We remember a historic day in world history today. D-Day, June 6, 1944. There are many opportunities to learn about the events of the past and how we can exercise leadership in ways those before us did. This era of soldiers and men is becoming more scarce, but I will always remember the chats with my grandfather, teachers, and even some that I have transported to the hospital. May they all rest in peace.
Below are a few tips from Major Dick Winters who parachuted into Normandy with his company.
Leadership at the Point of the Bayonet Ten Principles for Success
- Strive to be a leader of character, competence, and courage.
- Lead from the front. Say, “Follow me!” and then lead the way.
- Stay in top physical shape – physical stamina is the root of mental toughness.
- Develop your team. If you know your people, are fair in setting realistic goals and expectations, and lead by example, you will develop teamwork.
- Delegate responsibility to your subordinates and let them do their jobs. You can’t do a good job if you don’t have a chance to use your imagination or your creativity.
- Anticipate problems and prepare to overcome obstacles. Don’t wait until you get to the top of the ridge and then make up your mind.
- Remain humble. Don’t worry about who receives the credit. Never let power or authority go to your head.
- Take a moment of self-reflection. Look at yourself in the mirror every night and ask yourself if you did your best.
- True satisfaction comes from getting the job done. The key to a successful leader is to earn respect – not because of rank or position, but because you are a leader of character.
- Hang Tough! Never, ever, give up.
Major Dick Winters Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment 101st Airborne Division Band of Brothers
Pass it on!