First things first, this is undoubtedly one of the best TEDx videos I’ve ever watched.
And hence it warrants a crisp summary for people to read, understand, learn, bookmark and pass it on to friends.
Raghu Raman, former CEO of the Indian National Intelligence Grid, delivers a riveting talk on how the Indian Armed Forces actually work. Here’s the takeaway from this video:
1. Commander’s Intent
Everyone in the team should know the Commander’s Intent. (CI). CI is a high-level crisp summary of the main objective of the mission. E.g. “Capture enemy base by 6PM” is a CI. Even if your planned moves fail, every soldier knows exactly “what” to do. The “how to do” is then improvisation.
2. Every leader should be capable of doing “One-up”
If the need arises, every leader should be able to rise to the occasion. In this case, “rise” literally means rising to the level of your immediate supervisor. If you’re leading a team of 5 and your commander/boss/supervisor leads a team of 10, then in his absence, you should be able to lead a team of 15.
3. Sweat in peace, so that you don’t bleed in war
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Focus until your core competencies/skills/drills become second nature to you. Practice during regular scenarios until they become muscle memory so that in chaos, you pack your punches naturally without even thinking.
4. Improvise and innovate on the fly
1000+ rooms, coward suicide terrorists, hundreds of innocent tourists, handful of soldiers & not a single casualty. Damn, if that was not improvisation on-the-fly of our heroic officers & soldiers, then what was it? A lesson for the leader in all of us.
5. Good leaders love chaos
Because it’s only under chaos that your skills, courage, & attitude come to the fore. The plans, schemes, guidelines & processes are all fine but only chaos enables you to deliver each time, again and again and again.