There are EIGHT traits that are well known to current military philosophy:
Dependability is a key characteristic required from day 1. When you say you are going to do something, you are expected to follow through all the way to the end, whether the task is simple or complex. You will need trained to figure it out, or use others to gain necessary input, and only seek guidance from senior persons once you have exhausted all other resources and need their expertise to complete the task.
But “simple” to military can be “complex” to others. If an
appointment is made two weeks from now, a phone call is not
necessary to remind you or re-confirm whether or not the
appointment is still valid. You will show up on time at the
specified location. If something changes, you will call to
let the person know. You will never not show without proper
It’s a big deal to lie in the military. A favorite saying is “When you lie, people die.” You must take full responsibility for your actions, and if wrong, you will prefer to suffer the consequences of being wrong than lie and be caught.
People outside of the military don’t have as many severe consequences for being untruthful, so a “little white lie” that may seem harmless to others is not little to you.
Military personnel are conditioned to make decisions quickly. When decision-making in a two-minute time frame determines whether or not someone lives or dies, you must use experience, gut and intuition.
There is rarely a time that 100% of the information will be available to make a decision, so you will need to use what you have, make the decision and then “make it right.” You won't be afraid to make decisions and then make corrections along the way if you encounter unforeseen challenges.
4. Looking Out for Others
You will uplift the weakest point in the chain because you cannot afford for the chain to be broken. You arel about accomplishing the mission at hand and know that it can’t be done alone — it’s all for one and one for all.
Without request, you will step up to help others because you are for the mission and not personal gain. If your colleague looks bad, it’s a negative reflection on the team; and you are more than willing to go the extra mile to help fill in the gap.
You will seek additional tasking, go above and beyond, and complete tasks with haste and minimal guidance or direction from our seniors. If you are clear on the task, you will drive it all the way home and surpass expectations.
You can be counted on to complete complex tasks. Military members love a good challenge; the more challenging, the better. But “challenging” is relative, as most of your missions require a different mindset and skill set than that of your civilian counterparts.
What may take a civilian four months to do can be done in four days by a military member.
7. Professional Presence
Grooming standards are very important to military members. Clean-cut, neat hair, clothes ironed, shoes polished. You give eye contact when you talk to people, walk with great posture, remain aware of your surroundings and greet others in passing.
These are all elements that contribute to a professional appearance and presence.
Most military members move every two to four years, depending on their rank and desire for upward mobility. You will be well-traveled and exposed to different cultures.
You either WIN or LOSE
Leaders examine mistakes and setbacks as opportunities to
learn. Mistakes prompt leaders to look inward and think
about your limitations. By studying patterns of behavior,
leaders recognize and correct behavior that repeatedly
results in mistakes, miscalculations, or the misreading of a
Successful leaders are proactive and lead with confidence and authority. They turn tough circumstances into prime opportunities to demonstrate their decisive capabilities and take responsibility for difficult decision making.
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Successful leaders are sure to engage and maintain audience attention in high-stakes meetings and discussions, and they do not avoid conflicts and differences of opinion. When facing a tough decision, courageous leaders consider the alternatives, identify and confront risks, and prepare to deal with other people’s reactions - they Look for an opportunity to share feelings and opinions with clarity and conviction, despite any resistance they may experience.
Successful leaders differentiate between being assertive and being aggressive.
Assertive leaders are effective because they look for win-win solutions and show respect for others (even when they disagree).
Innovative leaders scored higher when it comes to seizing opportunities. They are proactive and take initiative and ownership for success. These leaders anticipate potential obstacles before taking action, but avoid over-analysis. They push for personal performance and are able to work independently for extended periods of time with minimal support. They are also able to change directions quickly to take advantage of new opportunities when they come up.
Research shows that innovative leaders score higher when it comes to maintaining a strategic perspective. These leaders demonstrate a keen understanding of trends and their implications.
There is one competency where innovative leaders perform more poorly than less innovative leaders — maintaining order and accuracy. For this reason, organizations need to supplement innovation initiatives with people who are strong in project management, or provide tools and training to help the innovators manage the details more effectively.
Data indicates four subsets of leaders. Leaders with “driving styles” were the most likely to be innovative because they are willing to chart their own course and to stand alone in developing a creative, fresh approach to a product or service. People with “impacting styles” are also likely to drive innovation through their ability to convince and persuade others toward a new way of thinking. On the other hand, “supporting” and “contemplative” individuals tend not to be innovative leaders. They need more organizational encouragement and structure to help them bring their out-of-the-box ideas to the table.
Research suggests that the most innovative leaders do not ignore risks – they manage them. These leaders anticipate what can go wrong without getting boxed in. They’re curious, and they seize on clear opportunities, balancing exploration with being opportunistic. The leaders who are most likely to lead innovation are driving, high-impact individuals, who aren’t afraid to be assertive, independent, and above all, curious.