Leadership Lessons from a Lieutenant (Part 2)

By | July 22, 2021

[July 22, 2021]  Some of us tend to dismiss the idea that people were smart or moral in the past.  Not only do I don’t see it this way, but I also stake my way of doing business on the fact that there is much to learn from others.  Yesterday, I listed eight leadership lessons from a U.S. Army First Lieutenant Scott Ginther.1  Here are more of his leadership lessons.

  1. Learn technical leadership tools: Knowing your digital way-around is essential because it increases your efficiency (which frees you to do other tasks).  It increases your ability to communicate your message.  If you don’t show yourself adept at using this technology, other Type-A leaders will take over and do it themselves.
  2. What made you successful before leadership can make you successful higher up IF you keep up the habits: Many leaders slack off on their professional development because they think they’ve “arrived” and have “been there.” The fact is … the good leaders never “get there.” Your successful peers will be the ones who take the positive traits as junior leaders (discipline, pursuit of excellence, and reading) and continue to apply them.
  3. The homework shouldn’t stop: Leader development is divided into three domains: Individual, Organization, and Institutional (professional schooling).  Many leaders think they only need to study while attending a professional course and that their “experience” trumps any academic development their organization could give them.  Such an attitude is foolish.  We all think we are working as hard as we can, but the truth is that there’s probably more we could be doing to improve.
  4. You may not be the best leader … but you can separate yourself from the pack: As a junior leader, it’s true you probably feel like part of the herd, just marching along trying not to get fired.  Transitioning through junior leader positions, however, is your first opportunity to distinguish yourself from your performance.  Your peers will find other jobs, and your age group will shrink.  Your first big gate is any team leader position, which will formally stamp you above average and hopefully start a trend of documented excellence.  You will also pick up mentors who will campaign for you and pull you into jobs in later years.  None of this happens by accident, so be intentional about your performance.
  5. Get a master’s degree: A significant majority of those selected for higher leadership positions hold master’s degrees.  Higher education shows your organization that you are committed to learning and aren’t afraid to keep working hard.  Make sure you get it early in your career.
  6. The Parent as Leader: One fascinating aspect of leaving your junior leaders years is that you will likely also become a parent, which will, in turn, impact you as a leader.  Many leaders under-appreciate or don’t appreciate the effect that parenthood will have on them (not the least of which is sleep deprivation).  You will change the way you lead so that subordinates know you are empathic to family issues.  Being a parent is hard, so give them the benefit of the doubt and help them through it.

These lessons are just a sampling of the countless insights that junior officers will discover if they care about developing as leaders and professionals. If you’ve learned a lesson along the way, there’s a good chance that one of your subordinates could benefit from hearing about it, so don’t forget to teach what you know.


  1. https://themilitaryleader.com/lieutenant-lessons-continued/
Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

14 thoughts on “Leadership Lessons from a Lieutenant (Part 2)

  1. Qassim

    Excellent. Little do we know once we read what others are thinking.

  2. rjsmithers

    Once again, Gen. Satterfield has given us some insight into what others are writing about good (effective and moral) leadership. Let’s never forget the moral component of good leadership and I, for one, would like to read more about that aspect. So, I’m recommending to Gen. Satterfield that he consider a few articles in the future that deal with morality. Too many young folks today think morality is something that changes at the whim of themselves.

  3. Colleen Ramirez

    There aren’t many websites on leadership that I regularly read, but this is one of them. For those who are new to this site, take a cruise around the tabs and read the pieces on leadership that Gen. Satterfield has put together. Over a few days, you will begin to realize that the forums (where I’m writing) are a real value. You can put up ideas and others will respectfully help you sort them out and eliminate thinking that maybe doesn’t work. Good luck.

    1. E.T.

      Good to see you here again, Colleen. I too just love this leadership site and we have such a wide-variety of people commenting.

    2. Cindy Stanley

      Exactly, Colleen. Thanks for writing what we are all thinking.

  4. Lady Hawk

    If this is just a “sampling” of leaders lessons from a junior officer, great, I would just love to read more. So, Gen. Satterfield, if you want to put more of them up for us, please do so.

  5. Army Vet

    I too enjoyed these two days of reading about 1LT Guinter from the US Army. It makes me happy and proud to know that we have soldiers out there who are still learning crucial leadership skills and are willing to communicate them to others. Overall, however, as Gen. Satterfield pointed out, our military is in a downward slide toward irrelevency due to Joe Biden and his suckup SECDEF.

    1. JT Patterson

      Wow, Army Vet, you sure got that one right. I think we are in for a bad time internationally as others see us as WEAK and AFRAID of doing anything. With Joe Biden at the wheel, the great battleship of America is adrift at sea without power, rudder, or mission.

    2. Joe Omerrod

      You guys are really on target today. Oh, Army Vet, always great to see you on Gen. Satterfield’s leadership page. We miss your insights so if you want to write another article, please do so.

  6. Forrest Gump

    A great conclusion to this short series on leadership from an expereinced junior leader. Well done.

    1. Tom Bushmaster

      Yes, Forrest and a nice way to end it as well. I too believe it was well done. I’m a bit surprised that we haven’t seen more like this. I think that as this site has matured, more and more perspectives on leadership have been considered here and discussed. More, in this case, is better.


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