Leaders are both masters and apprentices. The apprenticeship is where we learn what it means to go the extra mile, and I don’t think anyone has ever defined the apprenticeship better than LtGen. John Archer Lejeune, the 13th Commandant of the Marine Corps and the “Greatest Marine Ever.” In 1920 in the days of only male Marines, General Lejeune wrote to the Corps, “The relations between officers and enlisted men should in no sense be that of superior and inferior nor master and servant, but rather that of teacher and scholar.” He goes on to say that the relationship should be like fathers to sons because leaders are responsible for the discipline, mental, moral, and physical training, and welfare of their Marines. It is an apprenticeship, much as sons are apprentices to their fathers. I would add that every leader is both an apprentice and a master, with both seniors and subordinates.
This leadership method is a dynamic and deliberate approach with the leader assuming each role consciously. The apprenticeship entails a close personal relationship with some level of affection based on mutual respect and discipline. Leaders develop those relationships not by seeking popularity but by being firm, fair, and approachable, or as my brother taught me, being firm, fair, and friendly is optional.
This week consider to whom you will apprentice and learn something, then think about who your apprentice is and teach them something.
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Remember, “all things are possible through prayer and heavy deadlifts.”™