What is your life goal, your mission statement, or your Commander’s Intent? What keeps you focused on doing what you know is best for your life and the life of your family. Here’s the story and principle behind a Commander’s Intent.
In the late ‘80’s and early ‘90’s, the U.S. Army came up with a system called the Commander’s Intent. It was created to help soldiers strategize around events beyond the control or anticipation of army leaders.
During World War II, a commander would provide detailed instructions to his platoon in order to complete the mission. The problem was some platoon members were not given much latitude to exercise their own judgement. They were not empowered to make decisions. They were told what to do. This is fine when things go as planned but what do you do when they don’t?
What did the platoon do when they went 50 clicks to the west and saw that the bridge, they were supposed to cross was booby-trapped? They were not left with an option—only with a question: What do we do now?
The Army addressed this problem by creating the Commander’s Intent. The objective of this was to empower platoon members. You need this same empowerment in your life.
With the Commander’s Intent (CI) in place, in the same scenario, the commander could say to his platoon, “You are at Point A, and I want you to take the hill (Point B). I don’t care how you do it, but here are the rules: don’t kill any women, children, or unarmed soldiers. Your mission is to take the hill.
The platoon sets off to carry out their Commander’s Intent. When they come to the booby-trapped bridge, they make their own decisions concerning how to go forward. As long as they follow the core guidelines, they can advance.
I firmly believe when you have a CI or a mission statement that is well-formed, you can test any decision in life against it. If that decision passes the approval of your CI, then you will know that you are going in the right direction.
Think of your CI as an operating manual for business, your life, and the future. You may have several CIs to guide you in various areas of your life. But there is always an overarching CI that defines who you are and where you are going.
Years ago, I came up with a CI that fits my life with my girls: We deliberately “choose to care about one another first.” This is our Commander’s Intent. Circumstances may come and go but this is the answer to most of our important life questions.
This also spills over to my business decisions. If I know I’m going to have a very high-maintenance client who drains me and sends me home at the end of the day without energy for my family, then I don’t choose that client!
To develop your Commander’s Intent, you must first answer this question: What do I really want in life? This takes a lot of soul-searching. Your CI should be a filter for all your activities and beliefs.
Fifteen years later I still refer to my CI on a regular basis. It has changed some, as my life has changed, but because my core values are still in place, my CI is pretty much the same, especially when it comes to my family. A CI influences my strength, faith, goals and life mission more than anything. If something doesn’t get through your CI filter, then it’s not right for your life.
You can write your own CI but I would be honored to show you the best steps to doing this.
An effective CI is short and memorable and contains what you consider a valued proposition. While I never give my clients examples of CI’s, because it tends to lead them, I am available to take you through the Perfect Day process and this includes developing your Commander’s Intent.
Give me 15 minutes, and I’ll show you how to begin. It’s free! Reset Strategy Meeting. Become a Perfect Day Client and learn not only how to invest your finances successfully, learn how to invest yourself in life again. Reserve your place for my free webinar!