As promised in yesterday’s post, today I share my favorite picks from General David Patraeus’ “Rules for Living.”  Here are the ones that particularly resonate with me:


Number 12:  —“Everyone on the team is mission critical.  Instill in your team members a sense of great self-worth—that each, at any given time, can be the most important on the battlefield.”


I really love Number 12 because it reminds us as leaders while we may be in a key position, the universe does not revolve around us.  Every single team member is important and the team’s success is crucially dependent on each one.


Number 10—“:  Stay fit to fight.  Your body is your ultimate weapons system.  Physical fitness for your body is essential for mental fitness.”


This rule speaks to the interconnectedness of all the dimensions of our lives, or the wholeness of our lives.  The benefits of a holistic approach are innumerable.  I would go so far to say the mental fitness precedes the physical fitness.  You must have the mindset before you can achieve the physical fitness.


Number 9:  —“Leaders should be thoughtful but decisive.  Listen to subordinates’ input, evaluate courses of action and second- and third-order effects, but be OK with an ‘80 percent solution.’  There will many moments when all eyes turn to you for a decision.  Be prepared for them.  Don’t shrink from them.  Embrace them.  Sometimes the best move is the bold move.”


This rule speaks to the importance and seriousness of moving ahead with decisions.  They will often be fraught with complexity, ambiguity, and uncertainty.  Nevertheless, embracing them while remembering diligently to draw upon all your resources is the only choice you truly have as a leader.

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About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Johnson Controls at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, and a blogger. I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.

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