Job satisfaction and well-being are deeply personal experiences. For example, certain aspects that make a job appealing to one individual can be the same aspect that make it unappealing to another. The military is an organisation that attracts individuals by the very nature of its bottom line. It does not promise high wages, comfortable positions and an extravagant lifestyle. On the contrary, it demands hardship, sacrifice and commitment.
What the military does well, is bringing together individuals from all walks of life. Removing individual barriers through shared hardship and consequently demanding a result which can only be achieved by working together. The implication here is that a challenging and difficult environment is the attraction. To the degree that individuals are willing to risk life and limb in exchange for a rewarding, and professionally challenging environment.
An effective military leader is able to communicate and bridge the differences between individuals and cultivate a strong team. Effective leadership in this context is communicating with, and influencing a group of individuals, with individual goals, motives and desires to achieve a collective outcome.
Crucially, all high performing teams require effective followership. The implication of followership does not mean that individuals blindly follow orders. It implies an understanding of how and when to apply initiative. When to follow, and when to lead in the absence of clear direction.
Great followership further implies that even the most junior team member is able to discern a commanders’ intent. Especially when the concerning commander might not be their direct supervisor, and depending on the scale of operation, the commanders’ intent could be devised at a strategic level. Where the requirements of an individual or team, several layers removed from this strategy, might not be clear.
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The consistent application of basic training principles is the little key. The heavy door is whatever your reason is for training the first place. Every locked door opens easily with the right key. You can hard-knock the bastard, breach your way through and get what you need. But in terms of longevity, that door is cactus.
Motivation for the motivated is a funny thing, because it isn’t about motivation at all. A tiny portion of society know exactly what they want, how to get it and what they have to do to achieve it.
They don’t need to be pushed or motivated, they need to be controlled.
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