Book Review: The Mission, The Men, and Me

The Mission, The Men, and Me

By Pete Blaber

http://www.amazon.com/Mission-Men-Me-Lessons-Commander/dp/0425223728

I read this book as part of my course on the government, the military and leadership. The more I learn about the different facets of the military, and the many missions that are needed to get the job done, the more grateful I am for those who are willing to do hard things and those who support them.

This book gives you an extremely fascinating look into the mind of a former Delta Force commander who was involved in some very important military missions.  Pete Blaber is a highly trained elite fighter.  This book is about how to think and make good decisions during both the preparation for and in the heat of the battle.  He is a very good writer and presents his ideas effectively and repeats them many times throughout the book so that they are cemented into your mind.

He gives no indication that he is a Christian or that he even believes in God.  Everything he did and thought was based on the power of human beings and their strength.  This is his worldview and we must keep that in mind while reading.  But all that aside, he does present extraordinarily important truths about leadership and the art of war.  These principles were learned by recognizing patterns, especially in the way people behave.  There are only so many patterns out there, but they are everywhere.  Once you can recognize the few basic patterns you can understand almost any situation.  God created our minds with amazing ability to process and use information.

In this book, Pete Blaber tells several true stories about missions he has worked on and how the leadership, whether good or bad, influenced they way they turned out.  His writing is engaging and keeps you reading as he takes you on hunts for Osama Bin Laden, the Taliban, and other wanted criminals during which he explains the lessons he has learned and how they applied to him and his missions.

  • The mission, the men, and me.
  • When in doubt, develop the situation.
  • Always listen to the guy on the ground.
  • Humor your imagination.
  • It’s not reality unless it’s shared.
  • Don’t get treed by a Chihuahua.
  • And many more…

I won’t go into all of those concepts…that’s what the book is for!  But I will explain the mission, the men, and me.

The three M’s are keys to success.  They stand for the mission, the men, and me.  They are all connected.  Imagine that they are stacked one on top of the other and a line is drawn that links them together.  Your first priority is the mission.  It is what you are doing and why you are doing it.  Make sure that you understand what it is and that it is legal, moral, and ethical.  Let it guide your decisions.

The second M stands for the men.  As a leader, you must look out for your men (meaning the people involved in your mission).  You must care for them and stand with courage by your conviction that you do the right thing by them.

The final M is for me.  In the list of priorities, me comes last.  We must of course take care of ourselves, but not until the mission and the men are taken care of.  Considering others as more important than ourselves is a Biblical concept.  We must not push our personal well-being or advancement ahead of where it should be.

His theories on the art of war are amazingly simple and full of logical common sense.  They can be applied to many situations in life…not just war.  I’ll definitely be using them.

He surmises that what makes a leader great is the willingness to put ego aside and consult those under you who know the context of the situation and find out what they recommend for the execution of the mission.  He points out some drastic flaws in the way our military comes up with and executes plans.  His theory is not to get so hung up on the plan that we forget what we are trying to accomplish, but rather to be flexible so that we can adapt and develop the situation.

He also talks about how vital communication is.  Without communication good plans are not created, plans in general fail, and lives are needlessly put on the line.

I think that we can take his principles and use them with a Christ-centered mindset.  Instead of thinking, There’s always a way! We can say, With God all things are possible!  With the Lord’s guidance we take these principles and fly even higher.

There is some language interspersed throughout the book, but most of it is mild.

I found this book very interesting, informative and useful for self development.

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