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                  A healthy and robust command climate is not merely a nice feature to have in a unit; instead, it is an organization’s most casualty-producing weapon that must be carefully maintained to ensure mission success.
Negative Factors
Several factors may indicate that you are in an organization with a negative command climate.
A key indicator is how a unit’s Soldiers execute orders; do they simply comply, or do they fully commit? Compliance from subordinates will allow the mission to be accomplished but only to the extent to which the task can be considered “Done.” Commitment from subordinates will also enable the mission to succeed. Still, Soldiers are entrusted to discover – and complete – every implied task necessary to set-up the organization for long-term success. The difference between compliance and commitment may seem subtle, but understanding
the nuances can significantly enhance a leader’s understanding of the unit’s command climate.
Commitment occurs when subordinates have a deep sense of pride in the unit, its mission, fellow teammates, and its leaders. Soldiers who commit to a task or mission are ones who are empowered to make decisions while adroitly operating within a clearly defined commander’s intent. These Soldiers understand their role in making the unit better and take on increased responsibility to contribute to the team’s overall success. They want to be at work. Leaders can assess commitment by asking themselves a few questions about their team: Do your Soldiers wait to be told to execute a known mission, or are they self-starters and begin on their own? Are they mostly silent during after-action reviews, or do they make recommendations to improve the organization? Do they show up for duty when told, or do they arrive earlier to set conditions for success? Are they the first to depart work as soon as their tasks are completed for the day, or do they ensure their peers don’t need help with their assigned duties? If the answers to these questions lie in the latter part of the sentence, your team is likely committed. If the answers lie in the former, your subordinates and peers may only be compliant.
Compliance is expected and highly encouraged in a military context, but simple compliance
can indicate a negative command climate. Micromanagement – a form of leadership that most agree is counterproductive – generates simple compliance in subordinates as Soldiers understand that straying from a micromanager’s explicit direction will be met with criticism
or punishment. In a climate marked by micromanagement, subordinates will not deviate from issued instructions even when fluctuating conditions warrant a different approach. Without empowerment and trust from leaders within an organization, subordinates will simply comply with orders. This simple compliance effectively sidelines the mental agility of subordinates
and places additional requirements on the micromanager, requiring him/her to oversee every facet of the mission directly. This micromanager cannot effectively run the entire organization simultaneously, and the unit’s subordinates remain catatonic in helping the mission succeed, the unit
Signs and Indicators
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