Developing Leaders – Tom Yeakley

Taking the Mystery out of Leadership

Archive for the tag “morale”

Pay Attention to Morale!

 

Morale is the greatest single factor in successful warfare.

     Dwight Eisenhower, Crusade in Europe  

Leaders who neglect the morale of those they lead will pay a big price and lose much momentum in the mission by just assuming that all is well.  Here’s several thoughts on how to maintain good morale.

Never underestimate the importance of your presence.  Just showing up with those you are leading does a great deal for their morale.  You being with them, paying individual attention to them, goes a long way to keeping morale high.  And when you visit with them, ask them questions about what they are learning, what the Lord has been teaching them, or what things you can be praying for them.  And when you do ask them, note their answers and be sure you pray over their requests.  Then, follow up with them in the future.  Your personal attention will mean a lot.

Loose lips sink ships – this phrase originated during WW2 to remind all to beware of unguarded talk.  So too for leaders who carelessly talk about things that can breed distrust or fear in the minds of those they lead.  Think about what you are saying and guard you lips on topics that can distract or create undue fear of the future.  Rather, use your words to point people to Christ, our hope in Him, and His promise to see us through and never leave us.

Rumors spread like wildfires and when any unfounded rumor comes to your attention address it fully and quickly.  Don’t assume that it will just die on its own.  Rumors have ways of growing into wildfires of fear and can create full-blown panic if not addressed.

Any lack of communication from leadership and people tend to think the worst.  This can be true of an individual or a group.  Make it your habit to regularly keep those you lead informed.

Affirm, affirm, affirm!!  You speak at a volume of 3 but are heard at a volume of 9 because you are the leader.  Use this reality to benefit others!  Don’t flatter but affirm!  Find someone doing something right and tell them about it!

Do you know the morale of your troops?  Are they hearing from you regularly?  Are you out among them?

Morale – Focus on It!

In the great leadership book by Dwight Eisenhower titled Crusade in Europe, he devotes a good deal of attention to the subject of maintaining high morale among the troops under his command.   You’ll note his number one item:  Morale is the key to success!  Here’s a list of other lessons learned from his experience as Supreme Allied Commander of the European Theater during WWII:

FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO HIGH MORALE

1. Morale is the greatest single factor in successful warfare.

2. The individual is the key to success.

3. Communicate correct information to counteract negative propaganda.

4. Maintaining the initiative not only keeps the enemy on the defensive, but builds morale.

5. Success in reaching a goal or series of victories builds morale and esprit de corps.

6. When the enemy is successfully attacking, calmness, firmness and optimism are essential
to win through to victory.

7. Keep the civilians informed of the progress of the war.

8. Visit the troops frequently in the field.

9. Talk to the troops about everything. Ask them if they have discovered any new trick or
gadget to use in fighting .

10. Mutual confidence, a feeling of partnership, is the essence of esprit de corps.

11. Take initiative to find out their problems. Don’t wait for them to come to you.

12. Men must feel that they are being treated equally and fairly.

13. Men must know their own accomplishments are understood and appreciated.

14. Leadership, discipline, technique, as well as numbers, equipment, mobility, supply and
maintenance are prerequisite to the existence of morale.

15. Morale will suffer unless all ranks thoroughly believe that their commanders are concerned
first and always with the welfare of the troops who do the fighting.

16. Provide recreation and furlough time. Veterans like to return to their own unit. Relieve
units from front-line duty periodically.

17. Higher commanders devote every minute of their time to tactics, logistics and morale.

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