Motivation is the primary job of leaders. Motivation
means leaders must develop the art of getting
individuals or groups to work together to achieve a goal.
At the same time, the leaders must also work to achieve
their own goals. Good leaders are aware of the personal
goals of their crew and use this knowledge to motivate
them toward mission accomplishment.
Aside from mission accomplishment (or
productivity), motivation has several other objectives.
Other motivational concerns of a leader are retention
and advancement. Solid leadership produces an
atmosphere of team effort. The camaraderie
experienced by members of a successful team
contributes to a feeling of job satisfaction. Although
other inducements may cause sailors to reenlist, job
satisfaction is a major incentive.
Pay increases come only through the medium of
advancement. However, recognition and prestige are
important motivators that can be employed at any level
of supervision or management. Napoleon Bonaparte
said Give me enough medals and I'll win you any war.
Although medals may not be appropriate in every
instance, some form of recognition is better than none
at all. Do not hesitate to praise good work. A pat on the
back or letter of appreciation costs nothing but can reap
huge benefits in morale. High morale and productivity
go hand in hand. A worker who feels appreciated will be
more likely to continue to perform at a high level than
one whose efforts are ignored.
Skill and ability are of little use if your workers are
not motivated to work. Senior and master chiefs are
responsible for motivating their people to perform. The
best way you can do this is by making sure your people
get off on the right foot. Motivation should start as soon
as a person reports aboard.
Show concern for your workers personal welfare.
Encourage them to make use of recreational, spiritual,
educational, and welfare facilities available to them.
Each worker needs to feel valued both as a person and
as a member of the armed forces. Confirmation of this
personal worth must come from each persons chain of
command. That means you.
You may, at times, resort to fear to motivate your
workers. Fear activates such negative incentives as
threat of punishment or restriction of personal needs.
Negative motivation, however, often destroys morale;
and effectiveness will decline as morale declines.
Long-term or frequent use of negative motivation is
self-defeating. Negative incentives are used as a last
resort, but you should first study the situation carefully
to try to avoid them.
Workers are far more effective when morale is high.
High morale is an indicator of the positive motivation
felt by your personnel. One of the factors in high morale
is a sense of mission-knowing where they, as
individuals, fit into the overall effort and feeling good
about it. This feeling enhances their motivation to
cooperate and go the extra mile.
Whenever possible, keep your people informed on
mission goals and progress. Many workers are far
removed from the results of their labor.
Team spirit exists in an atmosphere of positive
motivation and high morale. You can do three things to
help promote team spirit. First, try to identify with your
workers. Know and understand their problems and try
to relate them to your own personal experiences.
Second, keep communication lines open. Insist on use
of the chain of command wherever appropriate; involve
their individual supervisors in their problems, but make
sure they understand that you are available. Third,
consider your workers opinions when making
decisions. If group participation is feasible, get their
input when making changes that will affect them.
The leadership process is not a simple matter of a
supervisor being oriented toward people or toward the
Navys mission. It is, instead, a combination of critical
factors. Superior leaders are proficient in their job and
committed to the Navys mission as well as to the
welfare of subordinates. Troops will look to these
leaders as an example of honesty, courage, and loyalty.
These leaders people have a clear understanding of their
place in the overall mission of their command and the
Navy. Top leaders understand the sources and uses of
authority and power. They delegate tasks appropriately
and avoid micromanaging their subordinates.
Leaders must insist on observance of the chain of
command. Failure to follow this most basic rule causes
confusion, hard feelings, and low morale. In support of
their chain of command, leaders must give orders in a