Daddy Kumbu Got it Right!
Daddy Kumbu was a giant of a man, he 'guided' me through basic training in the Army, he taught me on my drill course, and he inspired me to be the best I could be. He was also an ex international rugby player for Fiji, who could have played in any position around the park due to his skill and passion for the sport.
He was also the most caring leader I've met. Don't get me wrong, he wasn't soft, far from it! He was also one of the toughest and hardest men I've ever met. The sort of person you would want to have on your side when you go to war!
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I've met many great leaders during my carer in the military and one of the biggest differences I noticed when leaving the military and working in the commercial world was the lack of pride, care and compassion of many leaders in the commercial world.
I like the quote stating that leadership isn't about being in charge of people, it's about caring for the people in your charge. I can remember many 'grillings' from Daddy Kumbu, which were all done from a place of care and compassion. He wanted us to be successful and be able to operate in tough environments... his teachings were hard at the time but all done from the right intent.
I can also remember playing rugby with him for the first time. We were playing another Corps and he was our team manager and captain. He was at the pitch way before anyone else making sure the dressing room was clean and set up correctly. All the shirts on the right pegs with shorts and socks all lined up. It wasn't about being OCD, it was about care, pride and creating a high performance culture... he wanted to win as much as anyone! That was over 36 years ago and I can still remember how it made me feel when I walked into the dressing room. I felt full of pride and confidence. I played one of my best games ever... and we won easily! The other side didn't know what had happened to them.
Just to put this in context, this was a Regimental Sergeant Major (The Boss) and ex International Player cleaning the dressing room and hanging up the kit! Why, because of the training and leadership code in place. The seven leadership behaviours guiding the leaders of the best army in the world are:
- Lead by Example
- Encourage Thinking
- Apply Reward and Discipline
- Demand High Performance
- Encourage Confidence in the Team
- Recognise Individual Strengths and Weaknesses
- Strive for Team Goals
Underpinning these leadership behaviours are a core set of values...
Soldiering has always demanded physical courage, to knowingly go into harm’s way on behalf of the nation. Physical courage is required to risk life, take life, show restraint, endure hardships and focus on the task; soldiers depend on each other for it. Equally important is moral courage, the strength and confidence to do what is right, even when it may be unpopular and to insist on maintaining the highest standards of behaviour and decency. This earns respect and fosters trust.
Discipline is the primary antidote to fear and maintains operational effectiveness: it is supported by team loyalty, trust and professionalism. Discipline instils self-confidence and self-control. Good discipline means soldiers will do the right thing even under the most difficult of circumstances.
Respect for Others
Respect for others, both those inside and outside of our organisation is not only a legal obligation, it is a fundamental principle of the freedom that our society enjoys. Teams that embrace diversity, and value each individual for their contribution and viewpoint are always stronger for it. We must treat everyone we encounter as we would wish to be treated.
Integrity means being truthful and honest, which develops trust amongst individuals and welds them into robust and effective teams. Integrity is therefore critical to soldiering, as soldiers must have complete trust in one and other as their lives might ultimately depend on it. Trust in the Chain of Command is also key, and demands integrity from those in positions of authority.
Loyalty binds all ranks of the Army together, creating cohesive teams that can achieve far more than the sum of their parts. The Nation, Army and Chain of Command rely on the continuing allegiance, commitment and support of all who serve. But, loyalty is not blind and must operate within the parameters of the other Values; it should not stop appropriate action to prevent transgressions by subordinates, peers or seniors.
Selfless commitment is a foundation of military service, soldiers must be prepared to serve where and when required and always give their best. The needs of the mission and the team come before personal interests. Ultimately, soldiers may be required to give their lives for their country, that is true selfless commitment.
Daddy Kumbu lived and breathed this... he led from the front.
The question is... How do you make it clear what you expect from leaders?
Do you have you a leadership code in place?
Do you have a set of guiding values that everyone understands and uses to guide behaviour and decisions?
If not, the good news is that we can work with you to create a leadership framework aligned to your vision, values, goals and aspirations. Contact me for more details on how we are working with many of the best organisations in the world to develop their leaders and boost their performance.