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Flexibility in Execution

Flexibility in Execution

Military strategists from times immemorial have agreed on decision making as a key attribute of leadership. Good decisions make good leaders, and vice versa. The Prussian military theorist Von Clausewitz considered three ingredients of sound decision making by a leader or commander -information, intuition and genius. While the first is external, the second and third are innate to the decision maker. When we juxtapose this on the frictions of war, the ‘noise’ (both literal and … Read entire article »

Filed under: Management

Deja Vu

“Why is the military so bad at retaining these people? It’s convenient to believe that top officers simply have more lucrative opportunities in the private sector, and that their departures are inevitable. But the reason overwhelmingly cited by veterans and active-duty officers alike is that the military personnel system—every aspect of it—is nearly blind to merit. Performance evaluations emphasize a zero-defect mentality, meaning that risk-avoidance trickles down the chain of command. Promotions can be anticipated almost to the day— regardless of an officer’s competence—so that there is essentially no difference in rank among officers the same age, even after 15 years of service. Job assignments are managed by a faceless, centralized bureaucracy that keeps everyone guessing where they might be shipped next.” Going through an article sent to me by a … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blogitorial, Management, Military, Shortage of officers

Managing Bosses Then and Now

Image via Wikipedia After Yudhisthira lost his kingdom to his cousins the Kauravas in a game of dice, the Pandavas were required to spend twelve years in exile, followed by one year in hiding incognito. The stipulation was that in case their identities were revealed during this one year, they would have to go into exile all over again. The Pandavas decided to spend this year in the service of King Virata of Matasya, in different disguises. Yudhisthira would become a courtier giving sage advice to the king as a sanyasi; Bhim would indulge in his passion for food by taking the job of a cook; Arjun would live out a year as a eunuch serving the ladies of the court, thereby also simultaneously undergoing the curse of a year of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blogitorial, Management, Ponderings

Mentoring: Lessons from Mahabharata

Image via Wikipedia When the battle which later came to be known as Mahabharata was imminent, the opposing sides began garnering support of like minded kings and form alliances with them. Sri Krishna, the ruler of Dwarka, was considered a good potential ally because of the might of the Yadav army he commanded and because of his personal value as a master strategist and diplomat. By a coincidence, Arjun and Duryodhan both reached Sri Krishna’s palace at the same time, to seek alliance with him, and it happened to be at a time when Krishna was sleeping. Arjun, sitting at Krishna’s feet, caught his eye first when he woke up. He was thus given the first of the two choices placed by Krishna before the cousins. He offered the entire Yadav … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blogitorial, Management, Ponderings