7 Questions Every Military Leader Should Ask Themselves

As a military leader we must constantly evaluate our effectiveness and look for new ways to improve so we can become the best leader possible.  I’ve found that one of the best ways to evaluate our effectiveness is to ask ourselves questions so we can analyze what we are currently doing.

Sometimes you have to ask yourself the tough questions and of course you have to keep it real with yourself.    If you don’t like the answers to the questions, go and do something about it!  That is the only way you can stretch yourself and develop your potential.

I recently listened to a CD from Success Magazine with John Maxwell and he provided some great questions that all leaders should ask themselves.  I think this is a good starting point for all military leaders.  Feel free to expand on this list as you think of additional questions.

  1. Do I set direction and cast vision well in my organization?
  2. Do I cultivate a culture of growth?
  3. Do I achieve results with others?
  4. Do I engage and develop a consensus with others?
  5. Do I lead well in a crisis?
  6. Do I recreate myself and organization when needed?
  7. Do I make things happen?

I hope that you will take the time to ask yourself these questions and answer them.  Write your answers down and spend some time thinking about your answers. Keep a journal with each question as the header. Identify areas you can improve and areas you should sustain. Keep track of goals and check off when you have successes. Change the failures. By doing so, you will become a better military leader.

What are your thoughts? Feel free to leave your comments, opinions and questions below. Any other tips you may want to share with readers is greatly appreciated. Thanks for visiting.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)
Publisher, Part-Time-Commander.com
Email: mrchuckholmes@gmail.com

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3 thoughts on “7 Questions Every Military Leader Should Ask Themselves”

  1. From the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World … to seven days of the week, seven is a cool number. Seven questions is a good choice. I believe that # 3 is the best and hardest to answer: “Do I achieve results with others?” There is something instinctive in humanity to think only about self and only about others when it will benefit self. In one of the companies of which I was CEO, I had a difficult time to toss “me, the celebrity” and embrace “us, the team.” When I did, everything improved. Whether a military leader, CEO of a company, teacher of a classroom and other type of supervisor, “achieving results with others” is more important than waht we achieve ourselves.

    Thanks for the mention of CD from Success Magazine with John Maxwell. He writes well, too.

  2. Neil O'Donnell

    Leaders are ultimately responsible for the actions of their subordinates. Regardless of any individual’s missteps, ultimate blame for a mission’s failure rests with the commanding officer. How does a commanding office reduce the risk of her/his unit stumbling? The commanding officer must consider her/his actions and accomplishments. To that end, the presented questions provide a good framework from which a commander can work to determine her/his abilities, particularly with regards to issues of adaptability, helping subordinates succeed, and handling a crisis.

    1. As an Army leader, you must accept that you are responsible for everything that happens or fails to happen. It took me a while to learn that, but once I accepted it, I became a much better leader.

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