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People First

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People First

Putting the needs of others before the needs of self

Read through the following statements
  • You must be able to underwrite the honest mistakes of those under you if you wish to develop their initiative and experience.
  • You owe it to your team to require standards which are for their benefit, even though they may not be popular at the time.
  • The team will go all out for a leader who does not waste their time through poor management when they have a tough job to do.
  • Take care of your team and your team will take care of you.
  • A leader cannot be too careful of the team he/she has been entrusted with – he/she must pay the greatest attention to their health, wellbeing and operational readiness.
  • All your ‘men’ want to do what you want done – when they do not, you have failed to motivate them
  • Your team have a right to honest, just and fair treatment
  • Your teams good work should be recognised, appreciated and publicised (where appropriate)
You might notice a common theme – each of these statements is about how the leader interacts with their teams and specifically their people – they all speak of putting the people first and foremost in the leaders considerations. It also might surprise you to learn that these statements were all taken from speeches and writings by General Bruce C. Clarke, a US Army General who served in WW2 and Korea. These statements were made some 60 years ago and yet they are still vital lessons for the modern day leader. As an aside, many people think that military leadership is purely directive – the higher rank giving orders to the lower rank, and whilst that obviously forms a part of military discipline, a lot of military leadership is about collaboration and taking care of people.   –

In the video below, Johnathan Williams, who served in the Royal Navy before embarking on a career in leadership development discusses the misconceptions of military leadership and how much of leadership is about people as much as it is about giving orders… (The clip will start at the relevant section of the interview, but please feel free to start from the beginning to hear even more of Johnathon’s insights).

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