Leadership 101

Gunnery Sergeant R. Lee Ermey- yeah, that R. Lee Ermey- has an interesting piece on leadership published today, in honour of Veteran's Day:
Leadership cannot be taught! I can’t do it, the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps can’t do it, and instructors at Annapolis, West Point, or the Air Force Academy can’t do it. Leadership is not some­thing one “gets.” It’s something one evolves into. 
You heard me. Leaders evolve. Most anyone can grow into a leadership role over time through the lessons they learn from their own successes and failures and by observing how others before them acted and reacted in particular situations. Observing how others lead—or fail to lead—is the absolute best classroom for becoming a true leader yourself. 
True leadership is contagious. Its effects move quickly through the ranks when troops see leaders perform and are inspired to emulate them...
Leadership is more than a matter of giving orders and being in charge: it is a matter of character, earned respect, doing the right thing, and always giving your best not only for yourself, but for others. You will become, and remain, committed to demonstrating the leadership qualities you’ve observed and admired over time.

I have written about the qualities required of leaders before, and the lessons remain: you cannot be taught how to lead- it is for precisely these reasons that I have a rather dim view of most MBA programs, for instance. You can only be shown how to lead.

Leadership is what you learn from the strong men in your life- your father, your older brother, your priest, your teacher, your drill instructor, your martial arts teacher. You learn what it means to hold the needs of the team above your own. You see that when something is wrong, it is not enough to expect that someone else will fix it- you need to fix it, because no one else will. You understand that to be a leader is by definition to be alone, and you accept that burden of responsibility because no one else will.

It is also possible to learn how not to lead, if you should be unfortunate enough to work for an incompetent or incapable manager (I can name a few in my time...). However, it is important to remember what Gunny wrote above- leadership is contagious. This is as true of bad leadership as it is of good. Bad leadership infects everything around it, corrodes morale, destroys productivity, and inflames tensions. Good leadership inspires those around you, pushes people to do their best and more, and produces a higher standard simply by virtue of its presence.

Like several other Manosphere bloggers, I'm a firm believer in total self-improvement, rather than just focusing on one aspect of your personality and game. Leadership is one of those things that you develop into as your game develops. Leadership qualities start with self-confidence and strength- without these things, there can be no leadership whatsoever.

It doesn't matter whether you're looking for your next promotion or your next girlfriend/ONS/FB. If you do not understand what it takes to be a leader, then you're not going to get these things. End of story. Take heed to the lessons that Gunny teaches.


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