[September 18, 2018] U.S. Army General George Patton once told his reconnaissance troops to just “drive down that road until you get blown up.” During World War II, Patton was known as the toughest and most successful fighting general the Allies had and he constantly relied upon reconnaissance to find, fix, and destroy Nazi army formations.
“Time spent in reconnaissance is seldom wasted.” – John Marsden, Australian writer, teacher, school principle
We all do reconnaissance in our lives and we do it daily; often without thought. But to add this tool to the leadership toolbox, we must study the concept and learn how the professionals employ it to their advantage. Experienced leaders know its value, use it properly, and understand that without it, no leader could succeed.
The fundamental aspect of reconnaissance is that it must be conducted continuously, be objective-focused, priority directed, and intended for human consumption. It is an implied task of any leader to conduct reconnaissance; for without it, leaders will not know whether their own efforts will succeed or fail.
Good reconnaissance provides predictability. It is the “crystal ball” that allows us to peek into what the future might be because we can more clearly see what exists now. And, if it is conducted properly in conjunction with a scientific predictive methodology, reconnaissance can fill in the gaps to what might just be a highly detailed set of ideas about the future.
Of course, it is not easy. As General Patton noted in his quote above, there are risks to those who make the reconnaissance happen. But for the overall benefit of an organization, it is indispensable
Special thanks to reader Albert Ayer who recommended this topic for my “leadership toolbox.”
[Note:] I have a small mini-series on Leadership Toolboxes here at theLeaderMaker.com.
- Best Practices – https://www.theleadermaker.com/leadership-toolbox-best-practices/
- The Checklist – https://www.theleadermaker.com/leadership-toolbox-the-checklist/
- The Standup Meeting – https://www.theleadermaker.com/leadership-toolbox-the-standup-meeting/
- The SWOT Analysis – https://www.theleadermaker.com/leadership-toolbox-swot-analysis/
- The Planning Cell – https://www.theleadermaker.com/leadership-toolbox-planning-cell/
- Investigations – https://www.theleadermaker.com/leadership-toolbox-investigations/
- The Stand-down – https://www.theleadermaker.com/leadership-toolbox-stand/
- Rehearsals – https://www.theleadermaker.com/leadership-toolbox-rehearsals/
- After-Action Reviews – https://www.theleadermaker.com/leadership-toolbox-action-reviews/
- Terms of Reference – https://www.theleadermaker.com/leadership-toolbox-terms-reference/
- Leadership Conferences – https://www.theleadermaker.com/leadership-toolbox-leader-conferences/
- Targeted Indicators – https://www.theleadermaker.com/leadership-toolbox-indicators/
- Keeping Things Simple – https://www.theleadermaker.com/leadership-toolbox-keeping-things-simple/
- Leader Courses – https://www.theleadermaker.com/leadership-toolbox-leader-courses/
- Email and Texting – https://www.theleadermaker.com/leadership-toolbox-email-and-texting/
- Awards – https://www.theleadermaker.com/leadership-toolbox-awards/
- Personal Coaching – https://www.theleadermaker.com/leadership-toolbox-personal-coaching/
- Formal Evaluations – https://www.theleadermaker.com/leadership-toolbox-formal-evaluations/