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                for the team, expect the best in others and humbly realize we are part of a greater mission: defending America’s freedom.
The most respectful thing a leader can do is create a climate of accountability to ensure actions and behaviors align with the Army Values and standards for team and mission success. Just as a parent corrects a child they love or a pilot makes course corrections to stay on a glide path, leaders must ensure a healthy team climate for high performance.
The Army Values and standards live or die in
the small moments, and when it comes to respect, we must treat the person in front of us, right now, in the right way. Any disrespectful interaction
strips dignity and leaves people feeling oppressed, humiliated, ignored, belittled and de-energized. Disrespect is dangerous and can spread like a disease if tolerated. Any form of disrespect must
be corrected promptly as every misdeed left unchecked will erode the organization, placing the mission and people’s lives at risk. Leaders must keep a finger on the pulse of the organization from the center to the furthest end to determine true health and promote a climate of respect and accountability in order to accomplish the mission.
Compassion Toward Others
Leadership is paramount to the profession of arms. When it comes to accomplishing the mission and caring for people, leaders must do both. Then-Gen. Colin Powell demonstrated that service is about people and every person’s contribution matters for the mission. As a leader, he emphasized that kindness toward others is an overall attitude,
a sign of confidence, not weakness. Leaders should show compassion to others and expect nothing in return, as people need it more than we realize.
Powell was known for engaging with the lowest- level soldiers, greeting everyone by name, taking care of subordinates, listening and learning about others. He taught that respect is earned by leaders through care, competence, honesty, sacrifice, personal courage, being an inspiration and never being abusive. Respect is also earned by remaining tough but fair, communicating clear expectations and creating a climate of accountability for mission success. His leadership proved that if subordinates
respect you, they will never let you down.
Gen. Omar N. Bradley observed, in part, “Leadership means firmness, not harshness; understanding, not weakness; generosity, not selfishness; pride, not egotism.” His perspective aligns with guidance given by Maj. Gen. John Schofield regarding leading soldiers in 1879:
The discipline which makes the soldiers of a free country reliable in battle is not to be gained
by harsh or tyrannical treatment. On the contrary, such treatment is far more likely to destroy than to make an army. It is possible to impart instruction and give commands in such a manner and such a tone of voice as to inspire in the soldier no feeling but an intense desire to obey, while the opposite manner and tone of voice cannot fail to excite strong resentment and a desire to disobey. The one mode or the other in dealing with subordinates springs from a corresponding spirit in the breast of the commander.
Respect, how we treat others, is ultimately a condition of our heart. Character is who we really are: our innermost thoughts, motives, attitudes and moral qualities. Who we are on the inside matters most because who we are on the inside influences what we do on the outside. Our inside development and victories must always precede our outside ones. As one legacy leader put it, “To win once takes talent, but to win again takes character.”
Following Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf told West Point cadets: “To be a 21st century leader you must have two things, competence and character. ... It
is not what a man or woman is doing when they are being watched, it is what they are doing when they are not being watched that demonstrates true character.”
The Army requires leaders of character who display respect for others, and who can withstand adversity and resist temptations to negotiate when it comes to living the values and doing what is right for soldiers and the Army.
A good measure of character is how an individual treats others regardless of status or power. The military rank structure is necessary for maintaining good order and discipline along a clear
Core Value
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