What is the # 1 quality of military leaders? Before I answer that question, you should know that good military leaders have many different qualities. After all, everyone has different personalities, experiences and strengths. Some of the common qualities of good military leaders that come to mind include:
1) The Ability to Motivate Others – Leaders have to get things done through other people. They have to motivate their Soldiers to take tough missions, sometimes even risking their life in the process.
2) Tactically and Technically Proficient – Good leaders know their technical job, they are great tacticians, and they can lead their Soldiers in combat. Simply put, they are masters at their craft.
3) Compassionate – A good leader has to have compassion. Some people call this empathy. Good leaders can think of things from the other person’s perspective. They know that no one is perfect and they must be understanding of other people’s shortcomings.
4) Calm, Cool and Collected – A good leader is poised, not a hot head. When the crap hits the fan, Soldiers look to their leaders for confidence. Good leaders are at their best in high stress situations.
5) Mission Focused – Good leaders care about their people, but they always place the mission first. Getting the mission done and done right the first time around is always the top priority.
6) Integrity – Good leaders are a person of their word. They do what they say and say what they do. If they say they’re going to do something they do it!
7) Hard Working – The best leaders put in the long hours. They are the first ones there and the last ones to leave. They set a strong personal work ethic for others to follow.
As I evaluate the qualities of the best military leaders I know personally, there is one quality that really sticks out in all of them. That quality is the ability to get things done. You can have all the other qualities mentioned above, but if you can’t produce results, you will never be a great military leader.
The best leaders are doers. They are the mavericks. They are the guys and gals who can accomplish any mission, even if they are under-manned and under-equipped. They just find a way to get things done. You can give them a task without any guidance and they still figure things out. They have initiative and a burning desire to succeed.
I learned this “Just get it done” mentality from my old Battalion Commander. He taught me that results mean everything. Effort is important, but at the end of the day, did you get the job done, done right and done on time? As I’ve grown and matured through the years, this lesson becomes even more apparent to me now.
My best advice to you is to become the person who can get things done. Become the person that other leaders want on their team because you constantly produce big results. Join the varsity squad, the A-Team. If you can learn to do that, you will progress through the ranks quickly and you will have a very successful military career.
This doesn’t mean you always have to do 100% of the work yourself. In fact, you shouldn’t do that. Delegating tasks and empowering others is a very important part of your job. But ultimately the buck stops with you when it comes to the responsibility of getting the work done.
If you really want to improve (or just evaluate yourself) in this area, here are a few questions you can ask yourself.
1. Do I always get the job done right and on time?
2. Does my boss see me as a producer?
3. Am I mission focused all the time?
4. Do I always give 100%?
5. Do I treat every mission with high importance?
6. Do I take pride in everything I do?
7. Do I do more than I am asked and more than I am paid for?
The answers to these questions will give you good insights in areas where you can improve, so you can become a better military leader.
The bottom line is that best military leaders get things done. They are reliable and accountable. They produce. They’re the person you want in charge when you have an important mission, limited resources and a short deadline.
What are your thoughts? What do you think the # 1 quality is in a great military leader? Leave a response and let us know. I look forward to hearing from you. If you have any questions, you can ask them here too. Thanks for visiting.