Thursday, December 11, 2003

Leadership Lessons from Iraq V 
1. Army precommissioning programs tend to esteem reflexive decisiveness over measured judgment. But lieutenants and leaders in all kinds of contexts need both. And in my own experience (over 11 years commissioned service) the measured judgment part of the equation is immeasurably more important.

2. Officers, like all execs, are paid to think, and make sound and timely decisions. They are not paid to flap their pieholes on the radio, anymore than they are paid to write unmotivating emails (or blog entries, for that matter.) Stay in your lane.

3. Put sharp soldiers on the radio. It’s worth the investment. Then take a minute to communicate your plan clearly. Your soldiers will make you look good. Monitor just to make sure.

4. Officers should work through their NCOs and maintain situational awareness.

5. You're not a dog, Firing your weapon isn’t like licking your balls. It’s not one of those things you want to do just because you can. In the urban, low-intensity warfare environment, just firing your weapon is a commitment. Don’t make it lightly.

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