Lesson # 16 from Starship Troopers

Today, we’re going to cover the sixteenth lesson I learned from the book Starship Troopers. This is the sixteenth 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 # 16: We are a Product of Our Environment

Quote: “Man has no moral instinct. He is not born with moral sense. You were not born with it, I was not – and a puppy has none. We acquire moral sense, when we do, through training, experience, and hard sweat of the mind.”

starship troopers bookMy Take: We are all a product of our environment.  No one is born a criminal.  No one is born a great leader.  We become who we are based off a variety of factors such as environment, mentors, friends, family members, upbringing and personal choices.  If you have children, you understand the importance of who your kids hang out with.  You know that if they hang out with the wrong crowd, they could end up as part of the wrong crowd.

Every Soldier goes through the same Basic Training.  Yes, there are different locations and different instructors, but the curriculum is the same.  Yet, some Soldiers end up bad and some end up good.  Why is that?  Because there are a variety of factors that ultimately determine who we are.

One of the best things you can do as a leader is to create a winning environment.  Create an atmosphere where people are part of something bigger than themselves.  Create an atmosphere where people are PROUD to be part of the team.  Create an atmosphere where no one wants to leave and everyone wants to join.  Do that and you will bring out the best in your soldiers and help them reach their true potential.

I’ve seen great leaders take a bunch of bad news bears soldiers and turn them into proud, disciplined warriors.  And I’ve seen the opposite too. I’ve seen bad leaders ruin an entire unit of good soldiers.  Haven’t you?

The bottom line is this: we are all a product of our environment.  One of the best things you can do as a leader is a create an environment where people can win, where people can excel and where they can learn and develop their potential.  Are you doing that?

What are your thoughts? Leave a comment and let me know.

3 thoughts on “Lesson # 16 from Starship Troopers”

  1. Faith A. Coleman

    Of course it makes sense for any leader to strive to ceate the most productive, moral, sane, respectful environment possible. It’s a shame that people are fallible. That people turn out differently although raised in the same environment. How do we identify only the leaders who will create optimal environments? Will all the subjects be willing to fall into what the leader is saying is good for them? How do those leaders get to be those leaders. Can people change. Colin Powell and Malcolm X came from similar environments. Why are they so different. Who should we follow. Who gets to decide what are the “right” values and productive environment?

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