Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Leadership Lessons from Iraq IV 
1. If you sense a soldier’s having a hard time, take a minute and say “hey, walk with me to the PX.” Even if you weren’t going to the PX. Then ask ‘what was on your mind just now?’

Then shut up and listen.

2. Never stop coaching or teaching younger soldiers—even if it’s only by way of your example.

3. Don’t take risks you can’t afford to lose.

Example: You are planning a convoy. They tell you you have 3 humvees available and a 5 ton truck. The route takes you out of radio range. There’s no expected air cover. Can you afford the risk of the truck breaking down? No, because you have nothing that can tow the five ton. You’ll either have to stay with it and pray someone else comes along, or you’ll have to abandon the truck.

That’s a mission killer. Hedge your bets, and insist on getting another 5 ton, or delaying the convoy until you can travel with a larger element.

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