1. Definition. All cadets are required to define leadership in their own words. Some definitions below will assist you in formulating your own definition. Leadership is:
- The ability to influence, lead, or guide others so as to accomplish a mission in the manner desired by providing:
1. purpose, gives others a reason for why they should do something.
2. direction, gives others the knowledge to complete the task.
3. motivation, gives others the will to do what they are capable of doing.
- the sum of those qualities of intellect, human understanding, and moral character that
enables a person to inspire and control a group of people to successfully accomplish
the assigned mission or task.
- the art of influencing and directing people.
- the ability to influence a group of people to work together to accomplish something.
2. Styles of Leadership. There are three basic leadership styles:
- Authoritarian – The leader tells subordinates what to do, and how to do it, without asking their advice. This is the style that is used most often in combat situations.
- Participative – Allows for participation on the part of subordinates in the decision making process. The final decision is the responsibility of the leader.
- Delegative – The decision making authority is given to a subordinate. The responsibility still rests on the leader.
3. Indicators of Good Leadership.
- Morale – The emotional and mental state of mind of an individual as exhibited by confidence, positive attitude, discipline, and willingness to perform assigned tasks.
- Esprit de Corps – A common spirit of enthusiasm and devotion to the unit and its members.
- Discipline – Self control and a sense of personal responsibility. Military discipline is the state of order and obedience among military personnel resulting from training.
- Proficiency – The technical, tactical, and physical ability of the individuals in the unit to accomplish the mission.
4. Leadership Traits. The Marine Corps has compiled a list of 14 traits that have been observed in successful leaders throughout history. You must learn and understand these traits to better understand your own strengths and weaknesses as a potential leader. The 14 traits are:
a. Judgment The ability to consider all the factors of a problem or situation, and then make a sound decision.
b. Justice The quality of being impartial and consistent in exercising command.
c. Dependability The certainty of proper performance of duty.
d. Integrity Uprightness of character and soundness of moral principle. Absolute honesty.
e. Decisiveness The ability to reach decisions promptly and to announce them in a clear and forceful manner.
f. Tact The ability to deal with others without creating offense, even in difficult situations.
g. Initiative The ability, or presence of mind, to take needed action in the absence of clearly defined orders.
h. Enthusiasm The display of sincere interest and exuberance in the performance of duty.
i. Bearing Creating a favorable impression in carriage, appearance, and personal conduct at all times.
j. Unselfishness The ability to put the comfort and advancement of others ahead of your own.
k. Courage A mental quality that recognizes the fear of danger and / or criticism, but enables a person to proceed in the face of it with calmness and firmness.
l. Knowledge Acquired information, including the technical aspects of your job and an understanding of your people.
m. Loyalty A sense of absolute and selfless dedication to the ideals of the unit; being faithful to your subordinates, peers, and superiors.
n. Endurance The mental and physical stamina that enables one to carry on in the face of pain, fatigue, distress, or hardship.
5. Leadership Principles. The Marine Corps also recognizes 11 principles, which have been proven to be good guidelines for people in leadership positions. You should learn these principles and try to practice them as you gain responsibility. The principles are:
Leadership Principles You Apply to Yourself
Know yourself and seek self-improvement.
Make sound and timely decisions.
Set the example.
Be technically and tactically proficient.
Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions.
Leadership Principles You Apply to Others
Know your subordinates
Keep your subordinates informed
Train your subordinates as a team.
Develop a sense of responsibility among your subordinates.
Leadership Principles You Apply to Group Functions
Employ your command in accordance with its capabilities.
Insure the task is understood, supervised, and accomplished.