HOW DO LEADERSHIP
The most important element of leadership is
PEOPLE. The Navy defines leadership as follows:
LEADERSHIP IS THE ART OF INFLUENCING
ACCOMPLISHMENT OF A SPECIFIC GOAL.
An effective leader recognizes each person as an
individual with different values and beliefs. Such
influences as childhood experiences, ethnic background,
and religious heritage determine an individuals
personality, values, and beliefs. Because of these
differences, you should be aware that the actions you
take might affect one member of your work group
differently than another. Your actions could have a
positive effect on one person and a negative effect on
another. As a conscientious leader, you should strive to
identify and consider these differences when deciding
upon a course of action. By considering these individual
differences, you will avoid many misunderstandings and
have a more positive influence on your subordinates.
They will respect you as a person who supports equal
opportunity for all. Success comes only through honest,
equal, and thoughtful supervision of your people.
Remember, since people are your greatest resource, they
are worthy of your understanding and respect.
When you apply the basics of leadership presented
here, you will have a foundation upon which you can
build. The leadership structure you build is only as good
as the foundation you lay.
PERSONAL QUALITIES OF A LEADER
You cannot expect your subordinates to maintain
higher standards than you maintain yourself. You should
set standards for yourself that you expect from others
commonly referred to as leadership by example.
People have certain expectations of all leaders. The
following are some of the personal qualities or traits
expected of and common to all successful leaders:
HIGH STANDARDS OF PERFORMANCE
They believe anything worth doing is worth doing right.
They know a lack of high-performance standards results
in sloppy work. They know sloppy work costs the Navy
additional time, money, and materials; but most
important of all, it could cost the loss of a life.
MORAL COURAGEThey stand up for what
is right, even in the face of popular disagreement. They
also accept blame when at fault.
DEDICATION TO THE NAVY AND THE
NATIONThey are proud to be a part of the United
States Navy and proud to be called an American.
ENVIABLE EXAMPLEThey set an example
that is above reproach. In the areas of conduct,
appearance, and military bearing, they show qualities
subordinates may wish to adopt for themselves.
INITIATIVEThey have an inward desire that
motivates them to excel; they also are willing to act
recommendations for the improvement of the command.
People with initiative seek positions of leadership.
COMMANDThey remain faithful to the chain of
command. They know they cannot expect loyalty from
subordinates without being loyal to both subordinates
and superiors. Simply stated, we can depend on them to
support all levels of the chain of command.
ACCOUNTABILITYThey are accountable,
and that quality forms the cornerstone of leadership.
They make decisions, good or bad, and accept the
responsibility and consequences for those decisions.
To lead, you must first be able to follow:
for without followers, there can be no
One point we often overlook concerning successful
leaders is they were successful followers before they
became successful leaders.
Understanding the followership role will allow you
to function more effectively when you become a leader.
To understand the relationship between followership and
leadership, you should recognize the following facts:
Followership and leadership are not opposites.