The Mission of
I had the privilege of receiving an invitation to work with a team at
the US Marine Corps base in Quantico, VA. The project in
Quantico reminded me of why many have great respect for the
Leaders in the Marines. Heck, I was flattered that some of the military
police who checked my ID at the gate thought I was a new recruit (must
have been the haircut).
fact is that many former marines go on to achieve much in
other areas of their lives, and attribute a great deal to
their Marine Corps training. They include Senator and Astronaut
John Glenn, CEO Adam Firestone and Fred Smith, founder of
US Marine Corps leadership is clear in its mission to facilitate the
transformation of new recruits into marines. Many who survive the
training, starting with energetic drill instructors, will testify that
it was a process of major transformation in terms of their body, mind,
spirit and self-discipline. Likewise, as massive global changes
continue, organizations that wish to foster a culture of sustainable
performance growth need managers who can coach with a mission of
Your mission, should you choose to accept it,
is to think about your direct reports, and create a collaborative,
transformative coaching plan for each of them. For example, if you're a
sales leader, ask coaching questions such as 'What high stretch goal
would you dare to accomplish on the job in the next 3-6 months?
What actions do you think you must commit to in order to achieve this?
What are the major barriers you think need to be overcome? This may
take a lot of effort - what physical exercise routine do you think you
would like to commit to in order to bolster your energy level?'
(encourage and challenge them to be mission ready in their energy level
and physical health).
the end of the day, your "Management Mission" is to facilitate high
performance from your direct reports - but you will only accomplish
this if you coach with their commitment (intense desire), vs. manage their compliance.
This starts with your coaching credibility. You must be seen to be a
leader who sets the bar high for himself/herself first. For your own
personal bootcamp, to get in shape to coach well, what do you need to
do? First make it your mission to self reflect/evaluate and implement
your own personal change. Then, make it your mission to plan clear
coaching plans for each of your Direct Reports. That's what Leadership
is all about.
great things will you commit to accomplishing in the next 3-6 months,
personally and professionally? What are 3 actions that you will take
this week? Go for it! Get ready for the Fall.
As the US Marine Corps celebrates its 235th anniversary this year, it
already has an established reputation.
In 5 years, what will your
reputation as a leader be about...?
In the Spirit of Growth,
'A piece of spaghetti or a military unit can only be led from the front end.'
'Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.'
- General George S. Patton
people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a
difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem'
- President Ronald Reagan