How Do 4-Star Generals Create Amazing Teams?

by blogadmin 15. March 2018 02:26

Our U.S. military is known for generating extrordinary leaders through values, team work, and communication. What methods can we glean from these principles ot make our own teams stronger? How can we create high-performing leaders that work together?

Retired General Ann E. Dunwoody is the first woman in the U.S. military to have achieved the rank of 4-star general, which she received in 2008 as a member of the U.S. Army. In her last assignment, she led the largest global logistics command in the Army: over 69,000 military and civilian personnel in over 140 countries with a budget of 60 billion dollars. Today, she leads and serves on the boards of several communications, logistics, and mentoring firms. Kevin Kruse of Forbes recently sat down with Gen. Dunwoody where she gave her best advice for leaders and how to hold people accountable. 

WHAT LEADERSHIP ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A MANAGER?

No matter what level you are, make every person on your team count. Everybody has something to contribute. And if you can bring the best out in each of your team members then you're going to have a great team, but that also requires you to reward good behavior. So, when you have those people who are exceeding the standards and doing a great job for your team, that you acknowledge that, that you pat them on the back, you shake their hand, you give them the t-shirt, you give them the bonus, whatever.

And, likewise, the harder part of that equation is when you have people that aren't meeting the standard, who are dragging the team down, you have to deal with them as well. Either corrective mentoring, counseling, or try to get them on board, or something to make sure they don't drag the team down.

And, I believe this, people want to be a part of a high performing organization. They want to make a difference, but they want to be appreciated. And so, when you recognize those people are going to get on that side of the team, they want to be part of those who are getting the handshake, no one wants to be told they are not doing well. So, in my experience, that's how you build high performing organizations from the smallest team to the highest level.

So, reward the good performance, take care of the ones not carrying their load, and you will create amazing teams. For more quality advice, read her latest book, A Higher Standard: Leadership Strategies from America's First Female 4-Star General.

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