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
otherscommonly referred to as leadership by
People have certain expectations of all leaders.
The following are some of the personal qualities or
traits expected of and common to all successful
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 Americans.
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
without orders and to offer well-considered
recommendations for the improvement of the
command. People with initiative seek positions of
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 leaders.
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
1. Followership and leadership are not opposites.
The idea that followership is the reverse or
opposite of leadership is wrong. For example, if a
leader is decisive, the reverse says that the follower is
indecisive; or if the leader is organized, that the
follower is disorganized. The list is unending, but you
can see that leadership and followership are not
2. Leaders perform both roles at the same time.
A leadership role and a followership role can be,
and usually are, performed simultaneously. In
providing guidance for the worker, a supervisor is
functioning as a leader. At the same time, a leader may