2013/12/01

Auftragstaktik condensed

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Professional military journals are not very entertaining. There were some interesting ones, but most are horrible in my opinion.
There's an entertaining running gag in American professional military journals, though: For about three decades, authors in these journals have attempted to stomach "Auftragstaktik"*, or help the readers with it.**
The result is almost invariably some long article. Over and over again. To compile a list of such articles since the 80's might actually be fun.
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Look, Auftragstaktik is really, really simple.

All you need to do is to delegate thinking to subordinates.

Example: A problem comes to your attention. Normally, you'd think about how to solve it, then give orders to that end.
 
Auftragstaktik: A problem comes to your attention and you order someone to fix it. Sometime later you receive a report about the result. No thinking about the "how to" is required (unless you're the one receiving the order or imagining that you'd receive the order if you wouldn't act on your own account).

It's actually the easier technique of command. It only takes some modesty and self-discipline.


S O

*: In Germany also known as "F├╝hren mit Auftrag" (to lead with a mission).
**: The other classic running gag are the similar efforts to stomach "Schwerpunkt", of course - but that's a different story.

P.S.: Yes, I couldn't resist taking part in this golden oldie of a running gag.
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