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Leadership Traits - From Battlefield to Board Room!
August 01, 2003

Leadership Traits

Battlefield to Board Room!

Leadership Tools Monthly News

The Ultimate E-zine on Leadership!

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Volume I, August, 2003 Issue

Leadership Traits

From The Battlefield To The Board Room!

T A B L E   O F   C O N T E N T S

  1. Lessons-in-Leadership
    • Battlefield to Board Room.
  2. Meeting for Results
    • 360 degrees to Leadership Success!
  3. The Juice Bar
    • ”Strait” to the Matter of Leadership!
  4. Site News
    • On the Horizon


Direct from the Battlefield to Today’s Board Room.

"Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful."
-Samual Johnson

The following article provides specific leadership traits and definitions per our very own United States Marine Corp.

As you read through these leadership traits and definitions that have been taught to our soldiers throughout the history of this great nation, it’s easy to see how these very same ideals can be applied, and should be expected, in today’s boardrooms.


Definition - The ability to weigh facts and possible courses of action in order to make sound decisions.
Significance - Sound judgment allows a leader to make appropriate decisions in the guidance and training of his/her Marines and the employment of his/her unit. A Marine who exercises good judgment weighs pros and cons accordingly to arrive at an appropriate decision/take proper action.
Example for the Board Room - A leader ensures that team members understand the importance of maintaining a healthy and proper balance between work and family obligations. This person has high expectations in terms of job performance and behavior, but also is the first to support team members when personal issues arise.


Definition - Giving reward and punishment according to the merits of the case in question. The ability to administer a system of rewards and punishments impartially and consistently.
Significance - The quality of displaying fairness and impartiality is critical in order to gain the trust and respect of subordinates and maintain discipline and unit cohesion, particularly in the exercise of responsibility as a leader.
Example for the Board Room - Fair and consistent expectations are communicated to each team member. The leader teaches and coaches the employee prior to holding the employee accountable for the task. The leader is fair in holding employees accountable for results. When a mistake is made by the leader, he/she is quick to correct the mistake and be accountable for the mis-step. (Also an example of courage.)


Definition - Ability to make decisions promptly and to announce them in a clear, forceful manner.
Significance - The quality of character which guides a person to accumulate all available facts in a circumstance, weigh the facts, choose and announce an alternative which seems best. It is often better that a decision be made promptly than a potentially better one be made at the expense of more time.
Example for the Board Room. A leader who foresees a potentially unfavorable or dangerous situation developing, immediately takes action to address the issue. For example, if he/she sees rules being broken for the purpose of increasing profits, he/she realizes the short term gain is not worth the long term risk to the company or team. The issue must be brought to the attention of the leadership team immediately.


Definition - Taking action in the absence of orders.
Significance - Since an NCO often works without close supervision, emphasis is placed on being a self-starter. Initiative is a founding principle of Marine Corps Warfighting philosophy.
Example for the Board Room - This person takes ownership of issues he/she becomes aware of. This person assumes authority when none is present. He/she adds value to the company by using common sense and good judgement and does more than what he/she is not told to do.


Definition - The certainty of proper performance of duty.
Significance - The quality which permits a senior to assign a task to a junior with the understanding that it will be accomplished with minimum supervision. This understanding includes the assumption that the initiative will be taken on small matters not covered by specific instructions.
Example for the Board Room - The leader ensures that his/her team meet and/or exceed expectations without having been told to do so by his/her direct supervisor.


Definition - The ability to deal with others without creating hostility.
Significance - The quality of consistently treating peers, seniors, and subordinates with respect and courtesy is a sign of maturity. Tact allows commands, guidance, and opinions to be expressed in a constructive and beneficial manner. This deference must be extended under all conditions regardless of true feelings.
Example for the Board Room -A leader discreetly points out a mistake to a team member, waiting until that person can be spoken to in private. This leader makes a point of praising in public, and couseling in private, out of respect for every individual member of the team.


Definition - Uprightness of character and soundness of moral principles. The quality of truthfulness and honesty.
Significance - A Marine's word is his/her bond. Nothing less than complete honesty in all of your dealings with subordinates, peers, and superiors is acceptable.
Example for the Board Room - A leader who follows the proper policies and procedures, even when he/she cannot be seen by their direct supervisor. During an audit or inspection, if something goes wrong or is not corrected as had been previously directed, he/she can be counted on to always respond truthfully and honestly.


Definition - The mental and physical stamina measured by the ability to withstand pain, fatigue, stress, and hardship.
Significance - The quality of withstanding pain during a conditioning hike in order to improve stamina is crucial in the development of leadership. Leaders are responsible for leading their units in physical endeavors and for motivating them as well.
Example for the Board Room - A leader who asks the team to volunteer time for community work takes the lead by showing their personal commitment to getting down in the trenches for the benefit of others. A leader who is willing to stay late and lead by example in order to meet an important deadline. This person is always willing to do whatever he/she is asking others to do.


Definition - Creating a favorable impression in carriage, appearance, and personal conduct at all times.
Significance - The ability to look, act, and speak like a leader whether or not these manifestations indicate one's true feelings. Some signs of these traits are clear and plain speech, an erect gait, and impeccable personal appearance.
Example for the Board Room - Wearing clean, pressed clothing, polished shoes, etc. Avoiding profane and vulgar language. Keeping a trim, fit appearance. Keeping your head – managing your emotions, keeping your word and staying calm under stressful situations.


Definition - Avoidance of providing for one's own comfort and personal advancement at the expense of others.
Significance - The quality of looking out for the needs of your subordinates before your own is the essence of leadership. This quality is not to be confused with putting these matters ahead of the accomplishment of the mission.
Example for the Board Room -A leader ensures all members of the team have their needed supplies or resources before he/she does. Or, if supplies are scarce, this person will share what’s available and ensure that others do the same. If an employee needs extra instruction or coaching, the leader is quick to make his/her free time available whenever a need arises.


Definition - Courage is a mental quality that recognizes fear of danger or criticism, but enables a Marine to proceed in the face of it with calmness and firmness.
Significance - Knowing and standing for what is right, even in the face of popular disfavor, is often the leader's lot. The business of fighting and winning wars is a dangerous one; the importance of courage on the battlefield is obvious.
Example for the Board Room - Accepting criticism for allowing an employee to work overtime in order to ensure they can complete a task properly. Or, for giving an employee time off with pay to thank them for a job well done. Or, for giving credit to your team when things go right, but taking the blame yourself when things go badly.


Definition - Understanding of a science or an art. The range of one's information, including professional knowledge and an understanding of your Marines.
Significance - The gaining and retention of current developments in military and naval science and world affairs is important for your growth and development.
Example for the Board Room -A Leader is most efficient when he/she has experience in multiple areas of the business. Some knowledge and experience in the daily routines and lives of your subordinates (and theirs) makes decision-making more palatable for a caring leader. In addition, knowledge of your competitors, business partners, and even your own executive structure adds to your personal library of resource material – making for a more qualified leader. No one who leads others knows enough or too much.


Definition - The quality of faithfulness to country, the Corps, and unit, and to one's seniors, subordinates, and peers.
Significance - The motto of our Corps is Semper Fidelis, Always Faithful. You owe unswerving loyalty up and down the chain of command: to seniors, subordinates, and peers.
Example for the Board Room -A leader displaying enthusiasm when communicating a company objective to the team, though he/she may privately disagree with it. The job has to be done, so if this person is to lead the team to complete the task, he/she chooses to do so with confidence and passion for the benefit of the team and company.


Definition - The display of sincere interest and exuberance in the performance of duty.
Significance - Displaying interest in a task, and an optimism that it can be successfully completed, greatly enhances the likelihood that the task will be successfully completed.
Example for the Board Room - A leader who speaks with passion and emotion while leading a chant, an exercise or while teaching and/or coaching the team member. A leader who gets to the heart of what motivates an employee by taking the time to get to know that employee. Marines remember these leadership traits with the acronym:


Business leaders are also encouraged to remember and adopt these long tested and proven leadership traits.

Meeting for Results

Get a “Panoramic View” of Your Leadership skills

At your next staff meeting consider having someone else lead your team through the following exercise.

Check your own leadership ability and effectiveness by completing this FREE 360 degree Leadership Assessment Survey.

What IS a 360 degree leadership assessment?

In short, this is when you put yourself on the line in order to gain insights into how your supervisor, peers, business partners and subordinates view you as a leader. The purpose is to provide quality feedback that a leader can utilize as he/she strives to be a better leader.

If you would like to receive the Free Word File containing our "360 Degree Leadership Assessment" tool, simply click here to read the details and to request your:

We will then respond to you with the file attached for your own use.

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"If there be any truer measure of a man than by what he does, it must be by what he gives.
-Robert South

The Juice Bar

Juice Served Strait!

"Courage,unused, diminishes.
Commitment, unexercised, wanes.
Love, unshared, dissipates."
- Anthony Robbins

Have you ever noticed that when something is on your mind, you tend to notice things relevant to the topic that you’ve never noticed before? Well, that happens a lot around here as well.

It’s amazing how many times we come up with an idea or leadership lesson, simply because the topic is always top-of-mind. This happened again the other day.

There I was, just listening to a CD in my car. In fact, I was listening to one of my favorite country music artists, George Strait. The guy has had over 50 number one singles, an amazing feat no matter what music genre you are partial to.

At any rate, there I was listening (and yes, singing out loud since I was alone) to this CD. I’d heard this particular song a hundred times, yet I had never really “listened” to the words before.

After listening to the song, I knew I had to include a snipet of the lyrics on this edition of Leadership Tools Monthly News.

The message speaks volumes, which goes to show that Leadership Lessons are everywhere, so long as you are paying attention.

Here is a brief portion of the lyrics of the song The Road Less Traveled, written by songwriters Buddy Brock and Dean Dillon:

There’s a road,
a winding road that never ends.
It’s full of curves,
lessons learned at every bend.
Goin's rough,
unlike the straight and narrow.
It’s for those,
those who go against the grain.
Have no fear,
dare to dream of a change.
Live to march,
to the beat of a different drummer.
And it all might come together,
or it all might come unraveled.
On the Road Less Traveled.

Very cool.

One is taught by experience to put a premium on those few people who can appreciate you for what you are."
- Gail Godwin

Site News

On The Horizon for

As we stated last month, we continue to plan for many new improvements to the website. Some of the new additions in the works include:
  • New Page of Inspirational Quotes
  • Leadership TIPS - Tips and checklists for addressing a wide variety of leadership issues
  • Intro to Leadership - Free Leadership Assessment Tool
  • Leadership in Profile - Highlighting everyday leader's success stories
  • Leadership Opportunity - How to quickly and inexpensively get your own business on line in a matter of weeks. Just like we did!
  • Presentations on Leadership Topics, available for immediate download.
Stay tuned.

Contact Information

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