Monday, April 02, 2007

Leadership rules to live by

As I grow in experience and wisdom here in the U.S. Army, I have come across some positive and negative leadership examples which have helped me coalesce some leadership lessons.

1. When in the military, if you want something (and your rank/position fit), use direct orders. For example, "so and so did it this way. It might be good if you did ....." would be less effective. More effective: "This spreadsheet is due at x time." Oblique references to others' activities are not always understood as the clear orders that you might think them to be.

2. If you want someone to do something, don't give them orders not to do it, and try to shame them when they follow those orders. Unless of course, you know they operate on the whole "reverse psychology" thing ("don't you eat those peas!").

3. Don't try to either blatantly lie or misleadingly sugarcoat things to intelligent people. You lose their trust.

4. If I say something more loudly, it doesn't make it any more true, but it does get me lots of attention.

5. If you don't know where you're going, it doesn't really matter what path you're taking- but if you can spend/make a lot of money by taking a long time, well, maybe that compensates for the extended time away from family (ok, I don't believe this one).

6. Kinetic means something different in the army than in the rest of the english language. In army-talk, it means killing people and blowing things up. For example, Patrick Swayze goes kinetic quite often in the masterpiece "Road House."

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