A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. 

~ John C. Maxwell 

Leadership is defined as the sum of those qualities of intellect, human understanding, and moral character that enables any individual to inspire and to effectively and efficiently “control” a group of people successfully.

Leadership has become a buzz word in almost every aspect of our civilization. All over, many challenges exist that requires genuine leaders to resolve. Advances in the realm of technology continues to rapidly redefine nearly every aspect of our world. These advances have necessitated much fresher and broad, visionary thinking. Only “real” leadership can provide the type of thinking required to bridge the gap. These circumstances have manifested a domestic-based industry surrounding the subject of leadership.

Even though there are still some that conclude that leaders possess natural qualities that cannot be taught, the vast majority still believe that leaders can be made. They believe a balanced blend of intellectual acuity, real-life experience and personal management approaches all contribute to the epitome of an effective leader.

Stepping up to lead is a significant move. On one hand you are full of hope and excitement and on the other hand you know the stakes are high. Of course you want to succeed, so what traits do you need to avoid if you want to be an effective leader?

Your Leadership “Traits” (or characteristics) are those essential qualities of personality which are of greatest assistance in obtaining confidence, respect, obedience and steadfast loyalty and cooperation.

Your Leadership “Principles” are the actions taken by the leader. There are many different leadership techniques, but the commonality of them should be guided by our Leadership Principles and exhibit the exemplary traits of you, the leader. Your technique should be fluid and must always be consistent with the situation. The ultimate goal is for your technique to contribute towards accomplishing, or accomplish, one or both of the objectives of Marine Corps leadership. Our Primary objective is accomplishment of the mission – ANY mission. Secondary is the Welfare of your Marines. However, NEVER forgo an opportunity to look out for your Marines. Mission is always first, but you must constantly look after the welfare of your Marines ALWAYS.

There are also indications of your leadership that will be observed by your subordinates, peers and superiors daily and you should actively seek from others whenever possible.

The morale, or “state of mind” of an individual, is solely dependent upon his/her attitude towards everything that effects him/her. Embrace every opportunity to improve the moral of those around you. A skillful leader will position him or herself in order to effectively and efficiently boost morale, regardless of the situation or environment.