A Leader And Surprises

The Art of Leadership

Surprise is the shock and confusion induced by the introduction of something unexpected. Most wars are won by the power of surprises! Many enemies are equally matched, so it is the element of surprise that changes the balance of power. Surprise is a very important weapon. Surprise is created when things happen suddenly! When the enemy surprises you, you may be found wanting. Prepare for surprises! Use the weapon of surprise in your battles.

For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as birds that are caught in the snare: SO ARE THE SONS OF MEN SNARED IN AN EVIL TIME, WHEN IT FALLETH SUDDENLY upon them.

Ecclesiastes 9:12

A fact about “surprise” in warfare is the fact that many surprises are often warning signs that must be taken seriously. Sometimes God will reveal to you exactly what is going to happen but you cannot believe or imagine it happening. You must constantly be aware of a very evil devil with very wicked intentions. You can avert surprises by mounting counter surprises for every move of the devil against your life.

Death can be a surprise! The death of a spouse can be a surprise! You can be surprised in the ministry through the death of a loved one. Many leaders’ lives changed after the deaths of their spouses. The surprise and the shock overwhelmed them and made them change course forever. Not having a child is a surprise! Adultery can be a surprise! An unexpected illness may be a surprise! An unexpected divorce may be a surprise!

Surprise and Pearl Harbour

You must develop your defences so that nothing takes you by surprise. One of the greatest ever-military surprises was the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour in Hawaii. In the build-up to World War II, there was a strong anti-Western sentiment in Japan. Without the element of surprise, the Japanese would not have been able to destroy the American fleet. Japan decided to bring a permanent end to Western interference in its affairs by wiping out the United States navy in the Pacific region.

In January 1941, a plan for attacking the U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbour was developed and training exercises were carried out. In October of the same year, the Japanese emperor, gave his general approval for the attack on the United States and it was eventually carried out on the 7th of December.

On the 25 of November, a large fleet of Japanese ships set sail from Japan, unseen by American spies in Japan. By December 7, 1941, unknown to the American government, a massive fleet of six aircraft carriers, twenty-five submarines, and over thirty additional support ships was just 200 miles north of the Hawaiian island of Oahu and ready to attack.

The first wave of attacking Japanese planes numbered more than 180. Although U.S. radar operators saw the massive formation nearly a full hour before the attack began, they raised no alarm, because they mistook the planes for a group of U.S. bombers expected to arrive from California around the same time.

The first wave arrived at the U.S. Navy base at Pearl Harbour at 7:55 a.m. and achieved complete surprise. The primary targets were major U.S. warships, most of which were docked close together in neat lines. These included eight of the nine battleships in the U.S. Pacific Fleet, along with several dozen other warships. The Japanese also targeted six nearby military airfields. A second attack wave of more than 160 planes followed just over an hour later.

Many surprises are not complete surprises. There are usually warnings. Unfortunately, it is sometimes incomprehensible to think of what the enemy plans to do to you. Note, as a leader, that there are surprises! Sometimes you may have to take major decisions such as policy changes to make a better impact if you have surprises!

It is important also to surprise your enemy. Surprise can decisively shift the balance of power. You must also seek to surprise your enemy. With surprise on your side your little strength can achieve great success against a powerful enemy. Weak armies are defeated by military surprises. Weak governments are affected by economic surprises. Your enemy will strike at a time or place you are not prepared for. An army ought to prepare for surprises.

You can surprise the enemy by saying sorry, repenting, changing your mind and making a Uturn. People never expect you to say “sorry”. The devil does not expect you to apologize. Another surprise move you can make is to forgive quickly. The devil expects you to remain bitter and unforgiving so that he can destroy you. No one is expecting you to make a U-turn. Surprise the enemy by saying sorry. A sudden U-turn will always be a surprise to your enemy.


By Dag Heward-Mills