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14 Leadership Traits as taught by the Marines

Updated: Jan 26, 2021

A protector should always be a leader in some form or fashion. In the Marine Corps we had an acronym JJ DID TIE BUCKLE. This post will discuss those 14 traits. Some leaders become natural leaders based on their upbringing others learn how to be a leader through lecture, training, and education. In the Executive Protection field there are times you will be working in a team in which there will or should be an assigned leader. Other times there will be no team and your principal will expect you to have those qualities. So what are some qualities?

Justice: So what is justice. We are not necessarily talking about bringing someone to justice. This is more about you making just decisions. Those conflicts inside that you may have. You know the decisions that might be made when no one is looking. It is you weighing punishment verses rewards and then making the right (just) decision.

Judgment: When someone says that you make good judgment calls what they are saying is that you are able to evaluate a situation and make a reasonable decision based on the information received.

Decisiveness: Making decisions can be difficult in some situations. But the decisive leaders are resolute and determined in the decisions they make. It's better to make a decision than no decision.

Integrity: Integrity refers to a moral compass you possess. It's a basic form of incorruptibility. You are complete and undivided in your decisions. For example drinking while working on a detail may be an integrity call you make knowing that a protector is also on-call while working.

Dependability: Are you trustworthy? Are you punctual? Are you reliable? No more really needs to be said on this trait.

Tact: Is a word that speaks to our emotional intelligence. This is a keen sense of what to do or say to continue or renew good relationships. Good relationships are a must both personally and professionally.

Initiative: Leaders should take initiative on projects or ideas. These decisions are made outside any influence or control from someone else. However, remember to make good decisions when taking initiative as stated in decisiveness and judgment.

Enthusiasm: All great decisions and actions have a common denominator and that's enthusiasm. The leaders that have enthusiasm also are inspirational, motivational, and driven.

Bearing: In the military we always talked about someone's lack of bearing when they laughed in formation. Really, bearing is the understanding of your position, situation, or environment. Remember where you are and who your audience is. Bearing is related to tact.

Unselfishness: Unselfishness refers to generosity. Be grateful and polite. As a leader you shouldn't take credit. It's either your job or the team get's credit. You should never look in the mirror of vanity.

Courage: As a leader you should be willing to proceed in the face of danger. This includes mentally and morally. Perseverance is always key in withstanding danger, fear, and difficulty.

Knowledge: Knowledge is gained through training and experience. You should always be on the path of learning as a leader. The more you are acquainted with a product or situation you will be a better leader and teacher.

Loyalty: A good leader is loyal to his/her team and also loyal to superiors.

Endurance: A leader learns to handle hardships and adversity. Not everything will go as planned. You must have the leadership fortitude to handle those situations because things are easy when it's smooth sailing.

"A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves." —Lao Tzu

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