Montpellier’s CEO, Guy Woodcock, formerly an infantry officer, shares his expertise on leadership and resilience in times of crisis. 

I was an infantry officer prior to setting up my business and, in many ways, the principles of armed conflict translate directly into commerce. For the principles of ‘attack’, read sales. For client-retention, read the principles of ‘defence’.

Overarching these are the Principles of War, and for this, read Principles of Business. They are particularly apposite at this time of COVID recovery and reordering.

The first (most important) two are:

  1. Selection and Maintenance of the Aim

    Unity of effort and unity of purpose are provided when all understand what they are to achieve and why. Deciding what to do, why to do it and keeping it in view relentlessly as events unfold is the so called ‘Master Principle of War’. It’s a process and an outcome: clarity of aim optimises both.

  2. Maintenance of Morale

    Morale is the bellwether of confidence and motivation. Strong teams have high morale; weak teams lack it. It is the glue that binds them, leading to peak performance and resilience.

Here are others, which I’ve distilled into commercial lingo:

Offensive Action

Seek advantage, which demands boldness in the face of competition.


Protecting revenue, staff, assets and intellectual property, crucial to sustainability and freedom of action.


Seize the initiative through innovation.

Concentration of Force/effort

Focusing effort in time and space to gain advantage.

Economy of Effort

Deploy minimum, optimal resources.


Plans, leaders and people.


Physical, financial and moral sustainability underpin the plan’s ultimate success.

By Guy Woodcock, CEO