Taking care of Soldiers
Your key challenge in a leadership position is taking care of the Soldiers entrusted to your care. Soldiers are our nation’s most important military asset. The Leader who sends the message that Soldiers don’t really matter will generally not be as successful in the long-run as the Leader who is genuinely serious about taking care of his/her Soldiers. Soldiers want to know they will be taken care of. The Army Values and attributes of LDRSHIP are taught by Drill Sergeants to all our Soldiers. These values should be reinforced at every training event. The LDRSHIP training is based on core American Values. These values say those at the top look out for those at the bottom. Using this same basic American value, unit leaders are tasked with having the responsibility for those they lead. This responsibility extends to three areas: work, home, and life.
When a Leader takes care of his Soldiers he sends a clear message, “I care about you, I respect you and I want you to be OK”. In response Leaders gain increased loyalty from Soldiers based on mutual respect. The thought process for the Soldier goes like this, “If I know you care about me, I will care about you and what you want done. However, if you don’t care about me then I will not care about you and I certainly will not care about what you are trying to accomplish nor will I work very hard to help you accomplish it.” With respect Soldiers will go out of their way for you. Without respect they will make sure that your important work always ends up at the bottom of the stack.
Your challenge as a Leader is to adhere to this fundamental principle; that you must find ways to take care of your Soldiers. Do not lower your standards. It is not acceptable to encourage poor performance. In fact, the Leader who overlooks poor performance is compromising his/her integrity. Leaders should treat Soldiers as adults and expect the best from them. Leaders should work to give Soldiers the...
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