In the Army we had a saying: “Lead Follow or get the heck out-of-the-way!” That’s still true today. When SHTF hits, we will need strong leaders. Unfortunately in my 60 years of living, I have found that very few people actually know how to lead. Many people want to lead, and many think that because they were someone’s Boss, they are qualified to lead, however this is rarely the case. Many people believe that leading is just telling people what to do, but in fact, it is much, much more. If you are ever called upon to lead a group of people, there are a few things you should know. I thought that we would take a few minutes to look at what it takes to be a good leader and what it takes to be a great leader in a Post SHTF situation.
“No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care!”― Theodore Roosevelt
Compassion is one of the most fundamental traits of a good leader. Compassion for the ones you lead and considering them when making decisions will make you a better leader. However, if you fail to have compassion you will quickly be labeled a Tyrant! A good leader considers both the emotional and physical toll his decisions have on those he leads. In a post SHTF environment, this will be a critical factor in your success. You need to remember that these are not employees and can choose to follow you are not. You cannot force them to do anything they do not want to do and if you feel that you need to, then you have already failed as a leader. People follow a true leader instinctively and will do anything they can for them, many times without you asking.
“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters” ― Albert Einstein
Honesty is at the heart and soul of a good leadership and should never be underestimated. If your followers can’t believe you, they will never truly follow you. I have known people who thought that they did not need to be honest with those they lead simply because they did not want to be the barer of bad news or did not want them to know that they had made a mistake. They rationalized that if they were honest, then they would lose the respect of those they lead. The truth is that there is no faster way for a leader to lose the respect of those they lead, than to lie to them. People want their leaders to be strong and honest, and dishonesty is one sure sign of a coward and you will lose their respect for sure. Always be honest and admit when you make a mistake and you will gain the respect of many when you do.
“A leader always accepts more than his fair share of the blame and less than his share of the credit!”– Arnold H. Glasow
Humility is a sign of a good leader and will endear you with the people you lead. No one likes a showboat or someone who tries to take all of the credit whether deserved or not. They want someone who is humble and knows that everything that is done, is done as group effort and gives credit to the group rather than themselves. Be a leader that works tirelessly for the greater good of the group and not for personal gain. When they see fit to thank you, humble yourself before them, and be reluctant in its acceptance. Care for the group as you would your own child and let them know that their safety and wellbeing is your highest priority.
“Be strong in the face of adversity and your attitude will lift the hearts of those you lead!” Unknown
People will not follow a leader with a bad attitude or a poor attitude on the future. They draw their strength from you and look up to you for it. A good leader always sees the best in any situation and makes the best of the worst. People need hope, and a good leader provides that through his own strength and attitude. Fill them with hope of a brighter tomorrow through perseverance and faith. There is always a way to succeed, you just have to find it and claim it. How could you ever hope to have people believe in you if you don’t first believe in yourself and them? Live with the belief that tomorrow will be a brighter day and it will spread to those you lead. People will look to you for hope. Fill them with it!
“A true leader is ruled by Morals, Justice and Fairness!”
Great people have great Morals and Ethics. They live by them and refuse to surrender them to anyone. Once you lose your morals, then you have truly lost your way! Do not be tempted by power as many people have because your ability to lead is directly tied to your moral compass. People will not respect a person with poor morals regardless of what other quality’s he may have. Hold your morals dear and the people will respect you for it.
Well, these are just a few of the things that make a great leader. Some of the other ones that we did not cover here are: Vision (A good leader needs to have a vision and a goal to work towards.) Hard worker (A good leader never asks their people to do anything that they themselves are not willing to do.) Knowledge (know what you are talking about before you start talking and never try to BS your way through.) Good Listener(A good leader is a good listener and knows the value of input from others and does not simply dismiss it) Always remember that a good leader is a servant to those they lead and not the other way around. While there are other traits that a good leader should have, there is not nearly enough room here to cover them all. If however you follow these simple guidelines, you will be well on your way to becoming the kind of leader the world is going to need after SHTF. I hope this will help you and get you started on a road to success both now and after SHTF hits. Until next time, Happy Prepping!