NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

The Dark Uncertainty of Transitions

November 16, 2016

NCPA's Executive Director and Vice Chairman Allen West writes for Townhall.

My time in the military and studying military history and operations has taught me that transitions are always a vulnerable period. It is vital to have a solid team that is looking not just at the time before them, but is strategically focused on the future. One of my favorite passages in the Bible comes from the Book of Joshua, my favorite biblical leader. As God told him, early on in Chapter One, "Moses my servant is dead." In other words, Joshua was it. And the Lord commanded him three times to "be strong and courageous," and God laid out His guidance as to how Joshua would be successful and find prosperity wherever he went.

I remember taking command, first as a young captain in the First Infantry Division of an artillery battery with 131 soldiers and then later as a lieutenant colonel in the 4th Infantry Division of an artillery battalion with nearly 500 soldiers. It is in those early days of the transition where a leader is most challenged. The most important aspect in that transition is to lead by example, not to issue out directives and edicts for which you do not hold yourself accountable. The Army used to have a simple leadership philosophy of "Be, Know, Do," which I found to be both insightful and useful.

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