America’s armed forces are among the most effective in the world. Some might say it’s because of our state of the art technology or effective training, but I would attribute it in large part to a difference in philosophy.
My husband is an Iraq war veteran and has fought alongside a variety of troops from other countries. He said to me that a surprising number of foreign commanders don’t tell their troops what the goal of a mission is, and simply provide directions of where to go and what to do.
That’s not how American forces operate. Before a mission, there is a briefing where all involved are told the strategy. Every unit and soldier, from the top to the bottom, knows what the objective is and understands how his or her actions help to achieve it. This distinction can drastically alter the outcome on the battlefield.
If a leader is the only one who knows the strategy and is harmed in battle or unable to command, the advance typically will stop with them as the troops don’t know what they are striving to achieve.
If an American commander is injured, the troops have the knowledge necessary to continue the mission and make decisions. The ability to make decisions also gives troops the ability to react faster as they don’t necessary have to wait for a senior officer or NCO to tell them the next step. That difference makes it harder to stop American forces and increases the chances of success.
So learn from their example. Clearly explain your goals to your staff and ensure they know their role in the organization’s success.