Your reputation is the convergence of your words, actions, character, competence, and the perception of others. As you progress up the leadership chain, your team will grow and the perception of you will no longer be a direct result of your interactions and behaviors alone. Your team will play an increased role in how people perceive you. The larger your organization, the more you have to delegate authority. With that delegation, you empower your team to represent you and your organization.
You can seek wisdom or withstand the hardships required to gain it through experience. Learning from others, through study and observation, is certainly a less painful means of benefiting from life’s lessons. Inc. Magazine article, “5 Lessons Most People Learn Way Too Late in Life,” provided a worthwhile list, but why stop there?
Ego prevents us from living that John Maxwell quote. But, what about learning from leaders with an enlarged ego? Is our leader development hopeless without good leadership? Case studies focusing on ‘what right looks like’ hold a monopoly on leader development and create a void. This vacuum is most felt by young leaders lacking role models for “what right looks like”. We are tricked into thinking we only learn from good leadership. Learning from, and working for, good leaders is enjoyable, energizing, and sustaining. But, those who are not as blessed with great leadership early in their career are not flapping in the wind. They too have an example from which they can learn.
Perception matters and the perspective of the Soldiers you lead provides insight. How are you being perceived? How do you know what they need from a Company Commander? Who is experienced enough to lend legitimacy to the enlisted perspective? Enter, the Noncommissioned Officer. Every young lieutenant can remember the Noncommissioned Officers who significantly impacted his or her career. When I arrived to my first unit, one week before deployment, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. The leadership and perspective of my NCOs informed my leadership. One NCO in particular gave me even more than I could have expected.
The United States Military provides an outstanding leadership laboratory to grow yourself and your team. Perhaps the most impressive means of continuing personal and organizational growth is a personnel system that requires leaders to promote out of position and transition organizations. Controlled change breeds innovation and progress. But, change can also bring discomfort and anxiety. Fear not – there are steps you can take to transition well and establish yourself in a new organization.
A military leader’s first encounter with leadership is rarely through the military lens. Our early leadership experiences with parents, teachers, coaches, church leaders, etc., are often the most influential. These relationships help develop the men and women of character who will later lead our nation’s Armed Forces. Perhaps the family bonds of service in combat inspired Sun Tzu’s emphasis on parental love in leading an Army. No one thinks it is crazy to consider love an integral part of leading a child, spouse, student, or athlete – but when we discuss military leadership it is rarely part of the conversation. Rather than ignore the leadership examples set by those who positively influenced us as children, let’s embrace the example set by these monumental personalities who shaped us along the way.
It’s not the Desert Phase at Dugway Proving Ground; at least, it’s not anymore. The “Fourth Phase” of Ranger School is an abstract construct that transcends geographic location. It is continuous. For some, it starts when they first arrive. For others, it started well before, while attending Pre-Ranger. It is going on during RAP Week, as you shiver your way out of Victory Pond or break ice into Malvesti. The phase is well underway as you traverse the Darby Queen Obstacle Course. It is providing the most significant impacts on your overall success as you side-slope your way “one more hill, one more “click” through the mountains of Dahlonega, GA. Success in the Fourth Phase will see you through The Weaver in the swamps of Florida. If you make it to Graduation Day, it will have determined whether you are standing there alone in success or standing beside your peers in a team triumph. What is this Fourth Phase?
Stanley McChrystal (retired General and Managing Partner at McChrystal Group) posted a LinkedIn article, How I Keep Up with an Unrelenting Work Pace. The article, published on February 1, 2016, received excessive praise from many. It also received 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.
This is the main page for The Company Leader and where you will find blog posts on a variety of topics that cover Leadership, Tactics, and Fitness.
To learn more about The Company Leader Click HERE or go to the “Start Here” page listed on the top menu bar.