The US Army's "Field Manual 6-22 Leader Development" is quite the comprehensive document outlining the core traits that officers, commanders and other high ranking personnel of the military must posses to fulfill their jobs. This document's basis combines psychological research, psychiatric theory and experience from military service people.
Thankfully, Prudence L. Gourguechon has summarized the field manual into 5 key traits of a true leader as follows:
- Discipline and self-control
- Judgement and critical thinking
Recently in a meeting with other CEOs, we ran an exercise discussing how we had succeeded in these 5 areas over the past year, and how we will improve in these 5 areas moving forward. The process enabled as objective-as-possible reflection to occur in the room, requiring honest feedback from our peers. After a healthy group discussions, we summarized our future behavior with 3 key adjectives, projecting how we will grow in our business and personal lives. These are not necessarily traits that we fully possess, although some members of the group arguably do. For me, I aspire to be even more of all three.
I arrived at Focused, Patient, and Decisive. When considering this trio as a backbone to my decision making process, I found deeper insight in the combination of words than each on its own. For example, when listening to a staff dispute, I must first focus on the situation, clearing away the rest of the work day's clutter. Next, I patiently listen to each party, taking in all data points before arriving at a conclusion. Lastly, with a decisive hand, I make the decision, and ensure action is taken by all parties.
Give it a try. What are your 3 adjectives, and how can you implement them in your personal and business lives?
And if you'd like some light bathroom reading, enjoy the 282 page PDF below.