Today, we’re going to cover the eighth lesson I learned from the book Starship Troopers. This is the eighth lesson in the mini-series. If you haven’t read the previous post yet, please do so right now and try to follow it in order.
Lesson # 8: It’s not about you!
Quote: “…Your life belongs to your men and is not yours to throw away in a suicidal reach for glory… and that your life isn’t yours to save, either, if the situation requires that you expend it.”
My Take: What I get from this quite is “It’s not about you!” As a military leader, you should be a SERVANT leader. In other words, the people you lead do not work for you. YOU WORK FOR THEM! Your job is to ensure the mission gets done and do make sure that you do everything you possibly can to take care of your Soldiers. Most leaders have this completely backwards, especially as they move up through the ranks and get fancy titles and important duty assignments.
Your job as a leader is to get the mission done AND to take care of your Soldiers. Your job is to put your wants and needs on the back burner and make sure your Soldiers are getting taken care of.
And during combat there might come a time where you have to make a decision that COULD result in one of your Soldiers dying, or even you dying. What you have to realize is that it’s not your job to be a hero! It’s not your job to try and save your own ass at the expense of one of your troops. It’s not your job to try and go out and win some fancy medal! Your job is to LEAD your troops. Their safety, wants and needs should come first (right after getting the mission done). Once again, this is much easier said than done. Just remember that it’s not about you!
Don’t let your rank, power or duty position go to your head! You are NOT better than the troops you lead. And you are not more important than they are. Their job is not to spoon feed you and serve you. If you can be a mission first, soldiers always type of leader, you will be very successful. Stay grounded and remember that your troops are more important than you are. Without them, you wouldn’t have a job.
What are your thoughts? Leave a comment and let me know.