Being Calm, Cool and Collected: Leadership Tip for Army Leaders

Today, I want to talk to you about being calm, cool and collected.  I spent 15 years in the Army myself and one of the things I admired most in people was their ability to stay poised and calm in high stress situations.  In other words, when the stress factor went up, they were at their best.

This is a very important leadership skill to develop as a leader.  By nature, we are naturally emotional human beings.  Everyone has emotions.  Some people manage their emotions well and others let their emotions get the best of them.  Good military leaders master their emotions.

They stay calm, cool and collected.  They appear confident at all times.  They’re by no means arrogant, but they do believe in themselves and their abilities.  And when things get tough, this confidence shines through.

Now, you might be wondering why I am even talking about this.  Here’s what you should know.  Your Soldiers look to you for leadership, especially when the bullets start flying.  The emotions and confidence of a team is determined by the leader.

Your ability to stay poised and confident will have a positive impact with your Soldiers.  They will think that since you are confident everything is going to be okay.

On the other hand, when the leader is an emotional wreck it has a huge negative impact on their followers.  A scared or worried leader produces scared and worried followers.

One of the best things you can do as a military leader is to work on your confidence.  Work on mastering your emotions so you can stay calm, cool and collected.

Here are a few simple things you can do to master your emotions.

# 1 Know your strengths – No one is good at everything.  Focus on what you are good at.

# 2 Know your weaknesses – Know what areas you are weak in and try to improve those areas or surround yourself with people who are good at things you aren’t good at.

# 3 Master your craft – Mastering your craft by becoming technically and tactically proficient is a great way to become confident.

# 4 Look at the problem from the outside in, rather than the inside out – Whenever you face a problem, step back and look at it with a fresh set of eyes.

# 5 Focus on solutions, not problems – Whenever you face an issue start thinking of ways to fix it.

# 6 Control your breathing – Learn how to breathe properly.

# 7 Speak with confidence – Speaking with confidence will build your own confidence.  Pay attention to how you walk, how you carry yourself, look at people, how you talk, your tone of voice, etc.

# 8 Become an optimist – Learning how to become optimistic is very powerful.

# 9 Think before you speak – Always pause before you speak.  It gives you time to think, come up with a response, and put your words in order.

#10 Accept that you are not perfect – Stop comparing yourself to everyone else and accept that you are unique and special.  All human beings are flawed.  No one is perfect.

Final Thoughts

The bottom line is that your Soldiers will look to you to be calm, cool and collected.  Just like a wife controls the climate or temperature of the family and home, the military leader controls the climate and temperature of their followers.  As a leader, it’s your job to find ways to stay calm, cool and collected at all times.  You can do that by mastering your emotions and by following the advice mentioned in this post.

What do you think about being calm, cool and collected?  What tips can you share with the rest of our community?  Just leave a comment below to share your thoughts.  I look forward to hearing from you.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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3 thoughts on “Being Calm, Cool and Collected: Leadership Tip for Army Leaders”

  1. There really is nothing more frustrating than trying to take direction from a leader who is rattled and nervous. When the leader starts looking to subordinates for calmness, the unit has a problem. Becoming an optimist is also important. Whether you are leading or following, attitude is everything. People won’t follow someone who is miserable and weak.

  2. I am in total agreement with this post.

    We can control the actions of others around us just by how we react to difficult situations. I have learned that when I have an issue with a company that when I call them losing my temper, I get nowhere. If I call and am cool, but strict, I gain respect and end up solving the issue quickly.

    I also am very happy you mentioned pausing before speaking. Sometimes it is so simple to just blurt out words which end up making a problem worse.

    Thank you for these reminders Chuck.

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