Today, we’re going to cover the third lesson I learned from the book Starship Troopers. This is the third lesson in the mini-series. If you haven’t read the previous post yet, please do so right now and try to follow it in order.
Lesson # 3: In combat, leader’s must be confident and poised
Quote: “There mustn’t be any shadow of doubt when you give an order, not in combat.”
My Take: This isn’t rocket science. I’ve always believed that you never really knew if a military leader was good or not, unless you saw them in action in combat. In garrison, and in peacetime, anyone can be a successful military leader. Stress is lower, the mission isn’t as important, and even an average or low performing leader can get by.
In combat, everything changes. When the shit hits the fan, Soldiers look up to their leaders for confidence and direction. If the leader is NOT confident, or is worrisome, that will spread down to the troops and lead to chaos. Leaders must analyze the facts with the information that they do have and then make a decision. More importantly, when they share that decision with their subordinates, through some type of verbal mission order, they must appear confident.
Even tough missions can seem doable when the leader is confident. When you can look at your leader and know that they have analyzed the information, formulated the best plan possible, and weighed all the options, you will be much more confident in your mission, even if it is a tough one. Anyone who has ever worked for an indecisive or timid leader can validate what I am talking about.
What are your thoughts? Leave a comment and let me know.