Military professionals have often overlooked humility, but it is a critical ingredient in making exceptional leaders who build on their professional expertise and develop cohesive teams.



Uncertainty is nearly always a feature of War. The author argues that character and humility are critical leadership qualities, enabling a leader to build on their experience and develop professional mastery. Leaders need to: 

  • Know their limitations.
  • Seek the input and feedback of others.
  • Be self-aware and flexible 
  • Build and develop a reliable team utilising each individual's expertise.
  • Surround themselves with, and utilise, intelligent people.
  • Use their team's collective team experience.
  • Quickly adapt to changed circumstances.
  • Be willing to try and understand their enemy.
  • Assimilate factors that are outside of but may impact on the battlespace. 
  • Stay current with technology.
  • Accept responsibility for the consequences of their decisions (see Eisenhower letter).
  • Create and share a vision for the future, including the end state
  • Generate and maintain momentum
  • Utilise mission command, contingency planning, and risk management principles (see Auftragstaktik).
  • Provide the opportunity for short term wins and reward those who achieve these wins.
  • Establish a sense of urgency for change if change is required.

In summary, a successful leader focusses on the team, the plan, and the opponent. Consider what else might be added to the above list?