Lead with the best version of yourself.

The Goal of Self-Development: Knowledge vs. Wisdom

The Goal of Self-Development: Knowledge vs. Wisdom

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By Joe Byerly

“For even sheep do not vomit up their grass and show to the shepherds how much they have eaten; but when they have internally digested the pasture, they produce externally wool and milk. Do you also show not your theorems to the uninstructed, but show the acts which come from their digestion.” –Discourses of Epictetus

I came across a reference to this quote the other day while reading How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius by Donald Robertson.

It sparked some thoughts on the difference between knowledge and wisdom and its application to military leaders.

The Opposite of Fear is Love

The Opposite of Fear is Love

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The Opposite of Fear is Love is from Chapter 13 of Steven Pressfield’s The Warrior Ethos published by Black Irish Books. 

The greatest counterpoise to fear, the ancients believed, is love—the love of the individual warrior for his brothers in arms. At Thermopylae on the final morning, when the last surviving Spartans knew they were all going to die, they turned to one of their leaders, the platoon commander Dienekes, and asked him what thoughts they should hold in their minds in this final hour to keep their courage strong. Dienekes instructed his comrades to fight not in the name of such lofty concepts as patriotism, honor, duty or glory. Don’t even fight, he said, to protect your family or your home.

Fight for this alone: the man who stands at your shoulder. He is everything, and everything is contained within him.

The soldier’s prayer today on the eve of battle remains not “Lord, spare me,” but “Lord, let me not prove unworthy of my brothers.”

You Want the Best? Embrace Failure

You Want the Best? Embrace Failure

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By Brad Hutchison

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The troops were ready: SHARP, OPSEC, SAEDA and CTIP training complete; field sanitation, environmental compliance, and ammunition handling teams trained and identified; all Soldiers who would come within the 385 days of their exit from the Army before their return to home station complete with Soldier for Life; everyone current on dental and vaccinations. Every task highlighted green from their pre-deployment checklist to the commanding general’s “roll-out card”. For his abilities and competence, the company commander was rewarded with a battalion headquarters company command upon redeployment from the National Training Center (NTC). Yet, after 11 days of fighting Blackhorse in the unforgiving California desert, the company tallied only three destroyed enemy vehicles against their own forty eight lost.

As a recent Observer-Controller/Trainer at the NTC I spent months watching units’ defenses crumble like this and seeing their attacks stall against materially inferior forces. What caused the failures? All that readiness. We ask more of today’s units than ever before in the history of the Army, and it is harming both the mission and our Soldiers.

Ten Important Lessons I Learned as the S3/XO

Ten Important Lessons I Learned as the S3/XO

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By Jason Gallardo

1.Build relationships- your ability to succeed will depend on your aptitude at working with your sister BNs, BDE, DIV, and post agencies.

You have been told throughout your career that relationships are everything, but it becomes even more vital as a field grade officer. If you try to go at it alone, you will fail. Be genuine and always be the first to help your peers when you can. This will make it far easier to ask for help when you need it. Remember that you are the face of your organization and how you interact on post can determine the reputation of your unit.

2. Your commander’s priorities are your priorities- but it is your duty to ensure those priorities are balanced with his/her boss’s priorities. Never let them run counter to each other.

Remember that command is very personal for your boss, and while you are 100% invested in your organization, this isn’t just a BN/SQDN fight. You are a part of larger organization and it is your duty to remain objective to ensure that you don’t let your boss counter any priorities or initiatives of your next higher boss.