14 Leadership Traits and Principles USMC Perceives as Keys to Successful Leadership

USMC leadership principles and traits play a significant role in the development of future leaders.  These traits and principles are not found solely through the USMC.  What do the USMC Leadership traits and principles have in common with the experience afforded by cancer?  This is a comparative post that addresses the 14 leadership traits and principles USMC values and compares this with the traits acquired through cancer.

  1. Justice Leads to Honor and Respect

Leaders are individuals who value justice.  Lack of justice will eventually lead to a physical and emotional breakdown in behavior.  Those individuals who are unable to lead justly will eventually discover a chaotic environment.

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Justice or fairness comes from honor and respect.  You need to treat your body like a temple.  Consider a holistic approach that addresses both body and mind.

You can show this level of respect for yourself by developing a weekly exercise routine that you can follow.  One method for caring for your mind is emotional exercise through a mindfulness practice.

When you are on the road to recovery, you must behave in a mindful manner.  Cancer treatment can drain your energy leaving you to run short sprints due to a lack of endurance.  It is important to make each action count by doing so in a mindful way.

  1. Combine Judgement with Confidence

Judgment refers to the ability to make decisions under stress.  Making wise decisions is made by keeping your purpose and goals at the forefront.  Each decision should bring you closer to achieving your goals.

Overcoming a life event like cancer drastically shifts your perception on what matters.  It is important to take time to ask yourself questions to reveal your life purpose.  Take the discover your motivations in life.

When you take the time to reflect on your abilities and strengths, you can leverage them in a new capacity.  The beauty of beating cancer is gaining a new level of confidence that you can do anything.  Use your judgment and confidence to make decisions that support your purpose in life.

  1. Dependability Comes from Emotional Strength

To be dependable, you must be reliable and trustworthy.  In other words, you do what you say you will do.  Others see you as consistent and know what to expect from you.

Cancer can give you strength.  As you undergo treatment, you may find yourself at one of your weakest points.  However, after completing cancer treatment, you may discover greater emotional strength.  You may find that cancer has left you with an attitude that you have nothing to lose.

Use your emotional strength to make a decision and remain confident.

  1. Integrity: Honesty, Directness, and Transparency

One of the important USMC leadership traits and principles that serve as a guiding compass is integrity.  Those individuals who lead with honesty, directness and transparency will establish a foundation to encourage others to follow.

One of the rewards for making it through cancer treatment is the ability to hit the refresh or do over button.  All of the sick cells in your body have been killed.  This fresh start provides you with a chance to be honest with others and yourself from day one.

Be honest regarding your needs and desires.  Do not be sorry for your hidden wishes.  Life is short.  Reward your yourself and your rich experience through honest dealings.

  1. Decisiveness and the Importance of Preparedness
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Leaders experience time constraints.  Time constraints place increasing demand on decisiveness.  Taking the time to analyze all available options is a luxury.  When you lack this luxury, the training occurring in terms of leadership traits and principles USMC creates become the utmost importance..

The tie between cancer diagnosis and the initial treatment typically occurs quickly.  Time is of the essence to avoid the cells from metastasizing and worsening.

You now know the importance of decisiveness and steadfastness.  If you are to make quick decisions, you must prepare yourself.

  1. Tact and What It Means to be Graceful

Valuable leadership traits and principles USMC honors is the role of tact.  Tact is the act of delivering a difficult message in a respectful manner.

Knowing the individual you are speaking with allows you to change your approach in communication so that the message is well received.  When one is unaware of the likely reaction of another, it is best to proceed with tact and a sense of grace.

The delivery of this message occurs through contextually framing the message in coordination with word choice and tone.  These three components must be carefully selected, so that other person does not become closed and tune the speaker out.  Rather the receiver warmly welcomes the message and looks forward to future interactions.

Cancer recovery patients know the role of tact better than many people.  When delivering the diagnosis of cancer doctors attempt to do so in a tactful manner.  The patient is not always aware of the consequence of a cancer prognosis.

Upon hearing the diagnosis, I felt paralyzed.  When I heard the news, I immediately asked how long I had to live.  Fortunately, testicular cancer is highly curable.

At other times, people may lack tact when interacting with you.  Due to chemotherapy treatment, I lost all the hair on my head.

A few months after beginning treatment, I no longer looked the same.  I had acquaintances that greeted me with gasps and “oh my” as they were shocked as to what happened.

These types of greeting were all instances of the lack of tact.

  1. Leadership Traits and Principles USMC: Initiative

Don’t wait for the grass to grow around your feet.  Those individuals who wait for the perfect timing will discover that the opportune time is nonexistent.  As a result, start taking action today even if the situation is not ideal.

Leaders take a moment to assess the state of affairs. Reconfirm the purpose you want to achieve. Focus on taking one small step to bring you closer to your goal.

There is a reason that a bad plan today is better than the perfect plan tomorrow.  Lacking initiative can make problems worse.  Action brings you closer to solutions.  You can always modify your plan and set new goals.

Failure to take action allows the cancer cells to metastasize and spread to other areas of the body.

If the body is to become healthy, you need to start by setting the overall goal as bodily health.  Each day take one action that helps to alleviate the symptoms.  The daily action can be as simple as taking a pill.  Larger scale action may be receiving a radiation of chemotherapy treatment.

  1. Endurance Brings Back the Zest for Life
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Core USMC leadership traits and principles include endurance.  Marines are trained for physical endurance so that they are capable of tackling any task.

Accompanying physical endurance is the role of mental endurance.  Mental toughness allows you to press on when challenges seem impossible.

Cancer treatment attacks cells leaving you physically drained.  You will likely have a lack of endurance finding yourself in bed repeatedly.

At my worst, I was suffering from chemo brain.  I was unable to process my thoughts.  The feeling of my head in a cloud left me unable to cope.  Managing a simple headache and knowing which medication to take was impossible.

Slowly I regained my stamina.  It would be years later when I felt physically fit.  At times I feel the damage that was done to my lungs as I gasp for oxygen during a difficult workout.

Where my endurance excelled was emotionally.  I feel I fought the war and came out on the other side the victor.  When challenges arise, I remind myself of this period in my life, and I find the zest for life.

  1. Bearing and True North

One of the leadership traits and principles USMC instills is finding your bearing or true north.  Individuals who receive this training can maintain composure.

Bearing allows you to connect with your body and soul through elevated awareness.  When this interconnected relationship comes together, you can think clearly and act upon the values that you find important.

You never know yourself better than when facing a challenge.  Cancer forces you to reflect on the meaning of your life.

When I was going through cancer treatment, I would say this is a disease that I do not wish upon any enemy.  However, I am glad that I had the experience.

I look forward to sharing this important life experience with others.  I want to get other back on their feet and learn to live again.

  1. Unselfishness and the Right Attitude

Put those close to you at the forefront.  Treat others to the best of your ability.  Your personal comfort comes last.  USMC leadership principles and traits view unselfishness as a care leadership strength that is important to learn if you wish to be successful.

When I was getting my feet under me again, I thought about the people important to me.  For me, the individuals who had a lasting impact were teachers.   That was the moment I decided to leave my legacy in that fashion.

I did research on how to become a professor.  While this is a goal I continue to pursue, I came to an additional realization.  There are many different ways to do something you have the passion for in life.  With this attitude, I started this blog.

  1. Courage + Desire = Action

Courage does not only refer to the act of confronting danger.  To be courageous means doing what you think is right.  Equally important is that you put aside the potential consequences if you are doing what you believe to be right.

I am blessed that cancer afforded me the experience to build my courage.  One of the leadership traits and principles USMC instills in those they develop is the ability to demonstrate courage.  Cancer is an illness that requires the patient show this same degree of courage to undergo treatment.

The courage to speak and act is not always desirable.  In fact, I do not always want to be the one to speak my mind.

I learned that cancer had provided me with the opportunity of life through living.  I must do what I feel is right for those who were not given the same opportunity.

The outcome of a cancer diagnosis is not always positive.

I feel I must be courageous even when I lack desire.  I do so with the knowledge that life is short and I must make the most of each day.

  1. Knowledge Comes from 10,000 Hours of Deliberate Practice
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Devote your life in support of your passion for being the best in the field.

It takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice allows you to become world class.  It takes the time to acquire knowledge.  To build knowledge to become the best your must devote yourself.

As I laid in my bed laid up, I was frequently left with my thoughts.  These thoughts may not have been clear even to me.  The fog of chemo brain prevented long stretches of contemplation.

A cancer survivor can press the reset button.  Take the time to analyze important events in your life.  Discover the passion that moves you.  Tackle that passion with gusto and make a difference.  Use the knowledge you already possess.

  1. USMC Leadership Principles and Traits: Loyalty

Commit and have faith in your values.  The success of a marine stems from the USMC leadership principles and traits.  These leaders take the time to learn the values of the corp.  After they learn these values, they commit to them.

There is understanding that this loyalty brings people together from diverse backgrounds and makes the team stronger.

Those with cancer come to realize their values through contemplation of life.  In a fast paced world with little time to slow down, this is a gift.

With a newfound understanding of you values you must learn to commit, have faith, and show your loyalty to yourself and others.

  1. USMC Leadership Traits and Principles: Enthusiasm

Attitude shapes your beliefs.  Learn to appreciate the individuals and things life has to offer.  Show enthusiasm and appreciation for the gifts you find.

As simple bout with negativity has the capability to set you off course.  You can be off course for a day or longer.

You get to make a choice in life regarding your experiences.  Get excited and show your emotions. You will find that this emotion will grow throughout the day if you allow.  Embrace the leadership traits and principles USMC perceive as those possessed by successful leaders.