We have to understand that obedience is essential for military discipline, since it is the foundation of order as well as the guarantee of the achievement of the objective and the mission of the military settlement. Its deformation weakens and corrodes discipline and authority in the military command.
This is the reason why military legislations are extremely zealous in the defense and the demand of due obedience, by which a received order becomes a legally enforceable duty, and dissent is strongly punished. However, there is greater honor when obedience is not an imposition but the result of following the leader’s example, effort, passion and dedication.
Respect is something that cannot be asked for or demanded, since it must be earned; without it is difficult to successfully handle a platoon. Hence, it is important to win the admiration and respect of your subordinates, which will help you achieve big goals.
The key to define good military leadership is the respect the officer in command inspires. Respect is a characteristic and essential value for a good military practice; however, it is something that must be obtained by working hard, since it cannot be bought at a store.
And, as we said before, it is not something you can buy, but reach. To earn you must:
● Keep your promises: if you do not keep a promise, they will never trust you again; if you do what you promised, you will win their trust, and that is a synonym for respect.
● Be consistent and confident: nobody wants to be guided by an inconsistent, self-conscious leader.
● Find solutions and not culprits: those who earn others’ respect focus on finding solutions that allow them to achieve objectives.
● Educate: do not keep knowledge to yourself; share it as a way to strengthen your troops.
● Respect the chain of command: acknowledge your superiors’ authority, but also acknowledge your subordinates’ merits.
● Do not look for excuses: understand that there are no valid excuses and recognize your mistakes.
● Be cool headed: do not allow your emotions to manipulate you; do not let problems or anger take over your decisions.
If you do not have the respect of your subordinates, you are never going to be able to fully reach your military objectives, since there will always be something that dulls the brilliance of a good military action. Due obedience is not the same as well-deserved respect.
It is important not to have second thoughts when working to earn the respect of your subordinates so the control and the decision-making capacity over the platoon is not affected; the successful performance of every military campaign will always depend on well-deserved respect.