POWER POINTS: The Mission, The Men, and Me by Peter Blaber

My battalion commander has referenced this book in leadership conversations enough that I stopped by the library… picked it up… read it in a week… and was not disappointed!

Right now I am experimenting with Michael Hyatt’s “book net out” method.  He calls it “Net Out”.  I call it “Power Points”.  Using his template, here are my “Power Points” for this book.


Quick Summary

The title of this book comes from a conversation a mentor had with Pete Blaber in which he told him about the “3M’s” (Mission, Men, Me). He told him to draw a line through them because “They are all connected, so if you neglect one, you’ll screw up the others.”  In this book, Blaber tells stories of various missions he led and demonstrates how the 3M principle works.  He expresses a lot of frustration with the way the bureaucracy complicates the art and science of war.

Key Insights

  • The key principles he teaches in this book are:
    • The mission, the men, and me.
    • Don’t get treed by a chihuahua.
    • When in doubt, develop the situation.
    • Imagine the unimaginable; humor your imagination. (e.g. dress as a guerilla to capture a terrorist)
    • Always listen to the guy on the ground.
    • It’s not reality unless it’s shared.
  • “Don’t get treed by a chihuahua” – he thought he was being chased by a bear… ended up jumping off a cliff. Turns out it was a wild pig.  He writes, “get some context before making decisions.”
  • Never accept anything at face value. Always look for ways to improve and further it.

I LOVE this! In most projects/missions there is an event, a conversation, a personnel move, or something similar that unlocks the process, clears the way and enables things to move to a successful conclusion.  A few years ago a taught a lesson titled “What’s Your Key Log” that addressed this very topic.

  • When in doubt, develop the situation. When you don’t know, take action to develop the situation and make the unknown known.” (pg. 105)
  • Innovate, adapt, audaciously execute.
  • The best warriors are not only physically formidable, they are also intellectually curious and agile. They are smart, creative, diverse, and experienced. They are confident and have common sense. (Note from my journal -19 JAN 2020)
  • “The history of modern day warfare is the history of man-hunting” (pg. 139).  In other words… today we regularly seek to eliminate the leader not the army (e.g. Manuel Noriega, Saddam Hussein, heads of ISIS and Al Qaeda, etc.)… and in doing so often spare thousands of lives.

Personal Application

  • Take time to think… develop the situation.  Saturate, marinate, and the “illuminate” will follow.  When you know what to do “Innovate, adapt, audaciously execute.”
  • Always be looking for the “DECISIVE POINT”.  Develop the situation… look for ways to create the “DECISIVE POINT.”

Meaningful Quotes

  • “Technology and comfort items such as internet, hot chow, etc. are a huge net positive for men and women serving long tours in a combat zone. But they also combine to create subtle intrusions that slowly surely rob a warrior of his most precious weapon: time to saturate, incubate, and illuminate. […] You have to make time to saturate, incubate, and illuminate.” (pg. 236)

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