Looking For Examples To Emulate
Business leaders should look for, as well as be, role models. Marine Corps leaders, practitioners and molders of a 230-year-old military tradition, are excellent role models. In No Yelling: The Nine Secrets of Marine Corp Leadership You Must Know To Win in Business, former Marine Officer Wally Adamchik supports his points with Marine and civilian line-management examples alike.
Integrity at the Core
Adamchik discusses his core secret first: integrity. When a leader is not trusted, the remaining eight secrets don’t matter, he argues. Integrity is more than simply not lying. Integrity is openness - informing subordinates of the real situation, the real possibilities and the real options. Furthermore, a leader must trust his/her followers, allowing subordinates to do their jobs without unnecessary interference.
Other Winning Secrets
Beyond integrity, says Adamchik, technical competence is key to leadership. Subordinates have to be able to trust that a leader has a high chance of succeeding. Does the leader know his or her job? In his chapter titled "Set the Example," Adamchik warns that people really do follow leaders, in more ways than leaders might realize. People look to leaders for acceptable standards of conduct.
But leaders must also be self-aware. "You cannot lead anyone if you cannot lead yourself," writes Adamchik. High self-awareness is rooted in basic honesty. It’s also the first step in an awareness of what is going on around the leader and what skills to use in different situations.
Adamchik’s other principles include these nuggets of advice: take care of your people; train your successors to ensure a legacy of quality; be sure your subordinates know what you want; and remember the corporate culture and values of your workplace.
Yet Another Leadership Book?
Early on, Adamchik addresses the question of whether another book on leadership is needed, even one from the unique military perspective. In the introduction he voices criticism on what he refers to as the bulk of "leadership secrets" books. "They are often written at the strategic level, purely from an executive perspective," he observes. "Many of these books tell you what to do, but they do not back up their directives with real-life examples that enable you to see how to do it."
He also doesn’t aim for the top. Most Marines are not generals, just as most managers are not senior executives, so Adamchik looks to mid- and lower-level officers as well as non-commissioned officers, supplying both military and civilian examples of his points.
Adamchik also attempts to engage readers, inviting them to "write your thoughts in the margin" when specific leadership examples are comparable with their own experiences. "Simply thinking about what you’ve read is not enough," he commands. "Action is required!"
Adamchik delivers on his promise for a new perspective, and this seems to be the only management book among those recently released to discuss the Marines and the line-level manager within the Marines.
Advice is of no value if not acted upon. But one lesson of management is to seek a variety of perspectives. Adamchik provides a new perspective - a new approach to classic ideas of honesty, self-awareness, underling support, knowledge of job and the like.
Despite the old saying, business is not actually war. You can walk off a civilian job with no notice, although this is not recommended. In contrast, military personnel cannot just walk off the job. But civilians and military leaders both have tasks to accomplish, ultimate goals and objectives to reach such goals. Both have to deal with their own people, no matter how drastically different the acceptable ways of dealing with competition. In this sense, good management in both environments are served by Adamchik’s book.
Why We Like This Book
The image of a U.S. Marine is tough and effective - someone who can get very difficult jobs done. Wally Adamchik, writing from his own experience as a Marine and in the private sector, shows that Marine leaders, officers and non-commissioned officers, are more than that. They start with a foundation of honesty, add self-knowledge and build on this to produce an effectively led organization. Adamchik suggests ways these skills can be put to use in the civilian world where most of the population live and work.