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3 keys to commanding troops in battle

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in Leaders & Managers,Leadership Skills

Harold Moore Jr., 91, is a retired lieutenant general in the U.S. Army who’s famous as a Vietnam War battlefield commander. He’s co-author of We Were Soldiers Once … And Young and other books.

Years ago, Moore gave a talk in which he listed three principles of leadership:

1. Three strikes and you’re not out. In battle, a strong leader does not become forlorn when facing adversity. To lift the morale of his besieged troops, Moore inspired confidence by displaying the will to win regardless of the desperate nature of the situation.

Outwardly, he never hinted at private fears or uncertainties about a positive outcome. Instead, he monitored his words, actions, voice tone and demeanor so that he appeared calm and in control.

2. Keep trying to exert influence. Ineffectual leaders may attempt to shape a situation and then reach a point where they give up. But for Moore, there’s always one more thing you can do to influence events to your advantage.

In the midst of battle, Moore would ask himself, “What am I doing that I should not be doing?” and “What am I not doing that I should be doing to in­­fluence the situation in my favor?”

3. When there’s nothing wrong, be­­ware. Complacency can set in if you get lulled into a false sense of security. A temporary calm is an especially good time to assess potential threats.

— Adapted from “Leadership Under Fire,” Michael Hyatt, www.michaelhyatt.com.

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