Monday, January 16, 2017

The Leadership Secrets of General Mattis

My compilation from The Mattis Way of War: An Examination of Operational Art in Task Force 58 and 1st Marine Division:
  • Be a polymath - he had a love of history, leadership and the art of war.  We live in a multidisciplinary world with multidisciplinary problems in search of multidisciplinary solutions. 
  • Humble beginnings produce humble leaders.  Don't forget where you came from.
  • He was a man of many hats during his military career.  Seek out new opportunities and experiences in your career.  You can never have too many hat experiences in our career.
  • Develop "Brain Books" - - reference material to get new people and employees up to speed quickly.
  • Right people in/Wrong people out - - Good to Great Approach to management and leadership
  • Understand history and historical context of decision making - - gives you mental models that you can apply imaginatively.  History helps with practicing informed boldness.
  • Small staff size.  Reduces bureaucratic tenancies and speeds up decision making.  Remember that small staff size hurts lateral communications.
  • Create fraternities of shared risk and common vision.  Creating harmony and trust are key leadership functions.
  • Think conduits of speed when it comes to communication and decision making.
  • Visualize success across the entire organization - - they have to see and understand the success story.  If you need to order 6,000 Legos to visualize a battlefield - - order 6,000 Legos (great story in the book about this!!!).
  • Achieve speed through logistics.  Speed and risk are interrelated.  Speed is a cultural attribute and it can be developed.
  • Relationships with employees should be modeled in terms of teacher/scholar versus superior/inferior or master/servant.
  • Leaders coach and not command.
  • Delegate responsibility - - to the lowest possible levels.
  •  Mattis thinks in terms of two types of general officers - - ones that are briefed by their staff and ones that brief their staff on events.
  • Organizational messaging means everyone needs to understand organizational intent.
  • Command and feedback versus command and control for effective leadership.
  • Read - - get your staff and employees to read.  Reading widely allows you to learn through others' experiences.
  • War and business is a human endeavor - - understand the human terrain.
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