This is part two of a 2-part post on the 14 leadership traits of the Marine Corps, and how they can apply to your business. You can find Part 1 here.
I was born with bearing. God just knitted this one into my personality. When I was a PFC (private first class), I had duty for the first time. This meant that I stayed up all night manning a post in the barracks. I was part of a 3-man team. This was my first time “on-duty,” and I made a mistake.
I let a female Marine into her boyfriend’s room allowing her to catch him with another woman. Chaos ensued, and first thing Monday morning, I was in front of the Company Gunny at the POA (position of attention). I would classify that butt-chewing in the epic category. Yet I stood there unflinching.
That Gunny loved me from there on out. For the next year, he would pull me in his office, shut the door, and have me take a seat. He would then give me a tongue lashing while smiling at me. He believed this tactic struck fear into the other students at that school.
Here are the final 7 leadership traits of which one is bearing.
The 14 Leadership Traits of the Marine Corps – Part 2
8. Endurance – I love this quote from Marine.com regarding endurance. ”It is impossible to lead from the front when you are falling behind.” Endurance is seeing things through to the end. In the context of battle, endurance refers to a mental and physical willingness to press on – beyond what is believed possible. In your business and mine, endurance is not only going the extra mile, but convincing your team to do the same. Does your company typify going the extra mile?
9. Bearing – Bearing is the ability to keep your cool – and professionalism – in the face of extreme stress. Bearing in business is the ability to take a tongue lashing from a client, say thank you, and continue to work towards the client’s best interest. That is true professionalism, and I hope it describes you!
10. Unselfishness – The trait of unselfishness describes the team-first ethos of the Corps. It is a part of the DNA of Marines to put the warrior to the right and left above himself. In business, this looks like servant leadership and client-first decision-making. Servant leadership is the idea the leader serves the team trying to make them successful. In so doing, the leader succeeds. Client-first decision-making is when the client’s interests always win out. This is a huge problem due to the opaque nature of Commercial Real Estate. Brokers often serve their own interests over their clients. What about your company?
11. Courage – When you think of courage, you often think of Maximus in the movie Gladiator or William Wallace in Braveheart. These characters showed courage on the battlefield. Courage is much more that this, however. Courage is having the fortitude to do the right thing when there will be adverse consequences. The easy path rarely has a sign that says, “The Right Thing for the Right Reasons.” Only the person with moral courage will travel that path. Will you?
12. Knowledge – Knowledge is about personal growth – consistent daily growth. Know more than you did yesterday. Have a better grasp on your market. Know who owns that building – and that one. ”Without knowledge, judgment is reduced to intuition; decision-making becomes nothing more than a guess.” Are you guessing?
13. Loyalty – Loyalty is an unyielding commitment to others. In the Corps, this is mostly felt towards the Marines in your fire-team, squad, or platoon. In the eight years I’ve been back in the civilian world, this is the trait I see lacking the most. Companies are not loyal to their employees. Employees will take a better offer without batting an eye. Fathers bail on their families. The world needs more loyalty. Why don’t you let it start with you?
14. Enthusiasm – Passion! I believe that God created us all with a unique skill set and purpose. I do not believe that we can do anything that we put our minds to. I believe that we can truly excel when we find our sweet spot. That is where passion explodes. I remember in boot camp being able to pick out the recruits that I thought would be career Marines. They had found their sweet-spot, and they knew it.
So there are the 14 leadership traits of the Marine Corps. I challenge you to evaluate your business in light of these time-tested principles.
What other leadership traits would you add to this list?