The goal of many young military officers is to become a Company Commander. Why? Because serving in a leadership position is the key to promotion.
If you wanted to have a successful military career, you must serve in a leadership position.
Therefore, my goal was to assume command of a company. My friends and I would spend hours upon hours talking about what we would do when we were in charge. We would share our plans on how we would lead the best company in the battalion!
When I assumed command of Alpha Company, I remember thinking I had all of the answers. After one day in command, I realized I had a lot to learn. While I was the leader, I realized the success of the organization would not be based on me.
So how would I achieve success? By building a strong team! The key to success was “we.” Instead of focusing on me, I shifted my goal from me to we! John Maxwell states in The Law of Significance that “One is too small a number to achieve greatness.”
So I threw my plan out and developed a new one. Organizational culture became my emphasis. Instead of talking, I listened and learned. We focused on meeting the needs of our team. As the organizational culture improved the team grew stronger, and our performance improved.
According to Simon Sinek, when the conditions in our organization are right, we naturally trust each other and cooperate. But, when leaders neglect the environment in which people must work, politics, silos, cynicism and self-interest prevail.
In his book, Leaders Eat Last, Sinek explains what it takes to create an environment in which people work as they were designed – together. It is under these conditions, we are at our natural best. The best leaders know how to build those conditions and the best organizations are the ones in which people work together to confront danger and seize opportunities.
In order to achieve success, leaders must place others ahead of themselves. Creating a culture where team members are empowered will drive success. When leaders eat last, we inspire others to strive for excellence.
How will you change your team’s environment?
Kim D. Moore
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