Sunday, April 25, 2010

What do we do now, sir?

Former Army Captain Craig Mullaney has written a thoughtful discussion of leadership in "The Unforgiving Minute: A Soldier's Education." A West Point graduate, Army Ranger, and Rhodes Scholar, Mullaney talks about what it means to be a "warrior" and to become a man in the chaos of battle.

This brief video from the Washington Post video series, On Leadership (which is starting to become one of my favorite sites for inspiration and insights on leadership) helps describe the difficulties of life as a small unit leader, in Mullaney's case the frontier lands between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

I like the discussion in the video about the fact that people are counting on us to make decisions, to sort through the fog of war and get people moving. While we should hope that the question, "What do we do now, sir?" is not addressed to us when bullets are flying all around, it is what we need to be prepared to answer when we say yes to leadership. In times of chaos, people look to their leader. We need to be ready.

I liked some of Mullaney's other comments in this brief discussion of leadership:

-- Never quit.
-- Regroup and get people focused on the mission.
-- People are counting on us -- in good times and in bad.
-- It's not about us.

I'm guessing that the praises for Mullaney's book are indicative of this compelling brand of leadership. It is probably worth a read. Our own troops would probably be the beneficiaries. That makes it Leader Business.

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