THE PLATOON HUT

This is a place to talk tactics, address problems, and answer questions in an informal setting. Our instructors will all contribute through short articles, questions, and topics for discussion. It will be a chance for you to interact with our instructors and other troopers looking to discuss the leadership challenges we all face. #PlatoonHut

THE BALANCE OF SPREADING BELIEF

Belief is one of the most important factors in determining the success of a team. As Jocko wrote about in Extreme Ownership, if the team believes in the mission, they will do whatever it takes to accomplish the goal. But if the team doesn’t believe in the mission, it’s unlikely they will persevere through challenges or do the hard work necessary to achieve mission success. But getting a team on board isn’t as easy as telling them about the mission. Spreading belief, like many other facets of leadership, requires balance. It’s another of the infinite dichotomies in the Dichotomy of Leadership.

When everything is going right, be thinking about where things can go wrong

It’s human nature to get comfortable with success. Victory breeds confidence. Successive victories multiply that confidence which can lead to complacency. When leaders and teams get complacent, they fail to thoroughly plan for contingencies since the potential for challenges and obstacles seems far-fetched. However, this mindset sets the team up for disaster.

DON’T TAKE IT PERSONAL

While powerful, communicating in written word can be dangerous when the reader receives a different emotion than the writer intended. The dynamic of the correspondents’ relationship at the time and the current work situation are factors that can cause a difference in the perception of the message.

LOSE A LITTLE CONTROL

The most common answer I hear from leaders who have a hard time letting go is a feeling of ‘loss of control.’ They worry that the ship will crash when they begin taking their hands off the wheel. This is human nature. As a junior officer in the SEALs, I thought I had to lead everything because of the nature of my title. However, it was a series of great mentors who taught me that the true sign of a leader is how the team or organization performs when the leader leaves.

HOW TO MOTIVATE YOUR TEAM TO ASK QUESTIONS

The 4th Law of Combat, Decentralized Command, is fundamental to having an agile and flexible organization. For Decentralized Command to be effective, everyone on the team must understand the “why” behind their individual part of the mission.

EXERCISING LEADERSHIP WITH REMOTE WORKERS

The first thing you should do is let your team know that you won’t let the distance prevent good communication. Show them that you’re going to make it a priority to develop a strong relationship regardless of where everyone works. There are several ways to engage remotely including email, Skype, FaceTime, the phone, and others. Utilize them all to develop good relationships.

ENGAGE YOUR TEAM WITH QUESTIONS, NOT ANSWERS

They offered up insightful feedback and the meeting was very helpful. What made the difference? And then it hit me – perhaps they didn’t speak up as much in the past because they didn’t need to – I did all the talking.

THE KEY TO ENCOURAGING OWNERSHIP IN UNFULFILLING WORK

And if it’s simply a short-term deal to pay the bills, or save for a trip, teach them that the discipline they learn when they do good work in an unfulfilling job will serve them well as they move on to bigger and better things. 

ASK AN INSTRUCTOR A QUESTION

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