War, by Sabastian Junger – book review

War by Sebastian Junger (cover image)There are books and then there Books. Junger’s “War” (amazon affiliate link) is the latter type. It is a book that every American should read so we can collectively understand what it means to send our young men and women into harm’s way.

Summary

War is Junger’s no holds barred, gritty look inside of an Army platoon stationed in the heart of violence. Junger shares his first-hand account of his time with some of America’s bravest young men, many of whom find themselves in love with the day-today fight for survival.

Why Should You Read War?

You should read this book for one simple reason. You, the citizen and voter, have a responsibility to be informed. Though our elected officials are the ones who vote on resolutions of war and make life and death decisions for our loved ones, ultimately, we are the ones that are responsible.

This isn’t a political statement. It is simply a plea to you. Please take the time to learn about these issues and make an educated decision about who you are putting into office.

War and Marketing

I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to talk about how this book relates to marketing. It might seem like a stretch, but it does. Junger has an impossible task – impartially observe and report on the very soldiers he is living among and must rely on for his very life. There is no humanly possible way to do this. Sure, detailed notes and video taped footage can help add objectivity. But there simply is no way to separate the emotion that is involved when living on the edge like this with others for weeks, months and years at a time.

As we work on campaigns and develop plans for clients, often we lose objectivity. It is very easy to do. After devoting a ton of time and emotion to projects, we become incredibly passionate about what we do. We want to win. We want our clients to win. And through it all, we become more and more emotionally involved.

After reading “War” you are left with a feeling that there is little hope for the soldiers you have read about. Most of them joined the military to escape civilian life. They found a home in combat and may never be able to return to a normal civilian life again. And you have to wonder about Junger – what does the future hold for him after all he has seen and been through.

Now, marketing is no where near as scary or difficult as what Junger describes. We have tools to maintain our objectivity. Simply put, if we are finding ways to measure the impact of our marketing and are using that information correctly, we can easily make adjustments, ramp up efforts that are working and ultimately help our clients win.

Are You Objective

How are you measuring or score carding your efforts? What are you measuring? Is what you are measuring helping you understand why things are happing the way they are?

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