Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Competence - a Lifetime of Training.

Years ago, I read an obscure book named "Spec Ops: Case Studies in Special Operations Warfare in Theory & Practice".  The author reviewed special operations missions to determine historical principles of success.  He noted that special operations missions can succeed if the special operations team can obtain relative superiority at the pivotal moment in an engagement.  Once established, relative superiority had to be maintained to ensure mission success; once lost, relative superiority was difficult to regain.  The author established that the key principles for successful Special Operations are:

1) Simplicity
2) Security
3) Repetition
4) Surprise
5) Speed
6) Purpose

The author was William H. McRaven.  This week, Vice Admiral William H. McRaven, Commander of the Joint Special Operations Command, accepted the thanks of President Obama for his planning and mission oversight of the SEAL Team 6 raid which killed Osama Bin Laden. 

Competency and the burning desire to improve competency are key leadership characteristics.  Vice Admiral McRaven is a great example of a leader who sacrificed and labored to master his craft.  He commanded at every level within the Navy Seal community.  He established and was the first graduate from the Naval Postgraduate Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict curriculum.  He then wrote the book on Special Operations principles of success.  He then put these principles into practice.  The results of his quest for competency have changed history. 

Your quest for leadership competency will change history as well.

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