Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Fix Bayonets!

From a British Army Research Laboratory Report:

In May 2004, approximately 20 British troops in Basra were ambushed and forced out of their vehicles by about 100 Shiite militia fighters. When ammunition ran low, the British troops fixed bayonets and charged the enemy. About 20 militiamen were killed in the assault without any British deaths.

The bayonet charge appeared to succeed for three main reasons. First, the attack was the first of its kind in that region and captured the element of surprise. Second, enemy fighters probably believed jihadist propaganda stating that coalition troops were cowards unwilling to fight in close combat, further enhancing the element of surprise. Third, the strict discipline of the British troops overwhelmed the ability of the militia fighters to organize a cohesive counteraction. *****

For those of you who are trying to decide how to succeed in this seemingly impossible economic environment -- fix bayonets. For those who need to break out of the rut of business as usual -- charge! Do something different. Surprise your team, your customers, or your competitors with an approach that they never saw coming. Take the fight to the enemy, be aggressive, and attack.

Here's to those who are not afraid of close combat, who are capable of finding the sort of creative, risk-taking solutions to impossible problems. Here's to those who FIX BAYONETS! That's Leader Business. Hooah!

*****From Bayonets in Basra - A Case Study on the Effects of Irregular Warfare by Edwin Halpain and Justin Walker

1 comment:

Dan McCarthy said...

Tom –
A great metaphor for today’s business leaders! This is no time to be timid. Thanks, and keep up the good work.