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The Principles of Warfare are as relevant to Business as they are to Battle
As an ex Army commander now in the civilian world, the Principles of Warfare remain as valid in the Civvy world as they did in the Military. Sure a paradigm shift is required, but see just how relevant the principles/concepts are to business and civvy life:
- Objective: Direct all actions toward a clearly defined, decisive and attainable objective. The civvies talk another language…goals, KPIs call them what you will. The ultimate purpose of business is through providing a service to customers thus creating wealth.
- Offensive: Seize, retain, and exploit the initiative. In business the principle is so applicable: “run with it” and maintain the momentum, take opportunities and go for gold.
- Mass: Mass the effects of overwhelming knowledge power at the decisive place and time.
- Economy of Force: Employ all business skills/ power available in the most effective way possible; allocate minimum essential business skills and time to secondary efforts.
- Maneuver: Be flexible , don’t stick to the rules, think laterally and don’t carry on with ideas and methods that don’t work. Think “blitzkrieg and be adaptable.
- Unity of Command: For every business objective, seek unity of command and unity of effort by all personnel.
- Security: Always consider that your business plans can be used by competitors to acquire unexpected advantage.
- Surprise: Strike the market/clients or competitors at a time or place or in a manner for which they are unprepared.
- Simplicity: Prepare clear, uncomplicated plans and concise orders to ensure thorough understanding by all staff..
The British military adds to the above list:
- Maintenance of Morale Obviously (well in my opinion) critical that business colleagues are well motivated and well paid.
- Administration. Yes sadly time and skills are required on this aspect .
There are a few other military terms which are applicable in the whole field of business, which I might just leave for another time.
When I first learnt of him he was a terrorist leader, the epitome of the Rooi Gevaar. When I heard of Madiba’s death today, the tears rolled. They rolled because yet another round of the Circle of Life has closed, but they rolled mostly at my naivety.
If there is anything Madiba taught us, it was gentleness and humanity, not to mention the stupendous power of forgiveness. Part of what made him such a remarkable human being is that you would be hard-pressed to find a person who had not been influenced by him in some way. He was the person who looked through the vicious shells of Apartheid leaders, prison warders; the insensitive crusts of us self-righteous whites who did not want to change. He looked through them all, saw the human beings inside, and reached out to them. He gave us all the mercy we so desperately wanted, and he led others to it too.
Madiba gave us many tools. He is done giving now, and we should be ready to accept that. What we can do if we want to honor and respect him is use those tools and remember those lessons. The way I see it, if we really want to show love for Madiba, We should be praying for ourselves.
We should pray that we can learn to forgive like Madiba.
We should pray that we learn to sacrifice, without complaint, for the common good.
We should pray we learn that even time we believe is wasted can be used to achieve so much good: in learning, in thought leadership, in becoming greater within ourselves; while we wait for circumstances beyond our control to change.
We should pray that we learn his great gift of introspection, so that we never let the bitterness grow inside us, even when it seems nothing is changing.
We should pray that we have the courage to speak up and be honest, even if there are grim punishments in store for us when we do.
We should pray to be gentle, but not meek – to fight for what we believe in.
We should pray that even when we are old, we can still dance, crack jokes and wear a loud shirt.
And most of all, we should pray to remember that all great changes begin with the person in the mirror: our own transformation leads it all.
If all South Africans, in fact if everyone strived for this, maybe, just maybe, we will be able to give Madiba the same gift back that he tried to give to us: a country that works, indeed a world that works
He has paid his debt to South Africa, and more. He has led each one of us to be a better person, create a stronger South Africa and a better World.
Let’s move forward with the lessons he sacrificed so much to teach us.
Rest in Peace Great Warrior.
Ok so some followers have asked about life in Guinea….
I am at a Village called Loila, in a Camp as you see above. We are exploring for gold in them thar hills…for a company called Avocet.
There is gold …and thousands of illegal miners too, who sell their gold at the market on a Sunday.
Its poor…very poor. And sad, very sad. With little or no infrastructure…no electricity in any village, no tar except one main easy west road which is not brilliant anyway.
Theres no cell communication outside the 4 main cities.
Different from a snotty kid moaning that they want a sweet in Pick and Pay!
Here you just take one if you can reach!