Mustang Leadership

6 01 2015

“Some of the best advice I’ve had comes from junior officers and enlisted men.” ~Chester W. Nimitz

I’ve served with many bad officers while I was in the military, and a few who were outstanding (at least 2 of the good ones have since made it to General –the top officer rank).  Those that many enlisted men considered “good” officers were often, but not always, what we called “Mustang” officers.  These were the officers who originally were enlisted men, got their college education while in the Army (in my case), and then went on to Officer Candidate School (OCS) to become Lieutenants (Junior Officers – called Ensigns in the Navy).

Whether a Mustang officer out of OCS, or a civilian leader who has recently been promoted, never forget where you came from.  Understanding the frustrations of those on the front lines will, hopefully, give you the empathy you need as a leader to help your team succeed.  Walk the floor, talk to your front line folks, and more importantly, LISTEN.  The best advice you get will often come from your own “junior officers and enlisted men (and women)”.  Do this, and they’ll give the extra effort for you, making the whole team look good!

Speaking of Junior…

postman

Rubes cartoons used with permission. www.rubescartoons.com

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