by Beth Tabak
"The future depends on what we do in the present." Mahatma Gandhi
Captivated by the televised war coverage in Iraq, I have been in awe watching the craftsmanship of US troops along with coalition forces. Since we find ourselves on this course, why not take the opportunity to learn a little from the most skilled and powerful team in the history of the world, and apply some of the lessons to our own lives and businesses. Let us take a look.
1- Grand Vision- You may never reach your vision, and it is a worthwhile cause to go for it anyway. Its magnetic effect pulls you towards it rather than expending energy chasing a dream. When you choose a vision that improves the world you feel fulfilled along the journey as you take steps towards the vision. The big picture vision of the coalition ...a safe and peaceful world. What is your vision of what you really want?
2- Create a Plan with Goals- If you chose to drive from New York to Los Angeles, would you get there faster if you quickly hopped in the car and drove west or if you took some time to plan your trip and then drove according to plan? Most likely the second option would get you there faster. You will run into obstacles along the way as the coalition has, and you still save time, money, and resources by planning.
3- Clear Focus on the Goal- In this case the goal of the mission is to disarm and remove Saddam Husseinís regime. Every person from President Bush to British Prime Minister Tony Blair, to the Generals, the troops, U.S. and British people, and slowly spreading to the Iraqi people is clear on the mission. Clarity ensures that all involved are committed and working towards the same goal, and there is strength in numbers.
4- Set Up Support Systems- A great leader sets up a winning team so that the strengths of each individual, unit, department, etc. are maximized. When strengths are maximized the results become expertise. This expertise supports the team in achieving their common goal. The U.S. military sets up an abundance of internal and external support systems creating an overwhelming reserve of support and expertise including those who trained dolphins to find mines. Who would have imagined? What support systems would help you?
5- Create Reserves- The more reserves you create the more prepared you are to handle whatever comes your way. With reserves of support you will never feel alone. An abundance of money provides more freedom. Reserves of military troops and resources produces security. The U.S. military has so many reserves that they are not dependent on any one division or unit. Where could you benefit from a reserve?
6- Respond vs React- The coalition has beautifully exhibited how they respond to each opportunity and challenge presented vs. reacting. Reacting is action taken automatically. Responding is action taken after time has been taken to view the situation, consider options, consider gut instinct, and make a conscious decision. Responding encourages growth and produces better decisions. Notice if you respond or react.
7- Conquer Fear- You may wonder why so many Americans in Iraq have chosen to be there ...reporters, photographers, humanitarians, and even the military personnel chose their line of work. We can learn from how these brave men and women face fear and forge through it. Conquering fear is a thrill. You gain confidence, life experience, and reach personal levels you never imagined possible. What have you been thinking about? What will you do about it?
8- Show Compassion- We are all connected. When we listen to each other and agree to disagree, when we show compassion and help each other out, we grow as a person, a city, a nation into an amazing world. I have noticed the compassion of experienced military officers for those in war for the first time, compassion for our troops, compassion for the Iraqi people. Compassion is the backbone to understanding each other in order to grow together. In what area of your life would you choose to develop your compassion? How would your life change if you did? How would other peopleís lives be different?
9- Build a Confident Attitude- The coalition displays a strong confident attitude in their mission. When you have a vision you can be excited about, a mission you believe in, a plan with goals that are obtainable, and you build support systems and reserves it is easy to have a confident attitude. With each success you build momentum. When you plan to fall down and plan to get back up, you are more prepared to handle obstacles.
As human beings we each have a unique and grand contribution to make to this world if only we are able to see and accept it ourselves. What is your gift to share? What is in your gut? What is written in your heart? We are each extremely capable in a very big way. How would the world improve if you went after your greatest vision? Whether you want to grow your business, grow yourself, or make a difference learn from the individuals who make up the greatest military in the world. Change your life and change the world.... Starting Now!