I had been summoned to offer counsel for a visiting head-of-state. Their schedule was grueling, with interminable back-to-back events. By 2am, when all the demands and minutiae of diplomacy, emergencies and commerce had been met, the head of their military escorted me in. I had been invited to the inner sanctum, the end of the day ruins, the exhaustion, the lonely battlefield of a leader.
“You know my strategic problem and the threats to my government, what is your take on it?”
“Distraction, discipline and delivery”, I responded. “All threats originate internally. Opposition works to distract your team and then the people. From there, you lose discipline and your team loses strength and power. Leadership without discipline cannot deliver. You are seen but not heard, the message is lost, the impact is less and you become replaceable. Fear replaces vision. But this can be corrected.”
And thus our discussion began. Sovereignty, strategy, world view, safety and security, winning and losing, perspectives shared, straight forward, to-the-point, no-holds-barred, respectfully engaged. Grateful we were for the stimulating company, lasting until dawn’s new day.
As the limo pulled away, I thought, I’ve seen this so many times, in politics, industry, conference rooms, legal offices, family rooms, back rooms, etc.
Corrections begin within the Self and extend to the realm of leadership – organizationally, perceptually, and progressively. The most effective and honest influencers know the trajectory of long range thinking and planning that keeps an arc of success possible. Short term is vulnerable, untrustworthy and open to corruption. Any nation, big or small, can become a failed state, without a blueprint. Any person, young or old, can become an unshakable victor if they stick to a plan and check their ego at the door.