“Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson, American Essayist and Poet (1803—1882)
It’s typical for most people and groups, especially businesses, to adopt a defensive mind-set. When things go wrong, they hunker down and prepare to ride out the storm. My intention is that you will never be caught in a defensive mental posture again—you can’t hope for the best, and then wait to see what happens. Instead, you will scan the field, prepare for the worst with contingencies, and take action at the first sign of opportunity. You will always be prepared to take action, no matter the circumstances, knowing and expecting you will win every time you step foot in the arena. To accomplish this, you must re-tune your attitude to a “think offense, all the time” mind-set.
Human interaction within our own teams, families, and communities is difficult enough, but when it cuts across cultural lines as we interact with other teams, families, and communities it can be down right messy. Misunderstanding in personal relationships, conflict in business, and war between nations are part of the human experience and will be for a long time to come. Though seeking a win-win-win solution at the personal, team, and organizational levels is important and laudable, it’s also understandably difficult at the geopolitical and multinational company level. That is why I believe the unconventional tactics, strategies, and tools used by the SEALs, supercharged with an offensive mind-set, make a valuable tool kit for leaders operating on the global stage. And since increasing globalization puts us all on a global stage, these skills will be valuable for small and midsize businesses as well.
When faced with the mess of conducting business in an environment that looks more like a battlefield than a boardroom, I say, don’t settle for the hope that you will win—stack the deck in your favor. The advanced skills of winning with an offensive mind-set include:
- Developing unwavering confidence
- Sharpening your awareness
- Doing the unexpected
- Leading with rapid execution
Whether at home, at work, or even out having fun, how you think and deal with opportunities and threats will determine whether you are the victor or victim. Destiny can strike anytime, anywhere. For success in the Way of the SEAL, you must develop your winning attitude and become a more offense-oriented leader.
Hooyah, Mark Divine