Earlier in the week, among other distractions of real life, I had to attend a corporate training session on leadership. It was one of those things that I didn't care too much about for reasons beyond the scope of this blog. But I have to admit the instructor was good because I took home lessons without even knowing it. It is a bit disturbing that I had to sit at the computer and shoot virtual insurgents to comprehend the corporate diatribe, but I am digressing.
"The most important trait of a leader is his vision", was one of the lessons. I understand "vision" as a unique and personal way to see both the objectives (or whatever is a measure of success) and how to overcome whatever obstacle is in between your current situation and them. In search of examples of great leaders with vision, if you check any business-oriented publication you will get pummeled with the glorious achievements of Steve Jobs, John F. Kennedy, Henry Ford and other heavyweights who grace the earth with their sheer genius one or twice per generation. The military establishment will cite examples like Napoleon, Frederick the Great, Patton, Rommel and others. For the beginners like me, It's like teaching a baby to walk by showing him or her a video of a hurdler's performance (the hurdling part of the video, gents ... Focus please). I claim that, although the examples like the above are inspiring, a tactical leader's vision can be seemingly minute, simple and yet be very effective.
And there I am back at Camp Phaeden, with the enemy MG gone, with my Marines still in the line of departure and struck by "my vision". Believe me, I am not in a pompous ass pose claiming tactical genius. Indeed, one can argue that I've just chose (by imitation) a course of action:
- eliminate the MG by relatively long range fire and then advance towards the objective with a focus in protecting ourselves from the enemy patrols and other annoyances along the way.
- eliminate fixed MG positions by relatively long range fire and
thenadvance towards the objective with a focus in protecting ourselves from enemy patrols and other annoyances along the way. (Note the strike through of the word "then", it's there on purpose)
If you are commanding other humans in multiplayer matches, your vision will provide a long lasting guiding principle above any following plan towards the achievement of the objective. The plan may change, but the vision will last. You know how chaotic is the firefight below the hill of your command post: things will go wrong and you won't always be there. So give your subordinates a war fighting theme, a context-independent template of how to proceed if the plan goes wrong. Give them your vision. Give them victory.
|For the record, I advanced my fire team successfully all the way towards the objective. I have to admit I was a bit distracted while doing this.|
From Fleet Tactics and Coastal Combat, by Wayne Hughes
P/S: It's 0200 now and I am a bit tired. I will be correcting grammar and style some time in the future. But my main worry is if I didn't mess up too much the message.