Marine Corps Leadership Lessons
What leadership lessons does one of the world's most effective and adaptable fighting forces have to teach us?
When I visited the Marine Corps (MC) museum recently, I was moved by their powerful culture of leadership and teamwork. Though many leaders are never on an actual battlefield with their people, there is much we can learn from those that train for and serve there. The MC motto “Semper Fi” or “Always Faithful” is well known but what does it mean for a leader and the team? Let’s take a closer look at the lessons they have to share…
MC Enduring Principles:
1) Marines are ready, relevant, and forward deployed.
2) Marines are innovative, adaptable, and versatile; Marines win.
3) Marines do what is right for the Nation.
4) Marines keep their honor clean.
5) Marines take care of their own.
MC Institutional Ethos:
1) Physical and moral courage
2) Ethical warriors – steeped in core values
3) Small unit leaders biased for action, trusted, accountable
As leaders, do we ensure that our people are prepared and know how they fit into a larger purpose? Do we promote innovation and flexibility so they are successful in dynamic situations? Do we act with integrity and aligned with core values? Do we see them as whole persons that we connect and care for on a human level? Are we models of courage and ethics? Do we empower our people, reward them for action, and hold them accountable for results?
What are the 14 leadership traits that the Marine’s aspire to exhibit? They are: Justice, Judgment, Dependability, Initiative, Decisiveness,Tact, Integrity, Enthusiasm, Bearing, Unselfishness, Courage, Knowledge, Loyalty, and Endurance.
Do our people see us demonstrate these traits? There is much we can learn from the Marines and aspire to demonstrate in our leadership.