Originally uploaded by rebeccaregnier
Much of my initial training in leadership came at The United Stated Military Academy at West Point. As a young New Cadet on July 1st, 1983, I was issued a book called "Bugle Notes." The cover featured a silver profile of the statue of the man in profile above, General Douglas MacArthur. "Bugle Notes" is published once a year for each incoming plebe class and contains the history of West Point and its legends and traditions. It is a New Cadet's first exposure to the awesome history of that hallowed place.
I keep this book on my desk, some 25 years later, and refer to it from time to time. Today, I revisited a favorite touchstone on page 63 entitled: Guidelines for Effective Military Leadership. In the title of this post, I have deleted the word "military" because I believe, and have proven repeatedly, that these guidelines apply to all leaders, military or civilian. They are universal. Here they are:
- Set the example (appearance, conduct, soldierly habit)
- Know your personnel (background, interests, problems, strengths)
- Be concerned for their welfare (basic, personal, family)
- Keep them informed (get the word to the individual who does the job)
- Be consistent (and fair in your dealings with all)
- Be loyal to those above and below (loyalty is a two-way street)
- Unselfishness (your subordinates come first)
- Develop teamwork (work together toward common goals)
- Learn to inspect (anything not inspected may be neglected)
- Take notes (aid memory; insure your subordinates get all info)
- Be yourself (recognize limitations; constantly work to improve)
- Give orders in your own name
As I reflect on these guidelines, I thank God to have had the privilege to learn the foundation of leadership in such an incredible place.