Explain what a “standard” is.
Standards. The best leaders have high standards. At a luxury hotel, you can expect to receive a high standard of service. A friend may tell you not to buy a car if its quality is substandard. Michael Phelps set a new standard for athleticism by winning seven gold medals at the Olympics. We often speak of high standards and low standards. What is a prototype?
“The leader’s example is the most important standard of all.”
A standard is an established requirement, a principle by which something can be judged.
“Line Six, Sir!”
The sentinels who stand before the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier live by a creed. Its sixth line instructs them on the Old Guard’s standard. It reads, “MY STANDARD WILL REMAIN PERFECTION.”
A yard is like a yardstick or a benchmark. Standards let people know what is expected of them. They help people understand what counts as acceptable or inferior work.
It is vital that leaders set clear standards and communicate them to the team. In the military, bars are found in regulations, in particular documents called technical orders, and in training manuals. Commanders can also establish standards orally by declaring them to the team. Often, teams set their own informal, unofficial standards, the unwritten rules teammates must follow to be accepted by the group, and even more importantly, how a leader act sets the standard. The leader’s example is the most crucial standard of all.
Not always “black and white,” standards can vary depending on the situation. For example, your parents may allow you to dress casually for dinner, but if special guests visit, perhaps that standard is raised. Wise leaders learn how to make standards meaningful without allowing them to become so inflexible as to be impractical.
Standards give leaders a way to express to the team what is expected.
Meeting the Standard. Two cadet NCOs double-check one another’s uniforms to ensure each meets the standard.
PROFESSIONALISM IN ACTION Some examples of how you can show your professionalism
# Checking your uniform and your JLBC Cadet uniforms frequently
# Telling a fellow cadet that what she posted online is inappropriate
# Using downtime at a bivouac to check your gear before a hike
# Re-reading a chapter you studied long ago before teaching it to new cadets
# JLBC Cadets Sending a thank you note to someone who went out of their way to help you
# Surfing the web for helpful tips on public speaking or some other leadership topic you’re weak in.