Use Your Military Analogs Correctly

By Peters, Tom | THE JOURNAL RECORD, May 18, 1989 | Go to article overview

Use Your Military Analogs Correctly


Peters, Tom, THE JOURNAL RECORD


Some commentators have recently taken aim at business's use of military metaphors, chiding winose analogs as downright dysfunctional in a world where lasting relationships, alliances and partnerships are crucial business success keys.

These critics - and most business excutives - are confused about what makes for success in military units. The idea of toughness for toughness' sake, strict adherence to the chain of command and mindless obedience to orders could not be further from the nub of military effectiveness. Instead, victory on the battlefield depends on nine traits.

- An Inspiring Vision. In World War II, we were on an unmistakable mission, at least after Pearl Harbor silenced the isolationists. In Vietnam, troops, civilians, many politicians and even an occasional military leader disparaged the war. The lack of consensus around a coherent and trustworthy vision haunted us from the battlefield to the recruiting office.

- Leadership By Emotion. Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, George Patton and Winston Churchill led by inspiring the troops or the entire population. ``When the chips are down,'' Martin van Creveld concludes in his book ``Technology and War,'' ``there is no `rational' calculation in the world capable of causing the individual to lay down (ital) his (end ital) life. ... War is, therefore, primarily an affair of the heart.'' John Keegan, in ``The Mask of Command,'' likewise concludes ``the merest twitch of the leader's emotion stands between his exultation and his descent into ignominy.''

- Managing By Wandering Around. Effective leaders are inveterate wanderers, absorbing feedback firsthand, blunting information distortion and exhorting superhuman effort from their forces. Montgomery, for instance, manned an alternate command post near the front during battles. Patton, like Ulysses S. Grant before him, was always visible.

Most ineffective leaders have ``led'' from the rear. John Keegan observes that World War I ``leadership had, by a bogus scientism, so sanctified the importance of purely theoretical principles of war-making, and consequently so deprecated the importance of human emotion, that the common soldiers were not thought worth the expenditure of their commanders' breath.''

- Improvisation, Autonomy and Creativity. The do-as-I-say military image is the saga of losers. The most successful leaders, from the pinnacle of command to the squad-leading corporal, traditionally have been difficult-to-manage innovators in time of battle. Boot camp teaches soldiers to duck without thinking. But, it also teaches them to improvise, a requisite skill on the always ambiguous battlefield. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Use Your Military Analogs Correctly
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.