Two key success factors for times of change

Soldiers from 32nd Infantry Regiment in Nuristan province

If we want to succeed in times of change then it makes sense to learn from others who already know how.

Elite army units are trained to achieve results in the completely unpredictable environment behind enemy lines.

They do this by being clear on two things.

First, they know their purpose: they know the wider purpose that their mission is intended to achieve. Then when the situation changes, as it surely will, they can quickly find new ways to achieve the same aims.

Second, they know their rules of engagement: they know which situations they will engage with, in what ways, and they know which situations they will ignore.

For us, the equivalent intangibles are our organisation’s purpose or our own life purpose, and our values. If we know these two things then we have the focus to succeed in any changing environment.

And, unlike the army units, we get to choose our purpose and values.

Chapter 5 of Inner Leadership provides simple tools that enable you to find and define your purpose and values.

Photo by The U.S. Army via

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