Rick wrote: "I'm not a marine. But, I am impressed by the vigor and
spirit of this exchange. In most settings, I don't hear people talk
about the leadership system and empowerment in *their* organizations
with this kind of pride."
Rick, I appreciate your willingness to test your assumptions about the
military. There's a lot of "good stuff" happening in the armed forces
(and some not-so-good stuff, too). Your question - "How does it happen?"
- is one that I would like to explore further. Whatever the good stuff
is, I believe it does apply to business and other organizations.
Here's a tentative answer: I think spirit - empowerment - pride - all come
from a strong sense of Noble Purpose. I have seen this theme throughout
the exchange, haven't you?
Hal Popplewell (LO3902) says, "A sense of mission being #1..." and we all
agree that the mission of the Corps is a Noble one.
Joe Podolsky (LO3898) remarks on "the presence and practice of deeply held
Thomas Lifvendahl (LO3859), commenting on knowledge in combat situations,
emphasizes that "reaction requires direction and direction requires some
sense of mission/objective."
Noble Purposes have been discussed elsewhere on this list and are
certainly not unique to military organizations. I have a friend at the
local utility company, who had the opportunity to experience the power (no
pun intended) of Noble Purpose after visits by Erin and Opal. When the
hurricanes hit, the company totally reorganized around a pinpoint purpose
- restoring power to customers. All employees worked 16 or more hours per
day towards this one overriding objective. It was invigorating and
inspired work, and we, the local community, witnessed the very best of the
human spirit - that wonderful potential that we all have. My friend
remarked, after it was all over, "I wish our focus was always this narrow,
our vision always this clear." This is not to say that the company has NO
sense of purpose at other times, only that there are different levels of
awareness and connection with that sense of purpose. This has been my
experience as well: the more connected I am with my Purpose (personally
and organizationally), the more motivated, inspired, etc.
-- Jane Collins TQL Coordinator Naval Air Station Pensacola