My father was an officer in the U.S. Air Force, which automatically made me a military brat. I enjoyed moving every four or five years from one side of the country to the other, and I was privileged to have a behind-the-scenes view of the remarkable aircraft that my father was responsible for. And I learned a deep and abiding respect for the men and women who have dedicated their lives to serving our country and--and for the leadership qualities that they bring to the table.
As the daughter of a Marine officer, Colonel Jill Morgenthaler was drawn to a career in the military, but when she joined the U.S. Army in 1976, women were a rarity in command positions. Regardless, she became the first female battalion commander in the 88th Regional Support Command, and later the first female brigade commander in the 84th Division. During the course of her career, Col. Morgenthaler (now retired) was assigned to some of the world's most dangerous war zones, including Bosnia and Iraq, where she had a face-to-face encounter with Saddam Hussein.
In her book, The Courage to Take Command, Col. Morgenthaler sums up the leadership lessons she learned during her 30 years in the military. "Many leaders lead with their heads instead of their hearts," says Morgenthaler. To become a leader who is not just good, but great, it's critical that you go from "I" to "we." Consider putting these 13 leadership lessons to work in your own business--they're simple, straightforward, and very effective.
1. Stay connected to your team. Take time to engage in conversation.
2. Ask your team members what they need to get the job done and then try your best to get it for them.
3. Care for the well-being of others. Be flexible when people or family members are ill.
4. Share how you feel. Be willing to admit you are human.
5. Put people before policies and procedures.
6. When you make a promise, keep it.
7. When you have done something wrong, own up to it.
8. When your team makes a mistake, you take responsibility.
9. When you succeed, you share the credit, recognition, and awards.
10. When you say, "I'm sorry," you do not add "but . . ." Adding "but" to an apology negates it.
11. Help the team to do its best and to be successful.
12. Always be hopeful.
13. Put "we before me."