Welcome back to EDGE Challenges Military History for Leaders video blog! This series is dedicated to Karl von Clausewitz, the West’s most famous (and least read) philosopher of war.

In this video, you’ll hear:

Assuming people are unpredictable under in times of stress (war is a duel of moral forces) and assuming success is due to improvisation over executing detailed plans (war is an art and not a science), how exactly does an organization actualize its strategy under intense competition? Clausewitz says leadership. But not just any leader is capable of leading; what is needed is the genius leader – the person with the “strike of the eye.” How does one develop this rare intuition which Clausewitz says is key to successful leadership? There are four parts to it.

Part #1 Examples of history. Develop a repository of data, situations, settings and case studies. You should be able to use this information to help guide you during your endeavors.

Part #2 Presence of mind. This is ensuring an active mind with a keen cognitive awareness. The purpose is to help you detect opportunities or traps despite the fog of war.

Part #3 Flash of insight. This is the capability to quickly making a decision based on a lightning-like conclusion or judgment.

Part #4 Resolution, determination. Here is the element of action. It is the courage and conviction to act on your decision that is based on the other three parts. This is the principle challenge for leaders: influencing others to actualize your vision given the fog of war and active elements of friction that frustrate your progress.

Now that we’ve covered the nature of war and leadership, how do armies operate? The subject of the next video covers, operations. Specifically we’ll look at the offense and the defense.

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