The Two Main Lessons on My Leadership Philosophy

My Leadership Purpose Statement ultimately describes the kind of leader I desire to become: to make my superiors proud and inspire my subordinates, to trust my team, to be happy in every stage of life, and to be a confidant. As a Youngster it will be my job to be a mentor, a place where a plebe can ask questions and receive advice: someone to look up to. Two lessons in particular will help me embody my Leadership Purpose Statement as I transition into a Youngster and eventually evolve into a 1/C in the Brigade: Reflection and Motivation.

Reflection is the ability to make mistakes and learn from them, which is a sign of maturity and development. In order to gain wisdom from an experience, one must make an effort to understand the meaning and how experience has reformed the thought process [Kinicki). It is a conscious effort to strive to get better and is essential to leadership. The physical mission of the Academy is something that I knew I would struggle with going into Plebe Summer.

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I was significantly less physically fit than my squad mates and even my company mates. At the time I did not realize how detrimental it would be to not try to fulfil the physical mission. After failing the PRT, I realized the weight of the situation. It has taken a lot of reflection on my emotions, actions, and motive to understand why I failed and what I need to change in order to achieve the standard and be “someone to look up to”.

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Because my of my ability to reflect, I have been able to change many habits and work to be an example to my future followers. As a Youngster I feel that I will be able to be that pathway of reflection for a plebe, in an almost preventative manner.

I’ve learned from my mistakes and can use what I’ve learned in reflection to ensure that others learn from my mistakes as well. As a 1/C I believe this is instrumental to inspire my subordinates. If they see that their leader has failed, but rose up again, then they can do the same. In conjunction, Plebe Summer not only tested my ability to reflect, but my motivation as well. Motivation is defined as a psychological process that causes the inner drive to direct goals [Hughes, Ginnet, Curphy]. It was difficult for me to find motivation to work my hardest through every workout and evolution. Those entrusted to train me did not understand that I was not motivated by punishment, but rather my purpose and ambition. What motivates my followers and peers is something that as a Youngster I would do my best to understand. This understanding will help me embody my purpose statement, because it will allow me to be that “place” that a plebe can confide in, develop and track goals that direct attention, regulate effort, and increase persistence.

In addition, knowing how to motivate subordinates is imperative to my success as a 1/C, knowing that some people are motivated by achievement, and others by recognition, is important to the overall success of the group. [Litchford, Byrant] Ultimately, as a 1/C, I want to become a safe place to confide in, an example, someone you follow because you admire them and trust them and they inspire you, decisive but empathetic, a balanced leader. As a Youngster I would use reflection and motivation to teach others and help them learn from my mistakes, and help others develop goals to direct their attention effectively. As a leader within the brigade and a 1/C Midshipmen, I would need to take a more active role with my subordinates: maintaining the standard, but also knowing my people and how they are motivated. Reflection is a sign of wisdom and motive is a sign of ambition and pursuit of excellence, both lessons integrated into my leadership philosophy will allow me to embody my Leadership Purpose Statement as a Youngster and a 1/C Midshipman.

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The Two Main Lessons on My Leadership Philosophy. (2022, Sep 19). Retrieved from

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