The invaluable lessons in this text only confirmed what I thought I knew about the two. What Dempsey and Brafman bring to the pages of this short, yet enduring book will help dampen the volume of the noise of the world, bring clarity to the fog of the digital battlefield, increase our trust for each other, and ultimately help us all be more inclusive leaders.
Moderns often talk of facing the future. For the ancient Greeks, the future was coming up from behind unseen. In this as in other matters, the perceptions of the ancient Greeks were more realistic and accurate than our own. Whether the near future comes holding a bouquet or a bludgeon, it is going to require adaptation and innovation from all military members in their roles as leaders, warfighters, veterans, and citizens.
In the wake of nearly every scandal and moral lapse in the military, we hear the same response, “This is a leadership issue.” This view is problematic as it seems to assume all ethical matters are reducible to leadership issues or these scandals are a product of the personal morality of the leader in question. Responses like these ought to push us to ask, What is the connection and overlap between ethics and leadership in the military?
What does it take for militaries to win in today’s interconnected, interdependent, and complex environment? I would argue that in contrast with the battlefield of the past, today’s environment demands much more organizational agility, the degree to which a team or company is resourceful and adept at flexing in response to both internal and external factors.