Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Marine Corps' 14 leadership traits - KNOWLEDGE

The next Marine Corps leadership trait on our list is very near and dear to my heart. KNOWLEDGE as a leadership trait is defined as "... the understanding of a science or art. KNOWLEDGE means that you have acquired information and that you understand people. Your knowledge should be broad, and in addition to knowing your job, you should know your unit's policies and keep up with current events."

I have always taken KNOWLEDGE about my craft very seriously, almost to the point of being called obsessive. But I've come to realize over the years that being a Marine leader is more than just knowing your craft.

Being an effective leader encompasses the trade or craft KNOWLEDGE applicable directly to your job field, but it also means learning about general topics completely outside that field.

In the Corps, things like the promotion board process and various administrative functions can be equally as important. Effective leaders know how to properly evaluate their subordinates (how many Marines outside of administrators know what the IRAM is?), and more importantly, how to mentor them.

A leader's quest for KNOWLEDGE should be almost continous as good leaders realize KNOWLEDGE truly is power.

Part of that KNOWLEDGE must also be learning about the unit commander's intent. A large part of being a leader is applying the unit commander's intent to day-to-day decisions, and it's obviously going to be hard to do that if you don't know the commander's intent.

Once a leader has KNOWLEDGE specific to their job, general KNOWLEDGE about their organization and understands the commander's intent, they should broaden their horizons and start learning other parallel fields or other jobs altogether.

As a non-infantry Marine, I think it's important for me to study strategy and small-unit tactics. Likewise, it's important for me to know some of the processes involved in various administrative functions like awards and charge sheets. At the same time, I probably benefit from knowing about the various force protection conditions.

There isn't a single position in the Corps - nor any business for that matter - that operates completely in a vaccuum. When you possess KNOWLEDGE of not only your job but those around you, you become a better team player, which ultimately leads to the entity (the Corps or business) being structurally stronger.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Midwest Marines encourages posts that are frank, honest, and professional. Posts containing foul language, racial or ethnic slurs, extremist propaganda, advertising, anti-American sentiments, or links to these types of sites (except in reference to current news or other relevant content) will be removed with a request sent to the author to repost without this prohibited content. This is not an attempt at censorship, but rather an effort to ensure mutual respect and profesionalism by all.