Leadership Lessons From the Marine Corps
As we celebrate Veteran’s Day this week, let us take a look at the leadership traits instilled by our Marine Corps. Many of the leadership principles that they teach are in line with the leadership characteristics and attributes taught by ConvergenceCoaching, LLC.
One of the Marine Corps leadership principles is that Every Marine is a Leader. Their website reads: “Leadership is found throughout the ranks and at every level of the Marine Corps. Every Marine is trained to act instinctively and effectively, regardless of the situation.” We love and embrace this concept and encourage our clients and course participants to promote the belief that every person in their organization can be a powerful leader regardless of their role or tenure. Leadership is more about how you act and how you treat people than it is about your job title.
The Marine philosophy also emphasizes that the leadership traits that they teach enable Marines to lead with honor, on the battlefield and in the community. Similarly, it is our experience that the most effective leaders carry themselves with the same commitment, dedication, leadership and respectfulness inside and outside of their workplaces. They demonstrate the characteristics of a great leader at home and in their communities. It is a 24-7 job and is not something that they simply can turn on and off. Consistency is key.
Decisiveness is another leadership trait that we agree on. They believe that: “To ensure every Marine has the ability—and the authority—to make important decisions in the midst of chaos, or in the absence of specific orders, Marines operate according to the philosophy of “Commander’s Intent.” Essentially, this means that when a subordinate leader finds himself in a situation where he needs to make an immediate decision, he has the bias for action that allows him to make the decision that best supports his commander’s desired end state.” It is also our experience that the most effective and efficient organizations empower their people and encourage their team members to take ownership and responsibility.
Courage and Integrity are also two characteristics that appear on both the Marine Corps list of leadership traits and on our ConvergenceCoaching list of the most important leadership attributes. You can view the Marine Corp’s entire list of eleven leadership traits here: http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/usmc/leadership_traits.htm
How can you see these traits and behaviors translating to the business world? We would love to hear your thoughts.
I would like to send out love and appreciation to our Marines and also to every member of our armed forces. Thank you for everything that you do, all the sacrifices that you and your families have made and for setting a great example of what effective leadership looks like in action.