Brilliant Manoeuvre
Explain your plans and intent to your followers, as well as those of your immediate and higher superiors, and even the organization as a whole. Involve them in the planning and determination of your objectives. Get them to understand the criticality of their contributions and what they need to do to achieve the mission and vision.

Bert Hoffmeister is recognized by historians as one of the most effective senior Canadian officers of the Second World War. He rose from the rank of Major and the job of company commander all the way to Major General and division commander in a few short years. He commanded during the very difficult and costly Italian Campaign, as part of Montgomery’s 8th Army. Whereas most Canadian generals tended to be aloof and overly analytical in their approach to command, Hoffmeister was able to communicate directly and on a gut level with soldiers of all ranks. He would involve his subordinate officers in the estimations and planning for operations and encouraged them to do so with their own subordinates. He would command from the front and keep everyone in the loop, usually by direct face-to-face contact. He was a master of motivation; his officers and NCOs would often do extraordinary things because they knew what was happening, why it was happening, and what their role was in implementing the plan and achieving the mission. Even more important, though, was that they had had a key role in the planning, so it wasn’t just something imposed from on high, but a mission that had grown organically with their input.

Keep your followers informed of the mission, the changing situation, and the overall picture.

Richard Martin is a consultant, speaker, and executive coach. He brings his military and business leadership and management experience to bear for executives and organizations seeking to exploit change, maximize opportunity, and minimize risk.

© 2013 Richard Martin. Reproduction and quotes are permitted with proper attribution.

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