KIN BLUE TRAINING AREA, OKINAWA, Japan — Leadership is an integral aspect of the Marine Corps. It's who we are. From the days of recruit training to long after earning the title, Marines are leaders.
I had the opportunity to speak with three sergeants assigned to Combat Logistics Regiment 3 who have had success as small unit leaders in the Marine Corps. They explained to me what their three keys to success as leaders are.
Sgts. David A. Lopez, left, Roberto A. Martinez, center, and Paul A. Baran on February 9, 2015 at Kin Blue Training Area. The three sergeants gave their keys to success as small unit leaders in the Marine Corps. Lopez, from Blue Island, Illinois, is a data systems technician. Martinez, from Sterling, Illinois, is a motor transport operator. Baran, from Vancouver, Washington, is a ground radio repairer. The Marines are with Combat Logistics Regiment 3, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Drew Tech)
Sgt. Paul A. Baran, from Vancouver, Washington, is a ground radio repairer with CLR-3, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force. His leadership keys are:
Dependability. Everyone is looking for somebody that they can always turn to. It's very rare to find someone where every time you turn to them, they get the job done. It's a really simple one. Always be the guy that somebody can turn to no matter who it is.
Consistency. Consistency is just displaying the same traits when you're doing tasks. That helps people take you seriously and understand you more as a leader. It also lets people know you're serious when you do things. Just be consistent every day. It's a simple thing, but it really stands out.
Presence. You have to let people know that you're there. Even if you're doing a good job, (if) people don't really know that you're around and that you're pulling others around you in to help them out, then you're not going to have a great effect on a group of people. If you're only there helping one guy, you're not going to get your legacy out there. If you show presence and you're getting yourself out there, then people are going to be drawn to you and that's going to bring you success.
Sgt. David A. Lopez, from Blue Island, Illinois, is a data systems technician with CLR-3, 3rd MLG, III MEF. His leadership keys are:
Confidence. Having confidence in your decisions and what you're going to do to get the mission accomplished is important. Having confidence will give your Marines confidence in you.
Enthusiasm. You've got to have enthusiasm. Especially in day-to-day operations, you may get deterred here or there, but having that enthusiasm to push through will hype others up and give them a positive energy towards what they're doing.
Communication. Your platoon won't know what they're doing if you're not telling them and sharing the knowledge with them. Don't assume Marines have gotten the word. Hold a formation and get the word out, because they need to be informed.
Sgt. Roberto A. Martinez, from Sterling, Illinois, is a motor transport operator with CLR-3, 3rd MLG, III MEF. His leadership keys are:
Emulate. This is a big one. Throughout our careers we are tested as leaders. It's important to develop your leadership style through watching others lead. I'm always learning from other leaders what type of leader I want to be.
Open-mindedness. You have to learn to be open minded toward every situation. A good leader keeps an open mind and knows when it's his time to take charge and when it's time to shut up, be humble and hear what somebody else has to say.
Judgment. A leader has to use good judgment when making decisions. You need to know things like how hard you can push your Marines and how you can push them past their limits.
By U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Drew Tech
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