Successful leaders establish and maintain integrity. There are too many companies today that lost millions of dollars because their leaders lied or were involved in a scandal. Leaders must be trustworthy and they must have values they adhere to.
The Marine Corps has 11 leadership principles that can easily be applied to all levels of leadership. No leader can go wrong if they adhere to these 11 principles.
1. Know Yourself and Seek Self Improvement
• Evaluate yourself and determine your strengths and weaknesses.
• Improve to develop the techniques of this principle.
• Study causes for the success and failures of others.
2. Be Technically and Tactically Proficient
• Before you can lead, you must be able to do the job.
• Know what is expected.
• Observe and study the actions of capable leaders.
• Prepare yourself for the job of the leader at the next higher rank.
3. Know Your People And Look Out For Their Welfare
• Observe your subordinates and how they react to different situations.
• Be approachable.
• Encourage individual development.
• Know your unit’s mental attitude.
• Explain why tasks must be done and the plan to accomplish a task.
• Stop rumors by replacing them with the truth.
• Build morale and espirit de corps by praising in public and give rewards.
4. Set The Example
• Serve your team, not the other way around.
• Set high personal standards before you can rightfully demand it from others.
• Show your subordinates that you are willing to do the same you ask of them.
• Stay optimistic.
• Avoid showing favoritism.
• Don’t micro-manage! Develop leadership among subordinates.
5. Ensure That The Task Is Understood, Supervised, and Accomplished
• Give clear, concise orders, and supervise—“Inspect what you expect”.
• They must know what is expected of them.
• Issue every order as if it were your own.
• Encourage subordinates to ask ANY questions.
6. Train as a Team
• Teamwork is the key to successful operations.
• Teamwork is essential on all levels.
• Train, play and operate as a team.
• Be sure roles are understood.
• Encourage unit participation in recreational events.
• Praise in public, punish in private.
7. Make Sound And Timely Decisions
• Rapidly estimate a situation and make a sound decision.
• Hesitation leads subordinates to lose confidence in your abilities as a leader.
• Develop a logical and orderly thought process by practicing objectivity.
• Consider the effects of your decisions on all members of your unit.
• Develop a sense of responsibility among your subordinates.
• Demonstrate initiative and resourcefulness.
• Accept responsibility willingly and insist that your subordinates do as well.
8. Employ Your Command Within its Capabilities
• Have a thorough knowledge of the tactical and technical capabilities.
• Seek out challenging tasks for your unit, but be sure that your unit is prepared.
• Assign tasks equally among your subordinates.
9. Seek Responsibilities and Take Responsibility
• Seek out challenging assignments.
• Take responsibility for your actions.
• Regardless of the actions of your subordinates, responsibility falls on you.
• Learn the duties of your immediate senior.
• Perform every task to the best of your ability.
• Have courage in your convictions.
• Carefully evaluate a subordinate’s failure before taking action.
10. Keep Your Personnel Informed
• Always inform your team of pay and time off ASAP!
• Inform your people and they’ll perform better. Informed Marines perform better.
• Information inspires their initiative.
• Techniques to apply this principle.
• Explain the tasks.
11. Develop a Sense of Responsibility Among Your Subordinates
• Give them the opportunity for professional development.
• Assigning tasks and delegating authority promotes mutual confidence and respect.
• Provide clear, well thought-out directions.
• Give your subordinates frequent opportunities to perform duties normally.
• Be quick to recognize your subordinates’ accomplishments.
• Correct errors.
• Give advice and assistance freely.
• Be prompt and fair in backing subordinates.