You are on page 1of 13

Military leadership is the process of influencing others to accomplish the

mission by providing purpose, direction, and motivation.

Command is the authority a person in the military service lawfully exercises
over subordinates by virtue of his rank and assignment or position.
The basic responsibilities of a leader are: Accomplishment of the mission and
the welfare of the soldiers.
The most fundamental and important organizational technique used by
military is the chain of command.
The chain of command is the sequence of commanders in an organization who
have direct authority and primary responsibility for accomplishing the
assigned unit mission while caring for personnel and property in their charge.
A military leader has three types of duties:
-Specified duties
-Directed duties
-Implied duties
The Professional Military Ethic is:
-Loyalty to the nation, the Military, and the unit
-Selfless service
Selfless service is defined as putting the needs and goals of the nation, the
Military, your unit and your soldier ahead of your personal needs and interest.
The four individual values that all soldiers are expected to possess are:
-Courage: overcoming fears of bodily harm and doing your duty (physical
courage), and overcoming fears of other than bodily harm (moral courage)
while doing what ought to be done
-Candor: is being frank, open, honest, and sincere with your soldiers, seniors
and peers
-Competence: is proficiency in required professional knowledge, judgment,
and skills
-Commitment: means the dedication to carry out all unit missions and to
serve the values of the unit, Military, and the country
The four actions that should be taken in assuming a new leadership position
-Determine what is expected of your unit
-Determine what is expected of you

-Determine the strengths and weaknesses of your subordinates

-Determine what other key people whose willing support is necessary to
accomplish your job
The four indicators of unit effectiveness are:
-MORALE: A person's state of mind
-ESPRIT DE CORPS: Pride in unit, enthusiasm for unit, and loyalty to unit
-DISCIPLINE: Prompt obedience to orders and initiation of action in the
absence of orders
-PROFICIENCY: The unit's ability to accomplish the mission
The factors of leadership are: The Led, the Leader, the situation, and
There are 23 Traits of Character:
Bearing, Confidence, Courage, Integrity,
Decisiveness, Justice, Endurance, Tact,
Initiative, Coolness, Maturity, Improvement,
Will, Assertiveness, Candor, Sense of Humor,
Competence, Commitment, Creativity, Self-discipline,
Humility, Flexibility, Empathy/Compassion.
There are eleven principles of good leadership:
-Be tactically and technically proficient
-Know yourself and seek self-improvement
-Know your soldiers and look out for their welfare
-Keep your soldiers informed
-Set the example
-Ensure the task is understood, supervised and accomplished
-Train your soldiers as a team
-Make sound and timely decisions
-Develop a sense of responsibility in your subordinates
-Employ your unit in accordance with its capabilities

-Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions

Leadership Principles are used as general rules which have guided the actions
and conduct of successful leaders in the past.
The decision-making process is a conscious process for selecting a course of
action from two or more alternatives for the purpose of achieving a desired
The principle forces you should consider when making an ethical decision are:
-Legal standards
-Basic national values
-Traditional Military values
-Actual Military values
-Individual values
-Institutional Pressures
The seven steps in the decision-making process are:
-Identify the problem
-Gather information
-List courses of action
-Analyze and compare courses of action
-Make a decision; Select a course of action
-Make a plan
-Implement the plan
Professionalism is important in the military for two significant reasons. First,
the military leader is a public servant responsible for the defense of the
nation. Second, the military organization is often responsible for the life of its
The four leadership indicators are: Morale, Esprit de Corps, Discipline, and
The three different styles of leadership are Directing, Participating, and
Actions that good leaders avoid are: Violation of dignity to individuals, mass
punishment or ridicule of the troops, hurry-up and wait formations and similar
drills that waste time, resting before his men, shirking the responsibility of
checking his men's position, blaming the next higher in command for a rough
and unsuccessful mission, blaming subordinates for a squad's failure in
satisfactorily completing a specific mission, eating before his men have eaten,

favoritism and moral weakness.

A good leader must have a thorough knowledge of command essentials. The
command essentials are: Command policies, authority, responsibility, chain of
command and other channels, military rank, military discipline and conduct,
and the enlisted aspects of command.
A leader must be, know and do. Defined, this means:
A leader must BE:
-A person of strong and honorable character
-Committed to the professional Military ethic
-An example of individual values
-Able to resolve complex ethical dilemmas
A leader must KNOW:
-The four factors of leadership and how they affect each other
-Human nature
-His/Her job
-His/Her unit
A leader must DO:
-Provide direction
-Provide purpose
-Provide motivation
A leader provides direction by:
-Knowing and maintaining standards
-Setting goals
-Making decisions and solving problems
-Supervising and evaluating
One of the essentials of leadership is to seek responsibility and take
responsibility for your actions. Defined, this means to take the initiative in the
absence of Orders and accept the responsibility for your actions.

Three factors which tend to shape personality are Heredity, Environment,

Supervision is keeping a grasp on the situation and ensuring that plans and
policies are implemented properly, including giving instructions and
continuously inspecting the accomplishment of a task.
The danger of too little supervision is that it can lead to miscommunications,
lack of coordination, disorganization or the perception by subordinates that
the leader does not care.
The danger of too much supervision is that it stifles the initiative, breeds
resentment, and lowers morale and motivation.
Morale is the mental, emotional, and spiritual state of mind of an individual. It
is how a soldier feels. High morale strengthens courage, energy and the will to
Esprit is the spirit, the soul, and the state of mind of a unit that the soldier
identifies with.
Bearing is an individuals posture, overall appearance and manner physical
movement. It is an outward display to others of the state of your inner
feelings, fear and overall inner confidence.
Integrity is the utter sincerity, honesty and candor. It is the avoidance of any
kind of deceptive, shallow, or expedient behavior.
Justice is the fair treatment of all people regardless of race, religion, color,
sex, age, or national origin.
Tact is a sensitive perception of people, their values, feelings, and views which
allows positive interaction.
An unselfish leader is one who avoids providing for his own comfort and
advancement at the expense of others.
Proficiency as it applies to military leadership means the technical, tactical,
and physical ability of the individual and the unit.
Ethics are rules or standards that guide a individual or a group to do the moral
or right thing.
Some of the pressures to be unethical are:
-Pressure from self-interest
-Pressure from peers
-Pressure from subordinates
-Pressure from a senior
Formal norms are official standards or laws that govern behavior.

Informal norms are unwritten rules or standards that govern the behavior of
group members.
Military Discipline is the prompt and effective performance of duty in response
to orders or taking the right action in the absence of orders. A disciplined unit
forces itself to do its duty in any situation.
The principles that help ensure good discipline are (but are limited to):
-Ensure norms which contribute to discipline are established and strengthened
-Set high, but realistic, standards in all things that relate to the success of
your unit in training and war
-When your standards are not met, analyze the situation and decide on a
course of action for handling the situation
Values are attitudes about the worth or importance of people, concepts or
Beliefs are assumptions or convictions that an individual knows to be true
regarding people, concepts or things
You, as a leader, can influence the beliefs and values of your soldiers by
setting the example; by rewarding behavior that supports professional beliefs,
values, and norms, and by planning and conducting tough individual and
collective training.
In order to influence the beliefs and values of your soldiers you must respect
your soldiers and have their respect.
The four emotions that you, as a leader, must inspire in yourself and your
soldiers that will combat fear, panic and stress are confidence, purpose,
meaning, and self-respect.
Communication is the exchange or flow of information and ideas from one
person to another.
There are fourteen motivational principals, They are:
-Make the needs of individuals in your unit coincide with the unit tasks and
-Reward individual and team behavior that support unit tasks and missions
-Counsel or punish soldiers who behave in a way that is counter to unit tasks,
missions an standards
-Set the example in all things
-Develop morale and esprit in your unit
-Give your subordinates tough problems and challenge them to wrestle with
-Have your subordinates participate in the planning of upcoming events

-Alleviate causes of the personal concerns of your soldiers so that soldiers can
concentrate on their jobs
-Ensure your soldiers are properly cared for and have the tools they need to
-Keep your soldiers informed about mission and standards
-Use positive peer pressure to work for you and your unit
-Avoid using statistics as a major method of evaluating units and motivating
-Make the jobs of your subordinates as challenging, exciting and meaningful
as possible
-Do not tolerate any form of prejudicial talk or behavior in your unit
The two types of authority are command authority and general military
The nine leadership competencies are:
Teaching and counseling
Soldier team development
Technical and tactical proficiency
Decision making
Use of available systems
Professional ethics
Return to The Molossian Naval Academy

The Challenges of Transferring Military

Leadership into a Corporate Environment

Aug 14, 2014




Share on LinkedIn

Share on Facebook

Share on Twitter

its hard to find corporate leadership articles that dont include some
reference to leadership in the military. These rarely point out the
differences in the military and the corporate environment that impact
the successful integration of military leadership values. While our
Armed Forces have long invested and excelled in producing
remarkable leaders, those leaders have some distinct environmental

and cultural advantages that dont exist in the corporate world. And
not all of those military values have a place in the corporate
Perhaps the first and most important one is the training of the rank
and file soldier. People who have never been through basic training
will have hard time understanding the transformation from civilian to
soldier. It is hard to believe just how complete and effective that
transformation is. It reshapes your thinking from what is good for
you as an individual to what is best for your squad, your platoon and
your larger unit. And part of what is best for those groups is
adherence to and respect for orders and for the unit leaders giving
them. What I found particularly amazing when I went through basic
training, was that even if you know and understand the conditioning
techniques being used, they still work. And you will most likely come
out of it a good soldier.
The second big difference is that your first three levels of leadership
(your squad leader, your platoon sergeant and your platoon leader)
know more about you than you would believe. They know your family
situation, they know your wife and kids, they know if you have money
problems, if you neglect your kids, beat your wife, if you drink too
much or not enough, or if you have difficulties with your neighbors.
And they know if you dont. For the military, this information is
crucial because any or all of it could affect your performance and the
performance of the unit.
The third difference is that the stakes are much higher in the military.
Part of that is the idea that you are serving a selfless purpose and part

is the dangerous nature of the work. This is similar to what you find
in other high-risk occupations such as the police, or firefighters.
These three cultural and environmental differences make it a little
easier for military leaders to live up to the values expected of them.
The inherent intimacy allows them to intervene early and with the
correct resources to help solve personal problems with their soldiers.
And demonstrates their commitment to the well-being of their
soldiers before their own. This, in turn, reinforces trust and respect
within the unit. They have soldiers who are conditioned to respect
their authority and believe they are acting in the best interest of the
unit. This mitigates many of the problems associated with
engagement, cynicism and the whats in it for me? mind-set
problems that exist in many corporations. The selfless purpose and
nature of the work result in some degree of loyalty to everyone in the
unit. Soldiers will tell you; In the middle of a firefight, Im not
fighting for God and country, Im fighting for the soldier next to me.
What does all this mean for the corporate leader? This blog from Dan
OShea describes in great detail what is expected from military
leaders. But the key factors for me in a corporate environment are
trust, respect and integrity. Corporate leaders must go out of their
way to develop some level of work focused intimacy with their staff.
Asking questions, listening actively, opening discussions, acting on
what you learn and directing credit appropriately. Demonstrate your
respect for your people by doing these things and you will reinforce
the ability to operate effectively at all levels. Have the courage to tell
your people the truth about the organization, their performance, and
their future with the organization. Your honesty will inspire respect

and trust. That may seem counter-intuitive if the news is bad.

Remember, they are adults. Dont rob them of the ability to make
their decisions based on the truth. It will demonstrate that their wellbeing is important to you even it means they need to transition out of
the organization with your assistance and support. Others in your
organization will see that and integrate it into their view of you and
your ethics.
These measures will serve you well wherever you are in the hierarchy
of your organization. If you integrate them and find they do not, you
are in the wrong organization.

Written by

Lisa Chase, SPHR



Share on LinkedIn

Share on Facebook

Share on Twitter


Add your comment


Don Herrmann, MBA, SPHR, CPC

Sustainable Growth for Sustainable Business

As one who transitioned successfully from a military leadership role to a corporate leadership role, I can
truthfully say that more often than not my military leadership training served me well. Where it did not serve
me was when issues of integrity and duty came about. I was not prepared for the self serving private
agenda's many corporate managers have (I cannot in good conscience refer to them as leaders because

they were not). The undermining, fabricating, out right lying and refusal to support the organizations stated
mission, and then they got promoted, culture baffled me. I was actually one day given a choice by the CEO
of an organization I worked in...learn to break the law or be unsuccessful here (he even had the nerve to
make that statement in front of one of my team members). I opted to be unsuccessful there. Since then I
work with a lot of corporate executives and leaders. I not only show them how to be successful in the
general conduct of their business, I also teach leadership. I teach the values I was taught that Lisa remarks
on here, "trust, respect, integrity." Great article Lisa and thank you for sharing.



August 15, 2014

Tommy Watson GCGI, Bea Williams, and Lisa Chase, SPHR