Leadership Lessons From the Military

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Belgian army Special Forces are seen during the Black Blade military exercise involving several European Union countries and organised by the European Defence Agency at Florennes airbase, Belgium

As leaders, it’s our job to get the best out of everyone on our teams. That means balancing individual care and collective credit.

Leadership in the military teaches us to do just that. So we asked C-Suite execs turned military veterans what lessons they learned and how they apply to business today.

Be the Boss

When you take on a leadership role, it’s important to be aware of your own strengths and weaknesses. The more confident you are in your own abilities, the better you will be at leading others.

As a boss, you need to be able to motivate your team members. Make sure they know how much you appreciate their work. This way, they won’t feel like they’re being pushed too hard or taken for granted.

You also need to recognize your employees’ strengths and skills so you can help them grow. For example, if an employee makes a mistake but you notice their strong leadership skills, show them that you trust them and support their growth.

In this way, you can encourage them to become leaders in the future.

Being the boss is an exciting career opportunity, but it’s not without its challenges. For example, many bosses feel stress, pressure and hardship. This is a natural part of the job, but there are ways to relieve this.

Another reason why being your own boss is a good choice is because it’s your business, and you get to call the shots with how it is run. This means you get to decide how much money you earn and how your team is paid.

Whether you’re in the military, a small business owner or just looking for a new career, learning to be your own boss will teach you a whole new set of skills. These skills include accounting, hiring, marketing, supply and demand, outsourcing, technology and so much more!

Be Accountable

Accountability is a key characteristic for leadership. Leaders who are accountable for their actions in the work place will gain the respect and trust of their employees and can fuel their organization’s success.

Accountable leaders also have the ability to hold their teams responsible for their actions. They can also provide support and resources when needed so that their team members are able to complete tasks on time.

In the military, accountability is a key element of leadership and is essential for every level of the army. Soldiers are taught to be accountable to their superiors, subordinates, peers, themselves, and the country as a whole.

This is a crucial part of the Army’s leadership model, and it’s why Soldiers grow and develop into strong and dependable leaders when they serve in the military. It also helps them to be better prepared for future military leadership positions.

The best way to be accountable as a leader is to make sure that you are setting the right example for your Soldiers and subordinates. This will help them be more confident and make their own decisions.

Getting your Soldiers and subordinates to be accountable for their actions is not always easy, but it can be done. You can do this by promoting trust and ensuring that they are not afraid of making mistakes.

Using rituals, such as Midland Memorial Hospital’s “huddle” each morning, can help to make accountability part of the culture. This ritual can be repeated each day to ensure that everyone is on the same page with expectations of themselves and others in the organization.

Be Flexible

Leaders should always be flexible, adjusting to new demands or changes at a moment’s notice. This allows them to stay on track with their goals and keep their team motivated, even when it’s not going perfectly.

In the military, soldiers learn from day one that they represent their team, squad or section and that their job is to give individual care when a member is struggling or to recognize someone for their hard work. In addition, leaders understand that team wins are not just about the individual members, but about all of them coming together to achieve a goal.

Honesty is key in this regard, as it allows people to trust you and to know that they can count on you to be truthful. This honesty can be a difficult thing to do at times, but it’s essential in any leadership position.

The military also teaches you to be adaptable, and to accept change gracefully. Mishaps and last-minute changes are common in a military career, so you need to be willing to adapt to these situations quickly.

You need to be honest with yourself and with others about your mistakes, so you can improve as a leader. This way, you can learn from them and set an example for your team. It’s also a great idea to be transparent about your goals and what your expectations are for each project or task, as this will help everyone understand what they need to do to reach them.

Be Honest

When it comes to leadership, honesty is an essential quality. It’s the foundation for many other skills that a leader needs to be successful, including respect and trust.

It’s also the quality that people are most looking for in leaders. Whether you are working with your team or in the field, honesty is a great way to show that you care about your work and that you are trustworthy.

Honesty can also make your employees feel more connected to you and the company. Employees will be more willing to share their opinions and concerns with you if they feel like you are honest about your decisions.

It can be a challenge to be honest with your employees, but it’s one that can pay off in the long run. Not only can honesty help you build relationships and trust with your team members, but it can also attract and retain the best employees in the business.

Be Resilient

The military is a high-pressure environment that requires people to be resilient in many ways. Whether it’s dealing with frequent moves, long deployments or major transitions, resilience is a critical leadership skill.

Leaders who are resilient can adapt and recover quickly when faced with a stressful situation. This means they can stay focused on the task at hand and keep their emotions in check.

To help leaders become resilient, the US Army launched a comprehensive program in 2014 called Comprehensive Soldier Fitness 2. The program includes online assessment tools to identify resilience strengths and areas of improvement, self-help modules, and MRT courses using a train-the-trainer method.

In addition, all Army leaders are required to complete a resilience course at every leader development school. These courses teach them the resilience skills they need to support soldiers, their families and units.

When the military is facing a crisis, it’s important to have a positive mindset and reappraisal techniques to cope with stressors. This helps soldiers be more mission-ready and avoid behavioral health issues.

Resilience also means having a strong sense of respect for others and their dignity. Dignity is a fundamental human right that allows us to value, belong and connect with others. This is a critical leadership skill for any leader to have. If you’re a leader who doesn’t show respect to your team members and their dignity, they’ll feel less appreciated and may disengage from the mission.

Be Respectful

One of the lessons from the military is that leadership is about valuing others’ perspectives, time, and space. Respectful leaders do this by treating their team members with dignity, and respecting their opinions without ignoring them or denying them.

When you take the time to show your employees how much they mean to your team, it helps create a more respectful work environment. A recent study shows that showing respect to your team increases their commitment and engagement.

It also makes them feel more valued and able to contribute their best work. In turn, this benefits your organization and its bottom line.

If you are a manager, you can help ensure your team is feeling respected by taking a pulse on their work weekly or bi-weekly with team pulse surveys like ShowUp.

Using this tool, you can ask your team about their experiences in the workplace and make changes based on their feedback. Plus, you can keep an eye out for any trends or issues that might affect their performance.

The more respect you give to your team, the more they will want to give back to you in return. They will become more loyal and willing to do whatever it takes to succeed.

As a leader, you have a lot to lose when you don’t treat people with respect. So, don’t be afraid to step up and take action if you see any disrespect happening in the workplace.

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