Seek and take responsibility for your actions

(Adapted from “Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions”)

For professional development, you must actively seek out challenging assignments. You must use initiative and sound judgment when trying to accomplish tasks that are not required by your job title. Seeking responsibilities also means that you take responsibility for your actions. You are responsible for all your staff does or fails to do. Regardless of the actions of your employees, the responsibility for decisions and their application falls on you. You must issue all orders in your name. Stick by your convictions and do what you think is right, but accept justified and constructive criticism. Never remove or demote an employee for a failure that is the result of your own mistake.

  1. Learn the duties of your immediate superior, and be prepared to accept the responsibilities of these duties.
  2. Seek different leadership positions that will give you experience in accepting responsibility in different types of tasks.
  3. Take every opportunity that offers increased responsibility.
  4. Perform every act, large or small, to the best of your ability. Your reward will be increased opportunity to perform bigger and more important tasks.
  5. Stand up for what you think is right; have the courage of your convictions.
  6. Carefully evaluate a staff member’s failure before taking action. Make sure the apparent shortcomings are not due to an error on your part.
  7. In the absence of assignments, take the initiative to perform the actions you believe your superior would direct you to perform if he/she were present.

This was the last of our series on Marine Principles adapted for the work place. I hope you’ve enjoyed this and can put these principles into action in your work place.

~ Jody Victor

Make sure to assign tasks according to your staff’s capabilities

(Adapted from Employ your command in accordance with its capabilities.)

Successful completion of a task depends upon how well you know your staff’s capabilities. If the task assigned is one that your staff has not been trained to do, failure is very likely to result. Failures lower your staff’s morale and self esteem. You wouldn’t send a sales clerk to do your books nor would you send one employee to do the job of five. Seek out challenging tasks for your staff, but be sure they are prepared for and have the ability to successfully complete their responsibilities.

  1. Do not volunteer your employees for tasks they are not capable of completing. Not only will they fail, but your staff will think you are seeking personal glory.
  2. Keep yourself informed as to the effectiveness of your staff’s capabilities.
  3. Be sure that tasks assigned are reasonable.
  4. Analyze all assigned tasks. If the means at your disposal are inadequate, inform your immediate supervisor and request the necessary support.
  5. Assign tasks equally among your employees.
  6. Use the full capabilities of your staff before requesting assistance.

Make sound and timely decisions

(Adapted from Marine Principles “Make sound and timely decisions”)

A leader must be able to assess a situation and make a sound decision based on that assessment. Hesitation or a reluctance to make a decision leads your staff to lose confidence in your abilities as a leader. Loss of confidence will then create confusion and hesitation with your staff.

Once you make a decision and discover it is the wrong one, don’t hesitate to revise your decision. Your staff will respect the leader who corrects mistakes immediately instead of trying to bluff through a poor decision.

  1. Develop a logical and orderly thought process by practicing objective estimates of the situation.
  2. When time and situation permit, plan for every possible event that can reasonably be foreseen.
  3. Consider the advice and suggestions of your staff whenever possible before making decisions.
  4. Announce decisions in time to allow your staff to make necessary plans.
  5. Encourage your staff to estimate and make plans at the same time you do.
  6. Make sure your staff is familiar with your policies and plans.
  7. Consider the effects of your decisions on all members of your team.

~ Jody Victor

Train your staff to work as a team

Your staff should be trained, challenged, and encouraged with perfection and teamwork as a goal. No excuse should be made for leaders not to train their staff be the best in their profession. Train with a purpose and emphasize the essential element of teamwork.

Adapted from “Train your Marines as a team”

The sharing of tasks and hard work should strengthen reduce problems, develop teamwork, improve morale and give a feeling of unbounded loyalty.

Teamwork is the key to successful operations. Teamwork is essential from the smallest business to the largest. As a boss, you must insist on teamwork from your staff. Train and operate as a team. Be sure that each everyone knows his/her position and responsibilities within the team framework.

When team spirit is in evidence, the most difficult tasks become much easier to accomplish. Teamwork is a two-way street. Individuals give their best, and in return the team provides security, recognition, and a sense of accomplishment.

  1. Train, study and train, prepare, and train thoroughly, endlessly.
  2. Strive to maintain individual stability and unit integrity; keep the same leader as long as possible if they’re getting the job done. Needless changes disrupt teamwork.
  3. Emphasize use of the “buddy” system.
  4. Never publicly blame an individual for the team’s failure nor praise one individual for the team’s success.
  5. Provide the best available facilities for training and make maximum use of teamwork.
  6. Ensure that all training is meaningful, and that its purpose is clear to all members of the staff.
  7. Acquaint each individual of your staff with the capabilities and limitations of others, thereby developing mutual trust and understanding.
  8. Base team training on realistic, current, and probable conditions.
  9. Insist that everyone understands the functions of the other members of the team and how the team functions as a part of the whole.

~ Jody Victor

Another Marine Principle adapted for Employees

(Adapted from “Keep your Marines informed”)

Employees can be inquisitive. For better efficiency and morale, a leader should keep his employees in the loop of what is happening and why. This is done when something that is happening that wil effect them. They will feel part of a “team” and not just a cog in a wheel. When employees are informed they perform better and can do more and better without constant supervision. The key to giving out information is to be sure your employees have the information they need to do their job intelligently.

  1. When possible, explain why tasks must be done and how want them done.
  2. Assure yourself that your employees are passing on necessary information.
  3. Be alert for rumors. Stop rumors by replacing them with the truth.
  4. Build morale by making sure everyone knows. Put it in writing.

~ Jody Victor