Leadership In The Marine Corps

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From the moment a recruit sets foot on the yellow footprints they begin a journey of knowledge and learning about leadership. Although an elusive concept, the Marine Corps uses many avenues to instill leadership in Marines such as leadership acronyms, leadership traits, the commandant’s professional reading list (CPRL), and professional military education. The CPRL, in particular, offers Marine officers a wide range of reference material to help shape and grow their leadership abilities. The following books from the CPRL stand out as the most influ-ential to my growth as a leader: Lincoln on Leadership, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, and Good to Great. From engaging with subordinates, incorporating Marines into the entire plan-ning process,…show more content…
Leaders in the military must allow for each member of the chain of command to engage in the decision-making process. When leaders give Marines the opportuni-ty to be involved in the planning process, the Marines, in turn, are more willing to invest their time and energy into the outcome. In the book The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team, author Patrick Lencioni states, “If they don’t weigh in, then they won’t buy-in.” After reading this principle, I realized how effective the application really is. Prior to the execution of a recent field exercise (FEX), all key billet holders were included in the planning process. While the exercise was al-ready planned and the Commander’s Intent refined, the Marines’ input accomplished two things: 1) their input made the plan better, and 2) the Marines felt apart of the process. The Marines appreciated their opportunity to be heard. They identified areas that were missed, in-correct, or needed additions. The Marines, superior and subordinate alike, came together and analyzed the situation and developed the best course of action. When the decision-making pro-cess is a group effort and the ‘buy-in’ is complete, both the leader and subordinates share in the success of the…show more content…
The book Lincoln on Leadership states, ‘Delegate responsibility and authority by em-powering people to act on their own (Phillips, p.48).’ President Lincoln also exemplified this leadership principal. In Lincoln on Leadership, the author noted that Lincoln executed capable leadership through delegated responsibility, authority, and empowered his subordinates to per-form independently. As a leader, it is my responsibility to develop mental confidence and a sense of independent action in the Marines. Once a man is taught correct principles, he can govern himself. As leaders involve the subordinates to participate in the decision-making pro-cess and the plan is ready to execute, then subordinate empowerment and delegation can take place. Delegating authority is like bumpers on a bowling alley. While small unit leaders roll toward the task assigned, the leader’s responsibility is to ensure they keep moving toward the pins. We work in unison, in harmony for mission accomplishment. One way that leaders use delegation and subordinate empowerment is to make small unit leaders autonomous. This abil-ity allows small unit leaders to operate independently with just intent. True leadership isn’t about how much you lead, it’s about how much you don’t have to, because delegation and em-powerment have

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