Many of you have heard me talk on “Being a Force Multiplier” before. I want this special post to further explain. Through a military lens, the definition of a Force Multiplier is “a capability that, when added to and employed by a combat force, significantly increases (multiplies) the combat potential and effectiveness of that force and thus enhances the probability of successful mission accomplishment.” (JP 3-05.1)
In simple terms, it is the ripple effect. It is how you cast your wake, be it positive or negative. As Green Berets, a 12-man Operational Detachment Alpha Team (ODA or “A TEAM”) is charged with training and developing a Battalion size force anywhere in the world. This could be up to 600+ indigenous fighters, all under our command. We always recognized that we must first work on ourselves. Enhancing our competency and confidence across all specialized skillsets was critical before we could train, mentor and develop others. The men I was privileged enough to serve with were obsessed with cross training. The weapons sergeants took it personally if the rest of the team was not as knowledgeable on tasks such as assembly/disassembly or employment of any weapons systems that we may have come across in the targeted areas. The medical sergeants would intentionally create stressful scenarios in the middle of our morning physical fitness routines where teammates had to stop and “stick” each other with needles in order to administer IV’s. Sometimes we were challenged by doing similar tasks through night vision goggles under limited visibility. Without fully comprehending the roles and responsibilities of each military occupational specialty within our elite, high performing team, we would not have been prepared to go out and force multiply. Our competency, nor our confidence, would be to the degree necessary to conduct classes, demonstrate the proper procedure with clarity, integrate and execute missions with our partner forces, and provide feedback to those we worked with so they could improve.
By committing to the standards we set forth and investing in each other, our relationships remained indescribably strong. We established trust and credibility as well as a shared vision and set of values to the degree that you could anticipate each other’s next move. We learned that by admitting to what you did not know and being willing to learn and master it, you could share your wealth and influence the behaviors of those around you in a contagiously positive way.
As leaders in a variety of diverse industries, we must demand the same of each other. It is my belief that in my daily environment, being a Force Multiplier is to actively create impact and significance in the lives of others. This means maximizing their leadership potential, extending beyond comfort zones into a life of depth, meaningful relationships and with defining moments of positive growth. Being a Force Multiplier takes intentional design and effort. Be deliberate in embracing the relationships within the organization, cast aside the petty differences (keep in perspective, for most, it is not life or death!) and have the desire to invest in the growth and achievements of those we are responsible for. Each leader’s success should be measured by the success of those they intentionally mentored, coached and led. When they know you genuinely care and are willing to sacrifice alongside them, it inspires every performer to demand more of themselves, to hone their efforts and focus.
What do you have to lose by choosing to be the positive example you would like to see in others? Go out and BE A FORCE MULTIPLIER!