Military Leadership Lessons

The military teaches that leadership is about caring for those in your charge. Yes, that’s me on the far left as a new army Lieutenant with my first platoon on a field exercise in Korea. Here are 8 lessons I learned to better care for others on your team:

1. Empathy: Really listen to those on your team to gain understanding of their challenges, needs and experiences. Build inclusion, diversity and collaboration across your team.

2. Encouragement: Inspire and motivate others with joy. Give recognition and credit for achievements to the team. Acknowledge fear, but don’t let it limit you or others.

3. Ownership: Accept that ultimately, failures and mistakes are your responsibility and look for ways to build team capabilities that deliver success.

4. Transparency: Seek feedback while communicating openly about why decisions are made and acting fairly to build trust.

5. Commitment: Always be on time and an available team member when needed. Always work to help the team reach goals even in the face of difficultly and setbacks.

6: Coaching: Provide opportunities for growth and development and help grow team members, both professionally and personally.

7. Support: Provide resources needed for success including people, budget, tools, and training.

8. Health and wellness: Encourage and support team members’ physical and mental well-being. Set an example through your own actions and team policies.

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