Battle-tested strategies for leadership

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

Leadership is as simple as a drill sergeant’s welcome to boot camp—and as powerful, says Mark Bender, are tired Army lieutenant colonel whose 24 years of active duty ranged from infantry to intelligence. Here are his 10 strategies to stay hungry and keep your troops moving:

1. Commit to the truth. The U.S. military succeeds because its leaders look for and accept the truth, even when that spells difficulties. Subject your assumptions to rigorous examination.

2. Accept challenge. Military-style training demands both mental and physical performance under pressure.

3. Harness the power of shock. After Pearl Harbor and Sept. 11, 2001, shock forced Americans to wake up and focus on the threats to their country. The greater challenge is to anticipate attacks and be prepared.

4. Harness the power of belief. Without belief, life is a spectator sport.

5. Develop a quest mentality. Ultimately, battles are won by going over to the offense, despite the risks of failure.

6. Make discipline a habit. Consistency is the key.

7. Develop confidence. Its components are preparation, experience (which builds competence) and tenacity.

8. Choose “anything” over “everything.” You can have anything you want in life, but not everything. Prioritize. Then sacrifice to achieve what you want.

9. Analyze your mission. Break it down into tasks, then assess your assets and limitations. Discern between facts and assumptions, gauge the risks, and proceed.

10. Follow your vision. Picture a specific destination you really want to reach, a place that springs from your passion, principles and values.

Adapted from Operation Excellence: Succeeding in Business and Life the U.S. Military Way, Mark Bender, Amacom.

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