Moving on with part 5 today. (don’t miss part 1part 2part 3, or part 4).

5 – Make sure your followers know your meaning and intent, then lead them to the accomplishment of the mission

Image result for tree swing project cartoon

What can happen if intent is misunderstood, and you don’t stick around to see the job finished (from: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/44191640063674961/?autologin=true)

Beyond just assigning tasks, you have to ensure your team understands the overall aim and goals of the mission. This is just as true in a military operations context as it is in any human endeavour in which you may be leading people. If the whole team doesn’t understand the end goal, they may accomplish their individual tasks, but if they aren’t done in the overall context of the aim and intent, things get missed, and coordination may not happen.

There are many ways to communicate meaning and intent, and it should happen at the strategic (long term) and tactical (right now) levels on a continuous basis. For the strategic level, ensure you have communicated a vision for your organization and your values or founding principals. This helps your team make decisions that on issues that may be outside the current mission parameters with you not present that will still ensure your overall vision is achieved.

The second part of this principle is about sticking around to ensure the job is done. You have to be present both physically and emotionally to lead your team. Even the best plan explained fully can fail if something unexpected crops up, and the leader isn’t their to help navigate the crisis that may result.

In summary – don’t just assign tasks. Explain your vision, how it fits into the big picture, and then stick around to see things through. Lead!

Andrew