Doing something because you have to and because you want to are two different things. How do YOU as a leader best motivate your troops to WANT to follow you? For me, it is by being tough but fair. I have found that even though I am very demanding of my Soldiers, I have demonstrated to them that I am also fair and will fight for them. This has been the thing that has brought the most positive feedback from my Soldiers, past and present.
Posted >1 y ago
I was taught long ago, lead from the front, never ask your soldiers to do anything that you wouldn't do works much better than do it because I told you too, if you show them you are capable and willing to do the dirty jobs that you eventually task them to do, they will have more respect for you and be willing to do them without complaint. I would say this was probably true for about 90-95% of what I dealt with in my career.
I maintain a candid, open but professional relationship with my Soldiers. I am always "loving" anything that is going on...showing that I can smile through adversity. I take care of my troops, and I work hard for them. Due to this, they are invested in me as well and they seem to work hard to accomplish the tasks and missions that I assign. They know that I have their best interests in mind and they understand that if I am providing guidance, that it is because the mission needs it. They trust me and my leadership, so they trust what I put out. They also seem me out there working next to them when I can. They see me running my tail off in the office to take care of them. They know that they can pull me aside at any point and talk to me if they need help. They know that I there to help them, to lead them, and to take care of them....and they work hard to take care of me too.
That is one of the best things about the military: we can develop such a strong bond that we will go through hell to ensure that we succeed as a team and as individuals. Once you develop that cohesiveness, magic happens and amazing things take place. It is amazing to see what a team will accomplish when they are motivated and dedicated to the team.
Leading by example. Every time I PCS'd, withing the first week of taking over a new AO (motorpool), I would stay late/work over the weekend and rearrange and clean the entire office area myself. When the Soldiers came in on Monday I would explain that this is the new standard and I expect it to be maintained. Never had any issues.
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