Leadership and love go hand in hand. Just as leadership has both direct and indirect influence over others, love behaves the same way. How you express this love is unique to how you interpret the relationship. The stern drill sergeant provides “tough love” to young recruits to turn them into Soldiers. The chaplain will provide words of encouragement to reveal a different perspective. We often see them on opposite ends of the leadership spectrum, but the drill sergeant and the chaplain share one key understanding. They both understand how to employ the five love languages based on their situation.
I am a firm believer in the value of professional reading as a critical part of professional and personal development. Early in my career, I began maintaining a list of titles that leaders and peers recommended, a list that expanded considerably during my time in CGSC and SAMS. But I was seldom able to whittle it down, let alone think critically about what I was reading. Professional responsibilities, family obligations, TDY travel, and deployments continued to pile on and, probably just like you, professional reading was the victim.
The best leaders don’t use anger as a leadership tool. Anger is not a mandatory component of leadership because there are countless examples of successful leaders who never get angry. Yet, we can think of many leaders whose anger has compromised their effectiveness. The question is: what does anger get you? And then at what cost?
Leadership is as diverse as the individuals who exercise it. We influence through distinct talents, shaped by experiences, personality traits, core values, and an endless list of other factors. Nonetheless, when we look back at the leaders we’ve encountered, it’s easy to identify behavior trends that point to a set of defining leadership styles. The aggressive risk taker. The deliberate planner. The encouraging coach. The intense micromanager.
Each profession has its own set of styles that generally lead to success. The military is no different. Here are three types of military leaders you’ll find that, for better or worse, produce results.
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.
Stanley McChrystal (retired General and Managing Partner at McChrystal Group) recently posted a LinkedIn article, How I Keep Up with an Unrelenting Work Pace. The article was published February 1, 2016 and is receiving excessive praise from many. It is also receiving criticism from those who note the inherent risks of applying strategic level leadership experiences without thought or reflection. Here are some things you should pay attention to when reading McChrystal’s article.
I listened to this yesterday and thought it was impactful enough to send out as perfect Sunday personal growth material. It’s from the EntreLeadership Podcast, which is Dave Ramsey’s creation and in the Top 20 Business Podcasts on iTunes.
Two aspects in particular make this podcast powerful: the big name influencers they interview and the clips of Dave Ramsey giving priceless leadership and business advice. I’ve used more content from this podcast than any other, as it is highly relevant military leaders. Several times as an Operations Officer, I’d listen to an episode on the way to work, and then immediately implement its insights.
This episode is all about finding purpose and meaning in life, which requires that we deconflict work and life. Dan Miller, author of 48 Days to the Work You Love, talks about how to live a life of meaning, then Dave Ramsey follows with in-your-face advice for figuring out how to keep your family while being successful at work.
His philosophy is one that leaders can take to their units tomorrow and make a difference with. It’s well-worth your time…and theirs!
For the EntreLeadership Podcast episode, click here.
To access Episode #110 through the iTunes Store, click here.
Leaders who find ways to connect with their people are the ones who build great teams, inspire the best performance, and rise to positions of influence when others wane. If you look back on your career, you’ll likely observe that the most impactful leaders were the ones who made a personal connection with you.
Maybe it was keen professional mentorship, or timely advice during adversity, or a personality trait that invited trust. Sometimes there’s no pinpointing it…just an intangible feeling that makes it easy to follow a person.
In the culture of busyness that we face today, it’s distressingly easy to ignore the personal side of leadership. But trust will never develop without a personal connection between leader and follower. And without trust, an organization will be confined to a transactional environment of mediocre results and melancholy people.
Photo by Mr. Fernando Sanjurjo, U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion Los Angeles.