In my column a couple of weeks ago, I gave you my definition of leadership which is the ability to influence others to obtain a specific goal. This definition applies to leaders in all organizations in all walks of life.
But in the Army and in recruiting, leaders must also embrace the Army Values, for they are the foundation of everything we do; they are the common thread of every Soldier, brigade, battalion, company and center.
Loyalty: Loyalty to the U.S. Constitution, the Army, your unit, and other Soldiers is one of the most important values. Without loyalty, Soldiers would not survive combat or continue to give their all each and every day to ensure mission accomplishment. A loyal leader is one that will always think of his or her Soldiers and the accomplishment of the mission first before self. A loyal leader will be successful because his or her Soldiers will be prepared to follow him or her without hesitation and go the extra mile to ensure success.
Duty: It is a leader’s duty to accomplish the mission, take care of his or her Soldiers, and go the extra mile to ensure tasks are completed to the best of the leader’s ability.
Respect: It is paramount that leaders give and receive respect. A leader will be successful if his or her Soldiers feel they are valued. A leader that does not value his or her personnel will find him or herself with an indignant workforce, which often ensures failure.
On the other hand, a leader who respects his or her Soldiers and embraces individuality brings out the best in each and every one. Soldiers who feel accepted and appreciated will go the extra mile to ensure their leader’s success.
Selfless Service: Putting the welfare of the nation, the Army, and our subordinates before our own must be embraced by both the leader and his or her Soldiers. Army leaders must be willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice and must be able to convince their Soldiers to do the same. Embracing selfless service equates to successful missions and a successful leader.
Honor: This is a matter of carrying out, acting, and living the values of respect, duty, loyalty, selfless service, integrity, and personal courage in everything you do.
Integrity: A successful leader will always do what is legally and morally right. Soldiers will trust a leader that possesses integrity and follow his or her leader without hesitation. A leader that will not compromise his or her integrity will be able to recruit dedicated Soldiers and maintain success.
Personal courage: A leader who has the ability to face his or her fears, physical danger, or any type of adversity will find it easier to inspire his or her Soldiers to put their full faith in their leader.
Because those of us in recruiting are the ambassadors for the U.S. Army, it is particularly important that we model these values and the behaviors they dictate. We cannot hope to recruit the best and the brightest if we cannot model the behavior we hope to encourage.