IOWA CITY, Iowa (Feb. 12, 2014) -- Organizational effectiveness is the key to prosperity and survival of any organization, and as leaders we should be value driven and focused on accomplishing the goals of the organization. Establishing goals and expectations that build relationships and strengthen the unit serve as the basis for cultivating the commitment to organizational values and how leaders influence the overall effectiveness of the organization.
Leaders demonstrate their intense commitment to the values they espouse by setting an example, but what happens when the leadership is tested and values, commitment, and standards are no longer viewed as quality attributes for success?
Leaders should awaken the potential within their subordinates. Exemplary leaders who have wrestled with their souls are able to lead others only after struggling with the opposing values they face and recognizing the effects their decisions have on those they lead.
As a subordinate, I struggled with destructive leadership demonstrated by leaders whose infectious display of inhumanity sought to destroy the values of others who failed to play into their self-interests. Over time I learned to be the type of leader I always wanted, and not the type I always had. I realized leaders must set clear guidance that sets the values needed to create signposts that tell subordinates where they are. Personal and organizational values should influence every aspect of our lives and they should serve as guides to action; they should be empowering and motivating.
So how does a unit succeed? I feel a units ability to succeed focuses on a set of key principles I refer to as APPLES: Accountability, Planning, Precision, Leadership, Work Ethic, and Standards. These are all qualities that will enhance any team's overall effectiveness.
--- Individual accountability is a critical element of every collaborative effort and everyone, from top to bottom is accountable and must do their part for the organization to function effectively.
--- Planning on a daily basis to ensure mission success requires a behavior that includes making decisions about objectives, priorities, strategies, organization of the work, assignment of responsibilities, scheduling of activities, and the allocation of resources.
--- Precisely targeting the market is critical and must be clearly known to ensure mission accomplishment.
--- Providing the Leadership subordinates need because they want it, they need it, and they expect it.
--- Uncompromising Work Ethic that envelopes honesty, integrity, character, and an overall will to succeed is the driving force in the pursuit of mission accomplishment.
--- The enforcement of Standards set clear expectations that everyone is expected to do what's right regardless of the conditions.
The fruit of success, A.P.P.L.E.S, must be a shared responsibility among all within the organization, and it must serve as the moral compass that directs the unit's ability to reach its goals and the expectations set by unit leadership. What leaders say matters, but what leaders do matters more. Without a clear sense of clarity, organizations are prone to a reactive culture that hinders or slows its ability to succeed.
Understanding the role outside influences play in the success of the organization is a vital function to steering the unit to conceptualize, develop, and implement mission essential tasks that are in alignment with the organizations values and goals. By focusing on effective, efficient, and competent concepts, or values, the unit can accelerate success.
As the organization moves toward the future, it's important to cultivate the commitment to organizational values to influence its overall effectiveness and posture it for success. Investing in the future of our Soldiers and influencing them to believe in the direction and concept of the leadership philosophy is the key component to ensuring the organization succeeds.