Cover and Move. Extreme Ownership Week 6 Reflection. WCU ENT601


A common assault maneuver within the military is Cover and Move. SEAL teams practice this maneuver as it is understood that a collaborative effort between teams is many times required to achieve each teams’ objective. In many dangerous situations as well as in business, one teams goal can not be achieved without a mutual assistance with another team. Cover and Move happens as one team advances while one team is stationary to “cover” them in that advancement. After the first team’s advancement to a safe and stationary point the initial covering team will advance, resulting in a mutual and collaborative positive achievement. One general important theme is that both teams typically each have a different leader and most often differing goals but an aligned, mutually shared need. If each team advanced alone they would encounter a great and increased risk.

              The basics of Cover and Move is teamwork.  It seems easy but in business its easy for teams to become short sighted on smaller goals and lose sight of the overall goals.  Its easy or smaller silo teams to form that work in their localized best interest and many times without knowing it working against the overall target of the organization.  The smaller silo teams believe they are doing the right thing.  Example would be two sales teams that are in differing locations focusing on their own sales and not acknowledging situations where they may cannibalize the sales of another location.  Or two locations sharing labor resources but one team undermining and secretly sabotaging the efforts of the other.  It takes the leaders of the separate teams to unselfishly help the other achieve their goals along with their own.  Ultimately sharing resources to become a stronger team and not allowing their egos to work against one another.

              Jocko Willick states that “Leaders must always operate with the understanding that they are part of something greater than themselves and their own personal interests.”  Sounds fundamental but with ego, each situation brings emotions and opportunities to trade the overall goal for the personal human desire for success.  Willick goes on to elaborate “They must impart this understanding to their teams down to the tactical-level operators on the ground.”  It takes the leader of each team to understand that the success of the other team ultimately helps their own mission.  They must drive that understanding down through their teams.  They must see the importance of spending their own efforts selfishly to help another team to succeed. 

As always, easier said than done.

7 thoughts on “Cover and Move. Extreme Ownership Week 6 Reflection. WCU ENT601

  1. Jeramy,
    I think this post ties into your previous posts very well, and in a way, pulls it all together. As a leader, you must be able to set everything aside in order for the teams success. Like you say, easier said than done, but it is almost required to be successful. While success is dependent on an individuals definition, I think in order to achieve overall success of the whole team, this leadership is best fit. It is easy to settle for instant satisfaction or immediate profit, but as a leader if you can channel the appropriate mindsets of the team, you can prevent burnout and allow for long term success.
    Thanks for the read!

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  2. Jeramy,
    It is important as a leader to ensure that the team(s) work together to achieve a final goal. It’s not always about “who” achieved the end result, it should be “we” achieved the end result together as a team. Learning how to work together provides a better environment for teamwork opportunities. As you mentioned with “cover and move”, the idea that one team completes the assigned duty/task while waiting for the other team is the best option for success. Once each team has accomplished their specific duty/task, all those ideas can be put together to complete the entire duty/task at hand. Excellent post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jeramy,
    In an organization corporate goal is as important as individual goals or target. Employees tend to resolve to friendly competition within the organisations sometimes in order to achieve the corporate goal. This kind of competition i believe is inevitable in an organisation especially in sales departments. Bolanle

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  4. Great post! I am enjoying reading about military tactics. such as “Cover and Move” and how it relates to business.

    I agree that some individuals may act in their own self-interests, and lose sight of the overall goals of the team and the organization as a whole, which is clearly unethical. Individuals that are knowingly causing harm by undermining and sabotaging others is also definitely unethical and should not be tolerated in any way.

    In addition to the importance of working as a team towards a common goal, it is also important for leaders to stress the importance of acting in an ethical manner and with integrity.

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  5. The cover and move example is interesting. I try to relate to everything that I read on each persons post that I respond to, and it’s amazing how much there is to relate to. This is no different. I work with another group that seems to have their processes and procedures down pat. They are able to reject things that don’t follow their process. My group is responsible for making sure everyone does things the right way. The problem is, that group is not providing cover for anyone but themselves, and they’re not moving.

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  6. Another interesting read. Ego is a powerful force, one that often drives people to unethical extremes. There is no shortage of cases where selfish and short-sighted leaders (and employees) ended up threatening the entire organization. Instantly, examples like Enron come to mind, where the greed of a few ruined way too many lives.

    I really like how Willick discusses the importance of leaders being guided by something higher than themselves. If a leader exhibits a genuine commitment to a higher purpose, I believe it trickles down across the entire organization. This is why it is important to not only create a coherent mission statement, but also ensure everyone in a leadership role takes it seriously. In my opinion, the most effective work cultures are ones that foster shared success, where one employee doesn’t have to lose in order for another employee to win.

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  7. “Cover and move” is a great example of teamwork in action. The individual teams involved all have their own action plans and objectives. Without assistance from other teams, however, the goals run a much higher risk of failure. In business practice, this happens a lot more often than most people would think. Smaller teams often get caught up in thinking that their goals are the only ones of importance, and they often forgo the needs of other areas. Either they aren’t aware of them, or they simply devalue those other goals. This is where good management should step up. A good manager will be able to understand the bigger picture of the organization and see how each level plays into the grand strategy. A good manager will not only keep their groups informed of how they are doing on individual target metrics but will also remind the team of the overall impact that they are having in the larger structure. A good manager will also act as a liaison between their group and the other groups, attempting to help balance out the needs of other areas and help allocate resources in order to satisfy all the requirements of the entire organization. As you stated, this is a lot harder to do than it is to say. It requires give and take from all areas and having a good working relationship with the commanders (managers) of the other teams is a must.

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