The Qualities of a Great Military Leader

It doesn’t take the most strenuous efforts to be an effective leader and take care of your troops and gain respect from them. If you feel that at times you’ve not been so fair or you feel like you’ve been too fair/lenient, you’re already making positive steps right now towards becoming the leader you want to be, whether you’ve just sewn on a new stripe or you’re high ranking and struggling. This is a good thing, as you will learn how easy it is to grow into a positive leadership role that everyone respects. There are many points that factor into earning everyone’s trust and being a supportive and reliable role model.

Be Kind and Welcoming, but Set Boundaries

The first step and the best quality of all is to be kind. Whether you are the shop lead or the new troop, mutual respect and kindness towards each other will always make the work environment more comfortable and less rigid. Unless the new troop is terrible and unmotivated, but that’s a different story. Everyone is nervous around the boss. If you are the boss, ease that stress for the people who work so hard for you and pull in those extra hours just to help you out. Have you ever shrugged that off or forgotten to say thank you every now and then?

Your first quality is as easy as that – a simple thank you or a handshake. You don’t have to praise everyone who works or stays longer – especially if they are new and learning. They should want to stay and learn. But as the highest ranking person, you need to acknowledge that they have willingly done this without a fit and you can take a few moments to thank each person for their genuine work when they do really well. Take the time to get to know the people you work with and form some sort of bond with them. Without their good work, your job would be harder with more paperwork to hand out. You can easily do this with shop or squadron family BBQ’s.

Be Confident in Yourself

This quality should not be taken to a level of narcissism. Being confident in yourself as a leader has nothing to do with how high you hold your head and how perfectly ironed your uniform is. Being a confident leader means knowing that you hold yourself accountable for your business, whether it be big or small. Everyone has days that feel impossible and confidence is at an all-time low, but you can push past this just like everyone else does.

Having self confidence in your work place can rub off on to everyone else. It means having a positive attitude and a smile on your face that says “we can do this, together.” The more confident you are at speaking clearly and with positivity to your employees, the more benefits you will reap from having a happy work environment. Having self-confidence and a proud look on your face when everyone sees you will not only give you confidence, but it will help everyone else achieve theirs. Just because you are higher ranking than everyone else- get out there and get your hands dirty and teach someone from time to time. It’s very respectable.

Communicate Clearly and Effectively

LeaderOrdering people around while you have your feet up on your nice desk is not how this should be done, unless your workers are being terrible. If this is how you go about taking care of your people, you need to stop immediately. Your workers don’t see you as a leader at this point, they see you as the cold boss with his own office and the blinds down all day. People are too nervous to knock on your door. If this is you, then it’s time for a change of pace. If you are old school military, then this might be common for you. But the days have changed, and unfortunately a lot of higher ranking people can’t use fear as a tactic to get the others working harder. People complain- a lot.

The last thing you want to do if you’re trying to be a leader and role model is shut yourself away and order people to do things through emails. Becoming involved and proactive with the people who work for you will help better yourself and make you way happier in the long run. It will make your workers strive to be like you; a well-spoken and confident leader with many positive traits. It’s not difficult to hold group meetings and explain in confidence what needs to be done, or what jobs need to be assigned to each person.

Become involved and talk to everyone on a daily basis. Ask them how their work is coming along and tell them to keep up the good work if they are doing so. If someone is falling behind or not doing their job correctly, take a moment to calmly pull them aside, look them in the eye, and tell them what you expect in a respectful tone. Remember; you want to lead them in the right direction and not force them.

Make Honesty a Key Value

Simply put, you are a reflection of your workers, and your workers are a reflection of you. If you want to be a successful leader, being honest and open is what you should strive for. You are responsible for them and the mistakes they make, and your honesty with them will give you the gift of them being honest back and not making excuses for everything.

Take a few hours to meet up with everyone, and go over what everyone thinks are the best core values that not only represent you and your team, but your business as well. Listen to what they have to say, and actually think about it. Let everyone (including you) make a list of what will keep the shop a comfortable and helpful space. Everyone putting in an honest idea will help people open up, and be honest with you about everything. Make a sign out of it, keep it written somewhere noticeable for everyone to see. This will always be a reminder that work is a place of honesty and respect.

It’s the Little Things that Make a Great Leader

Be yourself-you don’t have to put on a charade to please the people who work for you, nor should you be cold, distant, and uncommunicative. All it takes is a little tweaking in the way you talk to your employees, and keep them motivated to strive for the best. Becoming a positive leader will enable the people who work for you to want to be in your position someday, and work harder. You want to make them happy to come to work and be a part of your business, and only you hold the power to make this possible.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Natalie Applegate

Natalie Applegate

Natalie is a freelance writer working for multiple websites and is a devoted military spouse to an aircraft electrician. She started in New Mexico then moved to Okinawa for six years, stationed on Kadena where she began her writing career. A mental health awareness activist, she has spent much of her time volunteering with combat vets and writing their stories.
Natalie Applegate
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  1. That is why it is Imperative that the Commander and Chief of this Great Nation have a background Military Leadership and not Management. Anyone can be a Manager, not everyone can be a Leader.

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