Leadership Toolbox: the Reconnaissance

By | September 18, 2018

[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.

Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

20 thoughts on “Leadership Toolbox: the Reconnaissance

  1. Wesley Brown

    Well done! Thanks Gen. Satterfield for another useful and informative article that any leader worth their salt can use. We do appreciate your efforts to keep us in the loop on what real leaders are doing.

  2. Wilson Cox

    Good information for the junior leader but those of us more senior should never forget those either.

  3. Janna Faulkner

    I’m personally a big fan of Gen. Satterfield’s blog but also of this series that he began some time ago. I have found it useful in my role as a team leader and as a good person. This series applies, let’s not forget, to everyone, not just leaders.

  4. Dale Paul Fox

    Another good and valuable article. Thanks for helping my day get a good start, Gen. Satterfield.

  5. Eric Coda

    Rarely can one find such a series on those easy-to-use (with practice) tools that a leader should have in their possession. This leadership toolbox is more valuable than most readers might imagine.

  6. Max Foster

    There are proven methods that work for just about any leader and those can be summarized for those who want to explore their value. I can appreciate those listed here. The list is very good and, of course, very useful as well. I recommend that others here give suggestions for more, just like Albert did for us. It also shows that Gen. Satterfield is reading the comments section. Thanks, sir.

  7. Georgie M.

    Nothing like a good article, relaxing dog, and a cup of coffee in the morning to get my old bones working again. Thanks to all the informative and entertaining comments here.

    1. Bryan Lee

      We could all use a kick start in the morning sometimes. Thanks, Georgie. I’m glad you have a good dog too.

  8. Eddie Ray Anderson,

    Well done, Albert on your recommendation. Got any more?

  9. Albert Ayer

    I never thought of it that way but, yes, we all do reconnaissance every day of our lives and don’t see it that way. I guess that if we spent time studying it and applying professional guidelines, we would all be more successful. Well done with this great series on what goes into a leader’s toolbox.
    Thanks also for the plug at the end.

    1. Bryan Lee

      Nice reference, Drew. I read it and got some really good information that added to Gen. Satterfield’s article.

  10. Army Captain

    Your “leadership toolbox” series is really really helpful. Thanks.

    1. Willie Shrumburger

      Yes, thank you Tracey for more information on this topic.

Comments are closed.