One thing the military is very good as is the indoctrination of every individual. From the time of recruit training and throughout their career, members are indoctrinated in leadership principles and concepts reflecting the philosophy and values of the organization.
I remember going to Marine Corps boot camp at the age of 18, looking at the drill instructors, the senior enlisted leaders, and the officers, and thinking I could never be as good as they were. They were so perfect in everything they did. They were admirable. I wanted to be just like them, and at the same time I didn’t think it was possible.
The instructors were very strict, demanding, quick to point out our flaws, and at the same time, encouraging. On top of that, they taught us the 14 leadership traits and rotated every recruit through a leadership position. After graduating boot camp, my confidence was much higher than before. Following boot camp, I attended my occupational school. There was no escape from leadership training because it continued there too. In time, I became every bit as good as the leaders I initially encountered in boot camp.
In fact, leadership training never stopped throughout my 30 year career in the Marine Corps, whether I was enlisted or officer, active duty or reserve. It continued year after year, promotion after promotion, until I retired. What organization does that?
This is where a lot of businesses fall short. They don’t think they have the time or resources to teach leadership to their most junior people. Then they wonder why there’s high turnover and difficulty finding good team leaders and junior managers.
Often businesses spend an enormous amount of money training their most senior people in leadership, but by then it’s too little too late.
It’s a lot more effective to begin leadership training very early, and then build upon it throughout the career at the organization. Leadership training, which by design should reinforce your organization’s leadership philosophy and culture, is an inexpensive yet powerful way to build a synchronized, efficient, highly capable and loyal workforce.