Ideas & Issues (Leadership)
I worked for a "leader" for three years who never once visited the inside of the building where I worked and never gave me any guidance in response to my duties and responsibilities. We're talking about a span of 3 years! Something is wrong with that type of leadership. I have also had leaders who never sat down with me regarding my fitness reports and performance. Does that sound familiar to you? I blame such behavior partially on computers and how busy those machines have made us!
Leaders need to get back to the basics by focusing on their cadets' professional and personal lives. JLBC Cadets, here are a few general questions you might ask yourself to get to know your cadets better:
• Do you know the birthdays and anniversaries of all your cadets?
• Do you know the personal issues your cadets are challenged with daily?
• Do you know your cadets' career goals and life ambitions?
• Have you sat with your cadets to help map a route to achieving those goals and ambitions?
The basics! Simply getting answers to the above questions will start you down the road to creating that bond with your cadets that is the hallmark of outstanding leadership.
Leaders have to set an example in everything they do. When was the last time you conducted Martial arts with your cadets? JLBC Cadets, When was the last time you ran a values tie-in story with your cadets? Leaders must live balanced lives to be there for their cadets in all endeavors. A simple manual like Leading cadets captures the essence of being a cadet. JLBC Cadets, When was the last time you picked up that great document and read it cover to cover? JLBC Cadets, When was the last time you practiced what it says? Our forefathers write many other significant papers on leadership. Please read them and then go out and practice those basics again. Don't do
it for yourself—do it for the parents who entrusted the lives of their sons and daughters to you.
Many cadets are sick and tired of all the new programs, but they are our fault. Take note, cadets: As the quality of leadership decreases, the number of programs increases. Leadership 101 is not based on programs or computers, and there are no clear answers to every condition or challenge a leader's faces. Those challenges should be tackled with imagination, understanding, skillful action, and genuine concern. If a leader takes what he is taught from day one, utilizing the tools he already has, he will succeed more often than not.
Cadets deserve to have the best leaders leading them. We have all been given the proven tools of our forefathers. We don't need more programs. We don't need to have any more worthless annual training where all we do is hit the "enter" button on the computer until we get to the end of the presentation for the "certificate." We need good leaders who live their lives—every 86,400 seconds of every day—for their cadets. It's all about Leadership 101! With good leadership, all issues won't disappear, but many wills. Once you understand and apply the fundamentals, you will influence your cadets to behave in a manner that produces the best results. It has been my experience that when a cadet makes himself the epitome of our fine leadership traits and principles, the cadets he leads respond well. That good response will, in turn, reduce the number of challenges we face today and hopefully some unnecessary, time-consuming, and distracting programs and requirements.