[February 7, 2018] I was a Private in the U.S. Army due for a promotion in rank. My Company Commander made the promotion into a special event that I never forgot and thereafter used his philosophy to reward achievements of my soldiers. Good leaders go the extra mile and celebrate the success of others.
When leaders celebrate the success of others, it brings them closer to those they lead. Doing so is a material act that shows they care; taking care of people is an aspect of leadership that should never be overlooked as unnecessary or beneath them. Rewarding others and their successes helps make that person stronger; mentally, morally, and intellectually.
Sometimes even the smallest thing can be celebrated; like my promotion from Private (E-2) to Private First Class (E-3). These ranks are truly low in the scheme of the overall military effort to protect and defend the nation. But by its recognition, it was not lost on me, or anyone else, that someone was actually paying attention to a nobody (me!) that had an unimportant job.
All the company leadership turned out for the promotion outside the company headquarters building on that cold morning in January. Many gave me a slap on the back and thanked me for doing a good job and for earning my new rank.
Celebrating the successes of others is about ‘taking care of people.’ It may be only one aspect of doing so but it is an undeniable and visible symbol of ensuring their people are on the right track. It also shows others that the leadership is committed to each and every person.
I had a Platoon Leader in that unit that made a point of sending a congratulatory letter to the spouse or parents of each of the soldiers whenever we were promoted. I thought that was the coolest thing ever and we were all very loyal to that Lieutenant because he was going beyond that required of him and making us feel like we were really a part of his team.
Each soldier in the unit would give everything he had to accomplish the mission because we knew that the leadership had out backs if things went wrong. We trained hard and had good times together. It all was centered on those good leadership qualities that a few officers and sergeants showed us in the cold somewhere in western Germany, decades ago.
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