Kokoda Diggers tell you how to be a good leader PART 2

12 Feb 2018 3:51 PMKokoda Diggers tell you how to be a good leader PART 2

The Diggers of Kokoda when interviewed about leadership, offered their well thought out views as to what are the key components of great Leadership. Having risked their all in so many theatres of war they offered some good old fashioned down to earth advice on how to be good leader.

“When I saw those poor bastards tottering on their bleeding swollen feet turn around and go straight back I knew they were good”. Without orders Lt Johnson led forward a party of physically unfit volunteers. “We heard the Battalion was in trouble so we came back”.

Kokoda to Wau – Dudley MCarthy, 1959

If you had the opportunity to tell somebody how to be a good leader, what would you tell them?

Know what you are doing, ensure that your subordinates are fully trained, and always, always remember that communication up and down is absolutely vital.

Make sure your personal life is a good example. A very thorough knowledge of the plan ahead. A thorough knowledge of your weapons and tools.

Be prepared to do what you ask your men to do.

Develop your personality which includes: physical fitness and bearing, mental alertness and balance in decision making, spiritual strength necessary to impress men of your care, and regard for your fellow man.

Show genuine interest and receive loyalty. It is vital to be with your men and share their hardships. Be with them but not of them. Men follow leaders they can look up to and respect. Inquire into their families from time to time.

Be truthful.

Do not ask those under you to do what you would not do your self.

Adopt the battle cry “come on” not “go on”.

Develop the ability to listen, to accept that others might have a real contribution to make towards reaching the goal that has been set out.

Go out and make mistakes. Do not stand on prerogatives and sit on subordinates. Realise the potential in others.

Good leadership brings the best out in people.

Two heads are better than one. There is always a time to listen, don’t be pig headed.

Develop the ability to demonstrate confidence and always look after your mens interests.

Know your job and work your plan “authority flows to one who knows”

Listen to everybody, take counsel from wherever it can be gained, above all, trust your judgement and be prepared to make a mistake.

Always listen to “gripes” even if you think they are unjustified – abusers usually have some valid points. On the other hand do not be too influenced by praise.

Gain a thorough knowledge of your subject, show no favouritism, and when passing on instruction tell them, don’t ask them.

Listen to your troops.

If you haven’t got pride, and you haven’t got principle, then you haven’t got anything.

Trust in yourself, trust your men, never underestimate your opponent.

Spend considerable time training your team in the conditions you will be committed, develop a team spirit, lead by example.

A leader must also be able to accept and carry out everything you request from the men under your command.

It is imperative to show those first in action, so lead by example.

A good leader needs to have the ability to be able to bond a group of people together so that they can work as a team. Be able to produce and convey a successful and concise plan to meet a situation.

A good leader needs to be sensible, courageous, trusted and have confidence in his decisions.

It is important to be able to gain and maintain the complete confidence and support of your team.

Be able to judge a persons character and know which way to jump in different and difficult situations – show a lot of compassion, a good pair of ears to listen and a quick brain to make decisions.

Important to care for the men you are responsible for 24 hours a day.

Know what you should be doing, keep control and communicate with those you lead.

Be clear, pay attention to what has been discussed and pass it on. Your troops will do the job asked of them.