Can Using the Principles of War Help You in What You Do?

I learned the Principles of War in ROTC at college. Using them became an integral and helpful part of my thinking process through college, my military career, and, even more, in my business career as an association staffer and CEO. Until recently, I did not realize how deeply they influenced and how much using them helped me.  Maybe, they can help you.

The US military teaches nine principles.  Mass, Objective, Offensive, Surprise, Economy of force, Maneuver, Unity of command, Security, and Simplicity.  The Canadian Forces teach 10, as do the British. Personally, I prefer a meld of the two lists.

The Canadians add the people-oriented principles of Morale, Cooperation, and Administration or Sustainability.  Both Canadian and British versions merge Maneuver and Simplicity into Flexibility. Incorporating people and team values into the principles resonates with me. In this age of teamwork and professional volunteers, it makes good sense to have principles related to morale and cooperation.

The Canadian and British doctrines do not mention Unity of Command, however. That surprised me. I believe having a clear chain of authority is important for both direction and accountability.  Taking the best of both provides some guiding principles for almost anyone leading a team.

Here are the 11 “Mike Molino” Principles of Leadership Strategy Solutions in Planning, Aligning, and Executing.

  1. Objective  – A single, unambiguous aim is the keystone for success in business, as in war.
  2. Morale – Create a positive state of mind through inspired leadership, a shared sense of purpose and values, well-being, perceptions of worth, and group cohesion.
  3. Offensive – Gain the advantage, sustain momentum, and seize the initiative.
  4. Security – Maintain an environment that protects your people, plans, resources, and information.
  5. Surprise – Be innovative!  Deliver more than you promise!
  6. Mass – Concentrate resources where they will be most effective. Be decisive and synchronize the application of resources.
  7. Economy of effort – Concentrate on what you do well – Don’t try to do everything!
  8. Flexibility – Stay able to change readily to meet new circumstances. Keep it SIMPLE!
  9. Cooperation – Incorporate teamwork and a sharing of dangers, burdens, risks and opportunities in all you do. Communicate constantly and consistently!
  10.  Administration or Sustainability – Generate the means by which you maintain the freedom to  act as you know best over the long term
  11.  Unity of Command – When in Charge – Take Charge! Ensure unity of effort through personal accountability at all levels.

Try integrating these principles into what you do.  Let me know if it helps. Comment here or email me at:


About MikeMolinoLLC

Leaders of associations and small businesses have seen tremendous gains with Mike Molino’s guidance. He has helped them in overcome problems and improve the effectiveness of their teams. Mike has lots of experience working with businesses which blend family relationships into their organizations. Mike’s extensive training in professional development, strategic leadership, and strategic thinking and planning provides him with a unique level of expertise. He embodies the strong military values of service, loyalty, honesty and integrity. Few have achieved his remarkable levels of success in two almost thoroughly diverse career fields: the highly disciplined, structured military and the entrepreneurial, market-oriented RV industry. Mike brings this expertise to his clients to help them and their teams increase effectiveness, efficiency and team cohesiveness so they can move forward on a productive path. With a solid grounding in business, liberal arts and the military arenas, Mike brings valuable experience necessary for relating to individuals or groups needing to grow and develop in leadership skills and abilities. Mike Molino Mike is a Certified Association Executive, is certified to administer and interpret the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) and has extensively used the DISC and the Caliper Assessment. In addition to creating and executing strategic planning strategies for more than 25 years, headed as CEO or COO, Mike also facilitated strategic planning sessions for both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. I invite you to see more details about me on and on LinkedIn at
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