. . . people need Good, Average, Leadership.
Good - biblical, humble, risk taking, passionate proclamation of the Good News of Jesus Christ. In other words - orthodoxy no matter what. It can't be man made it has to be God breathed.
Average - I don't need to be excellent, outstanding, or special. I need to saddle up and ride every day. I need to be there on the sunny days, and the dark days, I need to be where the hurt is and where the laughter is. I need to be huggable. Average is a daily thing and I think it is good.
Leadership - Passionate refusal to allow people to settle for whatever life throws at them. A constant desire to point to Jesus, and head in that direction. Nothing flamboyant, just is. Someone who speaks up even at the risk of being wrong. Sure you will take some shots. But you know what? I believe the folks in the pews, they deserve our risk taking. They deserve our best - because those folks are the Kingdom here on earth, they are children of the God most high. I have learned to love them and if you don't - you're not a leader. If they mistreat you - that's why there are pastors in the first place.
His excellent comments took me back 42 years to a hot Butler building (a corrugated steel "temporary" building of WWII vintage) classroom at Camp Upshur aboard Marine Corps Base, Quantico. As brand new officer candidates, 600 of us were introduced to the leadership principles and traits that nearly 200 years of Marine Corps combat experience had distilled into useable form.
Reading Bill's comments, I found that much of what he wrote was right on, rekindling my understanding that leadership is both instinctive and a teachable skill.
The Leadership Principles are:
KNOW YOURSELF AND SEEK SELF IMPROVEMENT
BE TECHNICALLY AND TACTICALLY PROFICIENT
DEVELOP A STRONG SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY AMONG YOUR SUBORDINATES
MAKE SOUND AND TIMELY DECISIONS
SET THE EXAMPLEs
KNOW YOUR MARINES AND LOOK OUT FOR THEIR WELFARE
KEEP YOUR MARINES INFORMED
SEEK RESPONSIBILITY AND TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR ACTIONS
ENSURE ASSIGNED TASKS ARE UNDERSTOOD, SUPERVISED, AND ACCOMPLISHED
TRAIN YOUR MARINES AS A TEAM
EMPLOY YOUR COMMAND IN ACCORDANCE WITH ITS CAPABILITIES
The Leadership Traits, posted as large sacrlet and gold signs in nearly every barracks and command post I have entered, are:
DEPENDABILITY -- the certainty of proper performance of duty.
BEARING -- creating a favorable impression in carriage, appearance and personalconduct at all times.
COURAGE -- the mental quality that recognizes fear of danger or criticism, but enables a man to proceed in the face of it with calmness and firmness.
DECISIVENESS -- ability to make decisions promptly and to announce them in clear, forceful manner.
ENDURANCE -- the mental and physical stamina measured by the ability to withstand pain, fatigue, stress and hardship.
ENTHUSIASM -- the display of sincere interest and exuberance in the performance of duty.
INITIATIVE -- taking action in the absence of orders.
INTEGRITY -- uprightness of character and soundness of moral principles; includes the qualities of truthfulness and honesty.
JUDGMENT -- the ability to weigh facts and possible solutions on which to base sound decisions.
JUSTICE -- giving reward and punishment according to merits of the case in question. the ability to administer a system of rewards and punishments impartially and consistently.
KNOWLEDGE -- understanding of a science or an art; the range of one's information, including professional knowledge and an understanding of your Marines.
TACT -- the ability to deal with others without creating offense.
UNSELFISHNESS -- avoidance of providing for one's own comfort and personal advancement at the expense of others.
LOYALTY -- the quality of faithfulness to Country, the Corps, the unit, to one's seniors, subordinates and peers.
I'll start with a minor semantic disagreement over Bill's use of the word "average.". He says, "I don't need to be excellent, outstanding, or special. I need to saddle up and ride every day. I need to be there on the sunny days, and the dark days, I need to be where the hurt is and where the laughter is. I need to be huggable. Average is a daily thing and I think it is good."
Hold on, there, Bayou! A leader cannot, by definition, be "average."
I think what Bill is saying is that a leader need not -- cannot -- be "elitist." Leadership is not limited to only those few fortunates who are "naturals" at it. With proper desire and some training, almost anyone can become an effective leader. Generations of officers of Marines have been trained to be leaders. Sergeants and Corporals, the backbone of the Corps, are trained and become leaders.
Look at Bill's working definition, and we see that he is describing a person who is far from average in the popular sense of the word. Using his definition, a leader is one who works to be ready for whatever task comes down the pike, who shows up, day in and day out, rain or shine, who is dependable and caring. The leader is not afraid of hurt and is able to give both hugs and kicks in the rear when needed. It is, indeed, ". . .a daily thing."
One of the traits of leaders that I have observed is that they groom and train the next generation of leaders. So potential leaders need not be afraid to assume their tasks simply because they are "only average."
Tomorrow, we will see how both match up with what Bill has written.