What 11 Leadership Principles Can Teach You about Cancer

In 1951, the 11 leadership principles were published in the Army Field Manual on Leadership.  In spite of the 11 leadership principles publication date, these principles are relevant today.  These 11 leadership principles can help you recover from cancer.  In this post, I will examine each one of these 11 leadership principles and how they can be helpful in your recovery effort.

  1. Know Yourself and Seek Improvement

This first principle is twofold.  First, you must learn about yourself and your character attributes.  The key to understanding yourself on a different level is with the aid of the leadership skills list.  This list can help you determine your strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities.  It will help by considering your background.  Your experience can highlight the potential that you possess.

The second piece of the first principle is seeking improvement.  Improvement can come from a variety of sources.  One method for improvement comes from reading.  Another technique comes from observation of behavior patterns of yourself and those of others.  Next, ask for feedback from those inside your circle who have an understanding of you.

Upon gaining knowledge of your strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities develop a strategic approach to leverage your abilities.  It is important to focus on one aspect or attribute one at a time.

My experience suggests that you consider those influential people in your life.  Create a list of people you admire.  After you form this list of key individuals, state the reason for your admiration.  Try to identify trends in your reasoning for admiration.  These themes are helpful in establishing goals.  When I did this exercise, I realized that I had an appreciation for teachers.  With this in mind, I set the goal of becoming a professional educator and become a college professor.

  1. Be Technically and Tactically Proficient

After establishing the goals you have for yourself, learn about the goal in greater depth.  There are usually different manners to achieve your goal.  Research the different paths to achieve your goal.  You will likely find that brainstorming helps you identify paths that were originally unclear.  Combining these paths can help you develop the strengths to be effective and successful in goal attainment.

When researching your available paths to goal achievement, consider successful people in the industry or niche.  Model yourself after these individuals.  Reach out to these people and ask the questions.  Successful people who have accomplished the goals you set can offer guidance and possibly coach you.

Think about joining professional associations so that you can consider gaining access to these individuals.  Community involvement is an approach that can work wonders.

As I set out to be a professional educator, I began by considering my background.  At the time I was diagnosed with cancer, I realized that I already possessed a master’s degree in my field.  I chose to use this asset and proceeded to pursue a doctoral degree.  At the same time, I reached out to other teachers at different levels.  They helped me become aware of the need for substitute teaching.  I used this as an outlet to form professional relationships, build my background, and gain experience.

  1. Know Your Team and Consider Their Welfare

Attempt to gain an appreciation for those individuals inside your circle.  You need to gain a deep understanding of people.  This means examining the strengths and weaknesses of your team.  Next, consider their passions and desires.

When you understand your team and can provide tasks that match with their strengths and passions you will find success.  You can help to ensure that you set your team up for wins.  As you team experience these wins, they begin to gain confidence that will come in handy with bigger challenges.

When you face a challenge like cancer, you can lose confidence in your abilities.  Cancer is designed to destroy the body as it attaches and destroys your cells.

When you attempt to overcome this challenge, it is vital to match your strengths with your passions.  For this reason, if you are following the 11 leadership principles you have set goals, learned about yourself, and identified manners to reach your goals.  When you match and combine these elements, you will begin to build new confidence as you take one action at a time.

  1. Stay Informed

One of your responsibilities is to be and stay informed.  You should communicate effectively so that others area clear about your progress.  Communication should occur with individuals who have a stake in your development.  This means that you should be honest with yourself as well.  Clear communication will allow you to accomplish different goals in your journey.

For example, in my situation, as I spoke with other teachers I would explain my progress.  My progress began with enrollment in a doctoral program.  I would then convey the struggles I was experiencing with others.  This allowed people to offer support as necessary.  As my graduation timeline was altered due to these difficulties, I would provide a set of new expectations to these individuals.  By being honest and open with others in the field, they were able to make plans to incorporate my skills in other areas that have been helpful in building my experience.

  1. Set an Example

As a leader, your job is to be an example for others.  When considering yourself as an example, be aware of your appearance, attitude, and health to name a few.  People are evaluating you and your behavior.  Others want to know that you are true to your word.  Staying true to your word demonstrates your commitment and is one of the 11 leadership principles.

To develop this principle, you should be concerned with your health and demonstrate your passion for your new goal.  Remember, as a cancer patient you suffered a health setback.  People have an interest in knowing that you are fit, both physically and mentally.  It is also necessary to be enthusiastic about your goals.  Help others see why this new goal is important to you.

  1. Train and Prepare

To reach your goal you need to take action every day to bring yourself closer to your definite purpose.  Each step you take brings you closer to goal achievement.  Many of the hours that it will take you to arrive at your destination will include preparing.  Preparation helps you seize the day when the opportunity arises.  This particular principle works in coordination with the others.  Preparing is a subset of the other 11 leadership principles.

  1. Make Decisions

You should know what it takes to achieve your goal more than anyone else.  If you do not possess the knowledge, it is your job to research everything so that you understand the challenges that will likely prevent you from reaching your destination.  This deep understanding allows you to analyze problems quickly and make necessary changes.  It is important to be ready to make decisions.  Use the information you have and respond accordingly.  If you find that you are lacking information or made a poor decision, reevaluate.

To enhance this leadership principle develop a strategic thought process and plan for emergencies.  Practice asking for feedback.  Consider asking for input from others if in doubt.  Do not be afraid to ask for input.  Remember this is your goal, your dream, take initiative and make decisions for your situation.

  1. Be Responsible

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    Be Responsible and Aware of Your Surroundings

Don’t just seek professional development opportunities but get involved.  You will not arrive at your destination if you look at everything through a window.  This is your life, and you owe to yourself to make the most of your life.  Have faith in your abilities and your experience.  Preparation allows you to be responsible for your actions.  Responsibility failure frequently stems from a lack of preparation.

In my cancer battle, I would think about those individuals who were undergoing their battle with cancer.  I may not have had faith initially in the outcome of my treatment, but with time this attitude changed.  As I began to look at life through a positive lens, I changed my leadership slogan.  I felt like I owe it to those individuals who did not have an opportunity in life after their cancer diagnosis.  I learned to be responsible for my outcome in life and live life to the fullest for those who were not given a chance.

Develop this leadership principle by understanding processes. Know how long each phase of the process lasts.  Recognize your accomplishments.  Use your experience to help serve others.  Being responsible for your life and helping others will be a rewarding experience.

  1. Instill Responsibility in Others

As you become comfortable in your abilities, reach out and challenge others.  One way to do this is to set a goal and encourage participation from others.  Take the time to learn and appreciate the value in other people.  When you take the time to get to know people life is more rewarding, and you begin to have more to offer.

  1. Leverage Your Abilities

Each person has their strengths.  You need to match strengths with the challenge ahead.  If you are unable to leverage your strength to match the task, develop a strategy to limit the exposure of your weaknesses.  You want to set yourself up for success.

If a job calls for a person who possesses X attribute which you are missing, say no.  Instead, volunteer for another task.  Considering helping someone else and collaborating.  When you work together with another person, you may find the task more enjoyable.  You also have the ability to learn from those who possess experience that you lack.

  1. Challenge Yourself
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Life is rewarding when you set a high bar and accomplish your goals.  Set a goal and realize that accomplishments are a journey and not a destination.  When you reach your objectives, set new ones.  Keep raising the bar and don’t give up.  At the end of the day, the only person who has to live with themselves is you.  If you give up on you, others will do the same.

Don’t settle for the status quo.  Learn how you can make yourself better and work towards these goals.  Apply for new positions and continue to challenge yourself.  Each new opportunity will begin as a challenge.  Over the course of time, you will feel more comfortable and capable as you come closer and closer to being the best version of you.