When the going gets tough for a leader who can teach us more about leadership than our nation’s military commanders?
That’s the premise of William A. Cohen, PH,D. and retired Major General of the US Air Force as revealed in The Stuff of Heroes — The Eight Universal Laws Of Leadership.
Dr. Cohen has learned that military leaders invariably used eight basic principles from their battlefield experience to achieve extraordinary success in their business careers. The laws and strategies to implement them:
1. Maintain absolute integrity — keep your word, choose the harder right over the easier wrong, guard your principles and do the right thing.
2. Know your stuff – know your people, learn from the bottom up, learn from every experience, learn from your subordinates and never stop learning.
3. Declare your expectations — get your expectations clear, make your expectations compelling, develop a plan, promote your expectations and implement your plan, listen to feedback and adjust your strategy and be faithful to your expectations.
4. Show uncommon commitment — meet with your followers face-to-face, make a public commitment, keep going when the going gets rough, when the situation is impossible, think outside the box and accept the risk that goes with commitment.
5. Expect positive results — develop your self-confidence, become a positive thinker, visualize the results you want to achieve and maintain your enthusiasm.
6. Take care of your people — be the leader when things go wrong, give their needs priority, really care, take responsibility and share the gain.
7. Put duty before yourself — focus on the mission, rejoice in the success of others, consider yourself last, share the plan and demonstrate high moral courage.
8. Get out in front — go where the action is, set the example, be willing to do anything you ask your people to do, take charge and be an up-front leader.
Dr. Cohen’s book is full of entertaining quotations. I’ve always enjoyed this one by Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.
“if you want an army to fight and risk death, you’ve got to get out there and lead. An army is like spaghetti. You can’t push a piece of spaghetti you’ve got to pull it.”
What laws direct your leadership of your team, family and client relationships? And how are you pulling your spaghetti?
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