Military styles of leadership and training have been used in the corporate world for more than 150 years.
The nature of military training is unique. It is one of the few places where training is continuous yet the goal is to never have to use the trained personnel to do what you trained them for.
Life is a struggle for survival, for success, and for dominance. In short life is war. But we are all not warriors and that is our human failing. In all of us sometimes buried very deeply is the heart of a warrior. This training will hopefully help you bring out that heart when it is needed.
How do we do that? Answer six difficult questions every day.
What drives me? Was I always this way? What will satisfy me? Do I ever recognize defeat? How can I turn Negatives into positives? What is my ultimate goal?
If you can answer these questions each day you will always move closer to your goal.
The oldest leadership principle – and the most important in existence – is: Lead from the front.
This is also the most overlooked.
Leading from the front often means literally riding at the head of your troops. Sweating with them, seeing what they see, and seeing what they fear.
Being physically at the front lines isn’t the only way to lead from the front. At the least you must stay symbolically at the front of every major battle letting your people know you are with them in spirit. Keep in contact by phone fax and email, know what they need and get it for them.
When you lead from the front you not only inspire people to follow you, you inspire them to be leaders. A company is just like a chain, it is only as strong as the weakest link. You have to train the weakest person to be tough, and then the company will survive and flourish. If a leader “falls,” another will immediately take his place.
A company must be flexible. In a crunch, non managers should be able to manage and managers should roll up their sleeves and do the grunt work.
Great leaders help out on the line even if they cannot do the work as well as their people. And this is alright.
When you lead from the front people know exactly how you feel about everything. Your character is defined. People will not have to be mind readers and will be able to predict what you want and know how you would approach a situation. When they become managers they will know how to solve problems.
By leading from the front you will find out if you have the legitimacy to lead. Just because you are in a position of power does not make you the leader.
Without legitimacy you can only lead by fear and leading by fear will not enable you to command people who are strong and self confidant.
To acquire legitimacy you must stand for something. A Warrior always stands for something greater than himself. And that something needs to be more than self interest. A warrior is a noble servant for a noble cause.
Just believing is only part of the equation to making a leader. They must be willing to sacrifice and sweat and risk their lives. A leader is willing and that gives him legitimacy.
People must allow you to be their leader.
Lead from the front.
|William Jones is the Operations and Quality Manager for JLW Business Solutions. He has previously help positions as a Plant Manager, IE Manager and VP of Operations.|