While many don’t know the difference between a Manager and a Leader, identifying Leadership Traits is probably a good place to begin identifying what a Leader is. Once one knows what a leader is, they will have an easier time differentiating the difference between the two.
The United States Marine Corps is well known for many things and probably at the top of that “Notoriety List” is their ability to lead young men and women through difficult challenges. While some believe leaders are born, many others believe leaders are developed.
The Marine Corps has identified 14 Leadership Traits that they feel are whats most important in a leader and begins developing these traits to all Marines on day 1. The traits are listed below along with a definition and suggestions for improvement:
Suggestions for Improvement: Be honest with yourself about why you make a particular decision. Avoid favoritism. Try to be fair at all times and treat all things and people in an equal manner.
Suggestions for Improvement: You can improve your judgment if you avoid making rash decisions. Approach problems with a common sense attitude.
Suggestions for Improvement: You can increase your dependability by forming the habit of being where you’re supposed to be on time, by not making excuses and by carrying out every task to the best of your ability regardless of whether you like it or agree with it.
Suggestions for Improvement: To improve your initiative, work on staying mentally and physically alert. Be aware of things that need to be done and then to do them without having to be told.
Suggestions for Improvement: Practice being positive in your actions instead of acting half-heartedly or changing your mind on an issue.
Suggestions for Improvement: Begin to develop your tact by trying to be courteous and cheerful at all times. Treat others as you would like to be treated.
Suggestions for Improvement: Be absolutely honest and truthful at all times. Stand up for what you believe to be right.
Suggestions for Improvement: Understanding and belief in your mission will add to your enthusiasm for your job. Try to understand why even uninteresting jobs must be done.
Suggestions for Improvement: To develop bearing, you should hold yourself to the highest standards of personal conduct. Never be content with meeting only the minimum requirements.
Suggestions for Improvement: Avoid using your position or rank for personal gain, safety, or pleasure at the expensive of others. Be considerate of others.
Suggestions for Improvement: You can begin to control fear by practicing self-discipline and calmness. If you fear doing certain things required in your daily life, force yourself to do them until you can control your reaction.
Suggestions for Improvement: Suggestions for Improvement: Increase your knowledge by remaining alert. Listen, observe, and find out about things you don’t understand. Study field manuals and other military literature.
Suggestions for Improvement: To improve your loyalty you should show your loyalty by never discussing the problems of the Marine Corps or your unit with outsiders. Never talk about seniors unfavorably in front of your subordinates. Once a decision is made and the order is given to execute it, carry out that order willingly as if it were your own.
Suggestions for Improvement: Develop your endurance by engaging in physical training that will strengthen your body. Finish every task to the best of your ability by forcing yourself to continue when you are physically tired and your mind is sluggish.
While Integrity is buried in the middle of the lst above, it is considered by many to be the most important trait of them all and will be the subject of our next post.
To learn more about Leadership Development, read here. Until then, I recommend you review the Leadership Traits listed above and see how you stack up.
If you’re looking for a team to help your organization improve its leadership philosophy and practices, then contact us here to learn how we can help.
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