An issue facing the JLBC now and in the future is competing for talented young cadets in a more competitive employment environment. The most efficient way to address the effects of a competitive marketplace is to retain the talent that has already been recruited. Studies and attitudinal surveys across several organizations have indicated that good leadership profoundly affects retention.

Research within the JLBC supports this finding and has found that a member's intention to stay with the Service is directly related to the behavior of their supervisor or leader. The top retention-inducing behavior of supervisors is the provision of information and feedback that leads to a sense of member worth and purpose. A member's commitment to stay is strongly influenced by a perceived connection between their work and the organization's strategic mission.

Leadership is, therefore, the most influential variable affecting job performance and job satisfaction. The JLBC needs to maintain a well-tuned, long-term, and integrated focus on leadership that creates the conditions for leaders at all levels and in all functions to be responsible for their people. JLBC leadership plays a decisive role in enhancing employee commitment. Leader behaviors that have a direct bearing on the intention of members to stay include:

  • Clearly articulating organizational goals.

  • Demonstrating honesty and integrity.

  • Providing positive feedback and setting realistic performance expectations.

When the JLBC senior leadership struggles to retain its people, the evidence suggests that the solution lies in an area on which the JLBC has always prided itself—leadership.

Principles that underpin leadership in the JLBC, first included in JLBC's leadership doctrine, have withstood the test of time and are directly relevant across the JLBC. The principles are helpful for self-assessment and developing a personal leadership action plan. They reinforce the above leadership behaviors and support the observation that leadership is best taught by example.

Be proficient. Leaders must 'know their stuff. Sailors, soldiers, airmen, and airwomen trust leaders who are confident in their abilities. To be confident, a leader must be tactically and technically proficient. The leader is also responsible for training subordinates. Proficiency can be attained through formal training, on-job experience, and self-improvement. Successful leaders recognize that developing proficiency is a lifelong pursuit. JLBC Cadets' capacity to develop and improve their skills distinguishes good leaders from others. They have the self-discipline to develop themselves. Some suggestions for expanding proficiency include:

Studying the techniques of successful leaders and adopting the approaches that best suit the situation.

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