LEADERSHIP IS WAR
Early this morning I met with a group of staff, in a business, to talk about “what is leadership” and “the role of employees in leadership”. By the end of the session, it was quite clear that leadership is war. And that staff have a very clear role to play in winning that war.
When people talk of leadership, they use terms such as planning, strategy, logistics and goals freely. These are army terms. Though most people will agree that leadership has military roots; few think of leadership as a campaign, or war.
When you declare war on something, you call for leadership to fight that war. If you declare war on poverty, disease or terror, you call for leadership to defeat these things. When you call for leadership, you call for initiative to overcome a foe. Leadership is the ability to fight and win. It is the skill you use to attack and defeat the enemy.
People call for leadership to win liberty, to advance their position or solve a problem. Leaders mobilize leadership to bring these things about. But there is a difference between a “leader” and “leadership”. In the famous story of “David and Goliath”, we are told that the King (the leader) sent his army into battle to fight a fearsome foe. The army would not fight for fear of the enemy’s prize fighter named Goliath. However, David (a civilian) took leadership and won victory for the army by fighting and defeating Goliath. The King may have been the leader, but it was David that took leadership to gain the victory for his people.
Your role is to fight for victory in your job to achieve the goals the business has set. This takes courage, commitment and initiative on your part. You also need to develop skills to get these tasks done. As a member of an army, you need to realize that there is a war going on. The outcome of that war will be a win or a loss. In war, you are either a leader, a follower (soldier) or the enemy. The idea is to eliminate the enemy and advance to victory. Leaders may give direction, but it is the followers who fight. Therefore, know the ultimate purpose of the war. Determine your goals very clearly. Clarify your role. Be courageous. Take initiative. And engage the enemy and fight with all your might!