As a Leadership and Management student and trainer over the last two decades , I have come across large volumes of books , research papers and stories on Decision Theory , Decision Process , Heuristics , Game Theory,Decision Trees and the like .But , no one can ever tell you with certainty what is good for you in a given circumstance except yourself ! .You may take inputs from multiple sources , get your decision reviewed up the hierarchy , but finally you are responsible to decide what is good for YOU .

The following story which periodically do the rounds in the Army Circles and many times used by me in my training sessions will illustrate this point. Before we go to the story , let us understand the concept of positional defense at a forward Army post facing the enemy in a mountainous terrain.  Our troops generally occupy a piece of high ground overlooking a possible enemy approach and try to dominate it both by observation and fire power. In the smallest field formation called a section consisting of a dozen soldiers , the main fire power is provided by the Light Machine Gun [LMG] which can fire a salvo of rounds in an automatic mode at the approaching enemy column. From an enemy stand point , the attack will be mounted to neutralize the LMG post at the first instance before the attacker fight with the others dug in . In defense , the positions and sighting of the LMG is reviewed up the chain from the Section Commander , Platoon commander, Company Commander and the Battalion Commander .  In the case of some key locations where guarding and defending a possible enemy approach is vital for the success of the defensive battle , at times the Brigade Commander may review the gun positions prepared by each section . Needless to say,this management review process holds good in civil life also whether in the government or with the industry .

Now , the story . In a section of Army Troops occupying a defensive post in a mountainous terrain , Naik Bhoop Singh was in charge of the LMG . Considering various enemy approaches and selecting a post which gives him the best field of fire with the widest sweep of the gun possible , Bhoop Singh dug up his position in a forward slope selected and assigned to his section by the Company Commander. Later on , his Platoon Commander reviewed the lay out and suggested a different position for the LMG and asked Bhoop Singh to move his gun there and dig again. Bhoop Singh did this and moved his gun there. Soon, the review by the Company Commander followed and as luck would have it , Bhoop Singh was asked to move his gun to another position which according to the Company Commander gave Bhoop Singh better field of fire to inflict maximum casualty on the attacking enemy ! . Bhoop Singh dug up his new position and moved his LMG .

On the following day, the Brigade Commander accompanied by the Battalion Commander visited the defenses to review the layout down to the section level. The Battalion Commander discussed some details reviewing the gun positions with the Brigade Commander considering various threat perceptions. Bhoop Singh’s LMG position also came under review . The Battalion Commander instructed the Company Commander to select a better location for Bhoop Singh’s LMG . Before leaving , The Brigade Commander casually asked Bhoop Singh to tell him where he would be comfortable to locate his LMG  to face the attacker effectively . Bhoop Singh smartly saluted him and told him that he would like to site  the gun where he dug up the position originally !. The Brigade Commander told him to go back there !. Moral of the story and the Decision Process – It is mostly your  ‘ GUT FEELING ‘ that holds good both in war and in business !


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