Monday, January 13, 2014

Should leaders do grunt work?

In some instances, a leader is distinguished by setting himself/herself apart from the people who are being led.

In other instances, a leader is right there in the fray.

I'll grant that leadership in the United States Marines is somewhat different than cubicle leadership. But perhaps certain circumstances warrant that all leaders do what "the enlisted" are doing.

Take the example of a Marine who recently received a combat meritorious promotion, Gunnery Sergeant Brent Sheets.

Sheets said he was exposed to leaders who have a “do as I say, not as I do” mentality throughout his Marine Corps career. He believes that goes against what his father taught him.

“I never want to be that type of person, and that’s why I do everything with my Marines,” said Sheets. “No matter if it’s working on a vehicle or picking up trash. I’m going to be right beside them.”

This was observed by one of Sheets' corporals, Austin Adams.

“I remember seeing him police call with us,” said Adams. “I was thinking, ‘what is he doing?’ Afterward, I realized he doesn’t just talk up a big game, but he would actually do everything we do.”

Adams, inspired by Sheets, ended up re-enlisting.
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