“The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He/She is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.” –Ronald Reagan
Lt. Gen. Hal Moore established his place in military history in 1965 when he led his vastly outnumbered troops to prevail in the first major battle of the Vietnam War. He has spent his lifetime learning and perfecting leadership both on the battlefield and off. The Mel Gibson movie “We Were Soldiers” was based in Lt Gen Moore’s experiences leading up to and during the battle referenced above. His most famous principal: There is always one more thing you can do to influence any situation in your favor.
“Leadership is the art of accomplishing more than the science of management says is possible.”
Another great military and civilian leader, General Collin Powell has said about leadership: “Leadership is the art of accomplishing more than the science of management says is possible.” In his book titled It Worked For Me, he distilled his strategy for success down to 13 rules. I hold leaders like Lt Gen Moore and General Powell in high regard as examples for aspiring leaders.
Great Leaders are made. Leadership is a learned skill that takes dedication, patience, intelligence and passion to perfect. I have spent my professional life watching leaders of all types and learning from them. My background in I/O Psychology gives me an advanced capability and resources to drawl the key lessons and importation actions of successful leadership.
Teaching Good Specialists to be Leaders
My current role as an executive leader requires me to forge new leaders. It is one of the most difficult but rewarding parts of my job. I have assembled a collection of important references for the work of building leaders and wanted to share some of them here.
In my teaching of new operational leaders, I focus on 10 areas. Below are business and leadership skills that typically lead to success in the modern business world. Some are tactical and others strategic in focus.
- Building Organizational Talent
- Business Savvy
- Coaching & Developing Others
- Compelling Communication
- Cultivating Networks
- Customer Focus
- Driving Execution
- Driving for Results
- Inspiring Excellence
- Operational Decision Making
Click on the link below to view more details on these skills.
Another source of training that I use is the Marine Corps Philosophy of Leadership Principles. I learned about these principles from a former Marine aviator who was my leader in the aerospace industry. This is a concise collection of leadership principles that have been used effectively in the military environment. While most of us will not lead in that environment, the principles certainly apply to the business world.
Leadership is a fast moving topic within our rapidly evolving society of the 21st Century. I use Twitter, a 21st Century tool, to keep abreast of developing trends and concepts. Below are my Twitter Lists that focus son topics relative to leadership:
Leadership Skills: https://twitter.com/ChetBrandon1/lists/leadership
Business Acumen: https://twitter.com/ChetBrandon1/lists/business-acumen
Corporate Governance: https://twitter.com/ChetBrandon1/lists/corporate-governance
Leaders Supporting Leaders
Subordinate mentorship is a lesser known method of providing redundant training and support to new leaders, or support to existing leaders, that originates from their subordinates. It is commonly utilized by the U.S. Military to ensure young leaders (such as lieutenants) are rapidly and efficiently prepared to lead their men on missions with the greatest opportunity to accomplish the objectives of those missions. For mature leaders this activity turns into completed staff work by their subordinates. This method of team decision making is summarized by the production of a document that can be answered yes to this question: “If you were the chief would you be willing to sign the paper you have prepared, and stake your professional reputation on its being right?” I view this as conceptual versus literal.
Another great resource to further understand the role of subordinate leaders in ensuring the success of their leaders (especially new ones) is on this blog: NCO Journal-Training Lieutenants One at a Time and this historical memorandum: The Doctrine of Completed Staff Work.
And one last reference for corporate leaders is an excellent Linked In article published by a successful mid-level leader in the Boeing company: A Guide for Corporate Success, By Deborah Smith.