Before you ever get off the bus to start boot camp, you must have a high level of military motivation and be truly dedicated to being able to accomplishing all of your tasks. Many people in the military will yell at you to “get motivated” while you’re also getting screamed at or yelled at for just about everything else. When you’re in the military, it is not only important to motivate yourself, but to motivate others as well. Think about it; the military is all about being part of a team. There are no individuals in the military—just the team. Not only will your success depend on the success of others, but your very life will depend on others.
Your entire team must be motivated and respect each other in order to find success, and the easiest way to motivate others is to motivate yourself first. Motivation should cut out negativity in your life about what the mission or assignment is, so strive not to be a complainer or a whiner. You should look at each task as a stepping stone to your success and as a way to prove that you are a valuable asset to your team and unit.
These character traits will help you along your path to motivation:
- Be disciplined
- Be focused
- Set obtainable, personal goals
- Be confident, poised, and ready to execute your unit’s plan and mission
- Stay prepared
When you have set your goals, take time to measure your progress, invest in yourself, and invest in your team.
There are many different ways to motivate others. The most effective ways are communicating, creating a vision, and teaching others how to succeed. The military can be very difficult for anyone since everyone must face constant adversity, especially during a deployment or in combat. Because of this, it is very important to stay positive and keep your team motivated. Having a constant complainer in your unit can be toxic to others and your mission, so as a leader, you must be prepared to stop this type of attitude and behavior long before it starts. The best way to do this is to put others before yourself and be willing to make sacrifices that will motivate your team.
Our military leaders spend hours handling problems that prevent them from doing their duties and completing the unit’s overall mission. When this happens, it affects the whole unit. This is why as a leader you must set expectations of each member of your command. Set goals and hold junior leaders accountable for them. Allow leaders to lead and motivate their teams at the lowest level. Allow junior leaders to perform their duties without constantly looking over their shoulders. Allow leaders to manage their teams within the standards, regulations, and expectations set before them without constantly making changes they must follow. Making these goals and changes in the way you lead will allow motivation to grow and success to happen.