Today, we’re going to cover the fifteenth lesson I learned from the book Starship Troopers. This is the fifteenth lesson in the 17-lesson mini-series. If you haven’t read the previous post yet, please do so right now and try to follow it in order.
Lesson # 15: Leaders Must be Confident and Poised at All Times
Quote: “Officers are supposed to look relaxed son. An officer can’t look scared or tense; it’s contagious.”
My Take: One of the most important jobs a leader has is to lead by example and instill confidence in their Soldiers. When the bullets start flying, a leader must be at their best. While the quote focused on officers, I believe it also applies to NCOs. Just like a woman controls the emotions in a home, an Officer is expected to control the emotions of his Soldiers. And the best way to do that is to set a good example.
The best leaders I’ve ever served with had the ability to stay calm and poised, no matter the situation. Even when everything was stacked against them, they remained calm, confident and poised. They remained OBJECTIVE. As a result, their Soldiers stayed calm and things turned out okay. On the other hand, I’ve also worked with some folks who were like an emotional roller coaster. When things were great they were calm and relaxed, but when things went sour they were an emotional wreck.
You have to realize that your Soldiers will do what you do and act how you do. If you are confident, they will be confident. If you act scared, they will be scared. They look to you for leadership and advice when things go haywire. And however you react, they will react. Never forget that. So do what you can to learn how to master your emotions. Get grounded. Stop letting a situation dictate your emotions. Learn to relax, be confident and be poised at ALL times.
I understand it’s much easier said than done, but it is very important to learn how to master your emotions. Here a few tips for success:
- Be confident in your abilities as a leader
- Be technically and tactically proficient
- Learn how to look at a situation objectively
- Evaluate the facts and make a decision
- Whenever you give an order, be confident about it
- If necessary, hide or mask your emotions
- If you need to worry about something, worry for two minutes and then be done with it!
The bottom line is that LEADERS set the emotional tone in their organization. So if you lead others, you need to be confident and poised at all times, especially when shit hits the fan.
What are your thoughts? Leave a comment and let me know.