In some ways, a person’s leadership philosophy is something that is truly unique. No two people have the exact same perspective on what overall leadership should be like, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t some level of common ground. From an Army perspective, the first and foremost thing that a leader must understand to be great is to figure out who they are. If you can define yourself, then you can be able to define what your leadership role and position should be.
What Do You Stand For?
In the Army, you’re asked to stand up for certain ideas. You’re required to defend those ideas with your life at times. In order to accomplish this, there must be a certain set of standards that are available for a team to recognize and follow. Part of this means standing up for your fellow person, but it also means maintaining a level of personal discipline.
Personal discipline comes by many names: honesty, integrity, ethics, and even values. What it means is that you will be the same person when you take off the uniform as you are when you put it on. It means that you spend each moment of the day defending your values, listening to different perspectives, and respecting others who are doing the same – even if they are completely different from your own.
Taking responsibility for your own choices is simply one aspect of owning your journey in life as a leader. Your journey is actually dictated by the choices you make, including the people that you choose to surround yourself with on a daily basis. Sometimes you need to run along this journey and that takes recognition of a need to hurry. Sometimes you need to slow down, allow others to join you, and then together you can proceed past a difficult obstacle.
The key component of owning your journey, however, is through respectful feedback. The goal of feedback shouldn’t be to tear people down. Think about causing a mental evolution instead of a mental revolution! It should instead be centered on creating a positive reaction that inspires people to want to be better tomorrow than they were today.
Sometimes You Just Need To Close the Door
Being a leader means sometimes people will come to you for advice. What you do with the information that is given to you will either show that you have good ethics or that you’re not trustworthy at all. Sometimes you’ve just got to close the door in order to have a private conversation so that you, your team, or even the Army itself is prevented from embarrassment. Sometimes you’ve got to do this because personal issues don’t need to be aired out in a professional environment, even when leadership advice is sought out.
By living up to the Army leadership philosophies, being able to live a full life and run an effective team can be a lot easier to do. Keep these philosophies in mind the next time you find yourself in a leadership situation and you will most certainly come out ahead.