After two weeks in camouflage, I’m back at my computer. It’s been a fun and exciting two weeks practicing the defence of our country. Some of you will have noticed the exercise as the aircraft cover large areas of our country with their noisy machines.
A term used in the military context is combat readiness. It is given in different levels and for the individual soldier it tells how to be prepared for combat. This includes how to wear your combat gear. At lower combat readiness, parts of the equipment may be removed, but close to hand. At high combat readiness, everything must be on the alert, so that the desired high combat readiness is maintained.
The protective and combat vest weighs 13 kilos. The weapon weighs five kilos and the ammunition in the magazines around two kilos. The helmet adds another 1.5 kilos. In summary, you can see that it is quite heavy to move with this equipment on. It’s necessary, and you get used to it, but it’s not easy or comfortable.
With this in mind, it is understandable, if not justifiable, that some people neglect to put on equipment. You simply find it a bit too hard to wear.
For example, some sit on a staff station, in a tent or in a container, where you can take off your equipment when you are in your seat, sitting on a chair and with a computer in front of you. But you need to wear it when you leave the staff tent.
This makes some individuals careless and so are seen walking around without the prescribed equipment. “I’ll just…” they think, and leave everything without the gun when they go out.
But if a high level of combat readiness is given, it is for a reason, and the right equipment should be worn.
The senior manager at the place I served was called Andreas. I noted with pleasure how he never careless with his equipment. When he went out of the staff tent, he put on all the equipment that was ordered. Even if he was only going out for a while, and then came back in a few minutes.
It was a signal value that would do. I met him several times and it was possible to tell from his face what the state of readiness was. He was a walking “billboard” to carry the equipment that was in effect.
He was a good example and in this case I have to agree that being a good example is heavy. More precisely, more than 20 kilos.
This applies to you as a leader too
As a business leader, you also need to take this with you. If you have said that you will work in a certain way, then you should also set a good example and work that way. If you have said that a certain rule applies, then it applies to you too.
It doesn’t give you a free pass as a leader to do as you please and ignore rules, processes or anything else you’ve agreed.
As an example, I have personally experienced places where people go out from the management and point out that it is very important to keep a time report in order to be able to measure what they spend their time on, but then no one in the management cares about keeping a time report themselves. The “excuse” has been that they have “slightly different work than everyone else”. Bad.
Another common example is when managers complain that projects are not going as well as planned. But unfortunately, you yourself do not take care to write the project guidelines that your project model says you should write as a project owner. Bad, even that.
So remember, that like you, you are a parent and must be seen as an example to your children and always need to set a good example. So, as a leader in an organisation, at whatever level, you also need to set an example for all your employees, and set a good example of what you have agreed.
People who look up to you, whether they are children or co-workers, do what you do, not what you say.
So get your equivalent of combat gear on when it’s called for. 🙂