There are many reasons that a person joins an organization. No matter the reason, that person should strive to make a positive difference to the organization and its members. This impact…the cohesion that comes from positively influencing others…is the foundation of trust. And gaining it can be boiled down to three fundamentals: Competence, Caring, and Communication.
You might not have realized it, but there’s an important date in the lives of your Soldiers that you should pay attention to. You don’t know the exact time yet – it could be weeks, months, or years away – but it’s out there. And it’s a big day for them, and for the Army. I’m talking about the reenlistment date for every Soldier you lead and like it or not, everything you do influences whether or not the day will come.
The purpose of the article is to introduce you to the extraordinary leader. First, a definition. A description of the extraordinary leader must examine the two separate parts of the term. Extraordinary: very unusual or remarkable. Leader: a person who has commanding authority or influence.
If we combine the two definitions, we have “a remarkable person who has commanding authority or influence.” But it doesn’t tell us what this leader does, how we can recognize one, or what we should aspire to become, if that is our intent. For this we must look at what this extraordinary leader does, for it is in that behavior, the outward actions recognizable by all, that we find the foundational aspects of the extraordinary leader.
My goal for The Military Leader is to provide relevant, insightful, and useful leader development content that you can use to grow yourself and your team. Hopefully I’ve achieved this goal for you, but I’d like to ask your help in really making sure I continue to meet your leader development needs.
Would you take a 10-question reader survey to help me get to know The Military Leader audience and the leadership topics matter to you? Email subscribers have already had the chance to offer their input and it’s been incredibly informing. (Big thanks to those of you who have participated thus far!)
Now, I’d like to hear your feedback about the site, as well as the leader development topics you’d like me to write about.
The survey will take less than 5 minutes and would make a huge impact for The Military Leader community. Thanks for your help!
Recently I was blessed to spend three years in command of a battalion of outstanding American Soldiers. As with any leadership opportunity, some things went really well and other things did not. As summer approaches and hundreds of leaders prepare to take the unit colors, I offer a few ideas to spur some reflection on commanding a battalion.
As a commander, my leadership focus was simple: 1) Take a servant-leader approach, 2) Train deliberately, and 3) Communicate with intention.
The civilian world doesn’t experience this phenomenon, but there’s a form of gazing in the military that’s not considered sexual harassment. It’s the uniform once-over that occurs when service members are introduced for the first time.
You’ve seen it…we trade lengthy, indiscreet, almost uncomfortable stares at each others upper torso and arms to interpret the story told by one another’s rank, badges, medals, decorations, tabs, and patches. We do it because we want to know who we’re dealing with, what the other person is bringing to the table. (And if we’re being honest, we should go ahead and admit that it’s also an ego check: “Have I been through more than this guy? How much do I need to regard him?”)
Staff officers are not often seen as dynamic leaders who are pivotal to a unit’s success in combat. Very few history books are written, and even fewer movies are made, about the exploits of a staff officer who saves the world. They are generally depicted as the bumbling fool or road-blocking bureaucrat who holds the hero back from accomplishing the mission.
In An Open Letter to Cadets, Drew Steadman urges current Cadets to use their college time wisely to develop into the kind of leaders we need in today’s Army. To develop those future leaders, we need good Company Commanders and First Sergeants to serve as Assistant Professors of Military Science (APMS) and Senior Military Instructors (SMI) at college campuses across the country.