Here is another installment of the 10 part series on leadership, highlighting the 10 principles of leadership as instructed in the Canadian Armed Forces in the 1980s and 90s.
6 – Know your soldiers and promote their welfare.
NOT what this principle is about – actually the opposite… (C) 2017, Scott Adams, Inc. From: http://dilbert.com/strip/2017-01-01
There are two parts to this principle that are interrelated. First – know your soldiers / followers / team. KNOW THEM. Their names, first and last; their family situation; there stressors and skill level. This means you have to spend time with them, and not just at work. Social events are just as important. Have conversations with them – and also not just about the job. Get to know them and find our what makes them tick.
Professionally, a proper human resources process complete with employee reviews and greatly contribute to achieving this. You can track your team member’s process and accomplishments. An employee review should focus on coaching and goal setting. It is not a tool to criticize of penalize a team member. If someone on your team is struggling, you can keep records on that also – but separate from the review process.
Once you have gathered all of the above information, and you are keeping track of the ups and downs of all of your team. you can start to look after them properly. Do you have a real winner? Well – make sure they get recognized! You are the leader – no one else is going to staff the paperwork for that bonus, award, plaque or certificate except you! Does someone on your team need a course? Make sure they get it! Sometimes this can mean uncomfortable discussions with your boss, or your bosses boss if needed. Suck it up buttercup – that’s part of being a leader. If you are in a military organization, a big component of promoting your soldiers’ welfare is making sure they have proper, complete, and realistic training tailored to the mission.
Know your team – look after them. Advocate for them. Fight for them.
If your team knows you are paying attention and know who they are as individuals, and see you standing up for what they need, they will follow you just about anywhere.