Recommended by Hatch and bill


The Mission, The Men, and Me by Pete Blaber

Hatch says: As we move up in our organizations, I think we have the potential to lose focus on why we are doing what we do. This book is a reality check of how that lack of focus cost good men their lives. He also shares anecdotal lessons that should remind leaders how to maintain that focus.

Bill says: This book is much more storytelling than I was expecting. A large part of it is the events leading up to and the story of Operation Anaconda and the Battle of Takur Ghar. Along the way, the author presents a handful of powerful concepts. The primary one that seems to keep coming up is “Always listen to the guy on the ground.” It’s actually something that Colin Powell recommends in the two of his books on my list here. I believe in this concept completely.

But I worry that “Always listen to the guy on the ground” can get corrupted into “The guy on the ground is always right.” Those two ideas are not the same, and one of them is pretty dangerous. Also, “the guy on the ground” is just the guy who is in the action and knows what’s going on. That makes most of us instinctively think downward; that “the guy on the ground” is always further down the chain. But the guy closer to the action may be above you, depending on what the action is. The concept of “Always listen to the guy on the ground” applies in all directions, which is pretty powerful when you realize it.

Bill recommends for Officers.