From fighting alien invasions to putting underground terrorist groups to waste – US Marines have continued to prove their mettle through real-life incidents and the celebrated Hollywood blockbusters based on their incorrigible feats.
Actions fans worldwide would agree - they truly are the real-life Avengers! And yet, their reel-life image cannot hold a candle to their real-life prowess and strength.It is as they say, -
"Once a marine, always a marine."
Being a marine is more than a designation. It is a lifestyle, a mindset, an innate warrior mindset ingrained in every member of the corp.
Honour, Courage, and Commitment are the three values that act as the North Star for every marine - whether on the field or off the field. This is because the discipline ingrained during the training and on the field stays with them, throughout their lives.
But what does a US Marine have to do with organizational leaders?
For leaders who bring about unprecedented transformation across their ranks, there can’t be a better or more inspiring example than that of a US Marine.
The unyielding and undefeated mindset of a true leader is a Marines’ ultimate gift.
Numerous leadership development books and methodologies continue to be inspired by the lives and feats of these fearless warriors. And, rightfully so. The resilience, discipline, courage, and perseverance that a marine inspires remains unparalleled!
So, what are the leadership values that these brave leaders live and breathe that can teach a leader looking to elevate himself and his team?
Honour & Courage
No matter what the stakes might be, for a marine, the most important thing is to uphold his honour. And so it should also be for the leader of a team. A leader’s actions can inspire confidence or bring down the morale of the entire team.
US Marines live by the code of honour, and ratify human dignity above everything else. This quality allows them to command respect among their squad members. Often faced with life-threatening situations, honour is what makes the difference between a proud victory and dead soldiers.
Similarly, for a leader of any organization, honour is necessary for inspiring confidence, trust, and respect from his team members. Their decisions will have more value and his actions would be reflected in his team’s overall effectiveness.
It goes without saying that a member of the US Marines Corp has to be fearless. However, the difference lies in the very definition of the word. For Marines, fearlessness isn’t the absence of fear, but rather, the ability to face their fears.
Unyielding and unforgiving, their training prepares the Marines for anything and everything. Thus, even in the face of the most horrifying adversities, they don’t hesitate to take charge.
For a leader of an organization, a similar mindset is of the essence. A leader looking to transform his team needs to undertake unconventional and bold decisions. Also, when faced with tough situations – only a courageous leader can lead their teams forward.
Perhaps, a leader’s biggest responsibility is to inspire their teams to give their best every time and get better with each step. This can only be done with ease when they lead by example. A leader taking on a difficult situation with poise, courage, and optimism will inadvertently inspire his team to do the same.
Each and every member of the US Marines force is absolutely committed to his unit, his team, and his country. This commitment to their cause is perhaps only matched by their determination to persevere.
Similarly, a transformational leader can be defined by his commitment to his vision. And this vision cannot be limited to just the organization’s success, but also to the overall growth of the entire team. Being open to calculated risks, innovation, and nurturing a growth mindset are just a few examples of how a leader can display his commitment to his team’s success.
An inspirational leader also marches to the drum of his personal values. These values may not be written in stone, but through his actions and decisions, a leader can live as if they were. This habit of staying true to their values and words is bound to inspire the rest of the team members to follow suit.
For a US Marine, effective communication can make the difference between life and death. Often caught up in the direst of situations, concise and effective communication is of extreme importance to the Marines. A slight error in the message could result in the death of innumerable troops.
Similarly, for a leader, efficient communication is an irreplaceable tool. With refined communication skills, a leader can enable tricky negotiations and difficult conversations with the ease of a swan.
Also, for a leader looking to inspire his team to work towards a shared vision, it is important that the vision is clear to everyone. Thus, communication plays an irreplaceable role in a leader’s life.
Quick Decision Making
Marines live their lives on the edge. An existence where every second counts and delay cannot be allowed. Even life and death decisions are made with lightning speed. This means that every single member of the team needs to be adept at making quick, yet carefully calculated decisions. These decisions can, and often do, make the difference between life and death. Thus, thinking on their feet becomes second nature to them. And the ability to assess a situation effectively is a skill they develop after employing years of Ruthless practice.
For organizational leaders, similar skills are required. In the unpredictable VUCA world, market conditions change in the blink of an eye. And leaders also need to adapt their decisions just as quickly. Thus, agile decision-making is of extreme importance to any leader’s growth.
Leading a corporate setup requires both personal and professional growth. And growth is not an overnight phenomenon. It requires a unique and targeted leadership development programme.
From leadership development training to soft skills development - At Team Builders India, we truly do believe in helping teams reach their full potential. From empowering leadership development sessions, and insightful college to corporate sessions to highly engaging and absolutely immersive team-building experiences - both physical and virtual, we have something for everyone!