwhelm resistance with speed and suddenness

The Blitzkrieg Strategy

In a world in which many people are indecisive and overly cautious, the use of speed will bring you untold power. Striking first, before your opponents have time to think or prepare, will make them emotional, unbalanced, and prone to error.

15) Control the dynamic

Forcing Strategies

People are constantly struggling to control you. The only way to get the upper hand is to make your play for control more intelligence and insidious. Instead of trying to dominate the other side’s every move, work to define the nature of the relationship itself. Maneuver to control your opponents’ minds, pushing their emotional buttons and compelling them to make mistakes.

16) Hit them where it hurts

The Center-Of-Gravity Strategy

Everyone has a source of power on which he or she depends. When you look at your rivals, search below the surface for that source, the center of gravity that holds the entire structure together. Hitting them there will inflict disproportionate pain. Find what the other side most cherishes and protects — that is where you must strike.

Defeat them in denial17) Defeat them in denial

The Divide-And-Conquer Strategy

Never be intimated by your enemy’s appearance. Instead, look at the parts that make up the whole. By separating the parts, sowing dissension and division, you can bring down even the most formidable foe. When you are facing troubles or enemies, turn a large problem into small, eminently defeatable parts.

18) Expose and attack your opponent’s soft flank

The Turning Strategy

When you attack people directly, you stiffen their resistance and make your task that much harder. There is a better way: Distract your opponents’ attention to the front, then attack them from the side, where they least expect it. Bait people into going out on a limb exposing their weakness, then rake them with fire from the side.

Envelop the enemy19) Envelop the enemy

The Annihilation Strategy

People will use any kind of gap in your defenses to attack you. So offer no gaps. The secret is to envelop your opponents — create relentless pressure on them from all sides and close off their access to the outside world. As you send their weakening resolve, crush their willpower by tightening the noose.

Maneuver them into weakness20) Maneuver them into weakness

The Ripening-For-The-Sickle Strategy

No matter how strong you are, fighting endless battles with people is exhausting, costly, and unimaginative. Wise strategist prefer the art of maneuver: Before the battle even begins, they find ways to put their opponents in positions of such weakness that victory is easy and quick. Create dilemmas: Devise maneuvers that give them a choice of ways to respond — all of them bad.

21) Negotiate while advancing

The Diplomatic-War Strategy

Before and during negotiations, you must keep advancing, creating relentless pressure and compelling the other side to settle on your terms. The more you take, the more you can give back in meaningless concessions. Create a reputation for being tough and uncompromising, so that people are back on their heels before they even meet you.

Know how to end things22) Know how to end things

The Exit Strategy

You are judged in this world by how well you bring things to an end. A messy or incomplete conclusion can reverberate for years to come. The art of ending things well is knowing when to stop. The height of strategic wisdom is to avoid all conflicts and entanglements from which there are no realistic exits.

——> Continue reading 33 War Strategies That Will Help You Win Everything In Life via Business Insider

For additional content related to today’s excerpt, please see Part 4: Offensive Warfare via Wikipedia.

Strategies That Lead to Victory (Part Five), discussing Unconventional (Dirty) Warfare, will be presented on Command Performance Leadership tomorrow, May 10, 2012

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Source –

33 War Strategies That Will Help You Win Everything In Life – Business Insider / Military & Defense – By Eloise Lee – Posted May 4, 2012 – http://www.businessinsider.com/33-strategies-of-war-you-should-apply-to-everyday-life-2012-5 – Accessed 7 May 2012 – Business Insider – http://www.businessinsider.com/

based on the book The 33 Strategies of War by Robert Greene

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Additional Resources –

The 33 Strategies of War – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – page was last modified on 19 April 2012 at 14:42 – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_33_Strategies_of_War – Accessed 7 May 2012 – Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/

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