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Values are essential because they define your culture, they attract people who want to be a part of your cause (recruiting), and when they are lived, they provide inspired employees an environment in which they prefer to operate (retention), indefinitely. Throughout my career, the Army’s leadership values represented by the acronym LDRSHIP, served as our guide.

Army Leadership Values

Army Leadership Values (Part 3 – Respect)

This is the 3rd in my 7-part series exploring the Army leadership values, represented by the acronym LDRSHIP.

  • Loyalty – Bear true faith and allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, the Army, your unit, and other Soldiers
  • Duty – Fulfill your obligations
  • Respect – Treat people as they should be treated
  • Selfless Service – Put the welfare of the Nation, the Army, and subordinates before your own
  • Honor – Live up to all the Army Values
  • Integrity – Do what’s right—legally and morally
  • Personal Courage – Face fear, danger, or adversity (physical and moral)

— FM 6-22: Army Leadership

Treat People as They Should be Treated

As mentioned in my initial leadership values blog on Loyalty, I had the privilege of starting my career with a fantastic leadership role model. In my first two years, Lieutenant Colonel Mike Pulliam taught me a number of valuable lessons.

  • He showed us that when leaders care, people appreciate it and they respond.

Here is a lesson I learned from Mike: the simple act of remembering names as a sign of respect.

The Importance of People

Mike appreciated others and expressed genuine interest. He treated people well and it showed.

He was in charge of a battalion of 700+ soldiers dispersed among four companies geographically hours apart. Despite his vast responsibilities and the constant 8% monthly personnel turnover, he made the effort to learn everyone’s name.

I had just come from the largest company, about 250 people, where I felt that I “knew” most of the members before I changed roles and began working on Mike’s staff.

One day,  we paid my old unit a visit.  As we walked through the base, he greeted people as we went — by name, every one of them. I was embarrassed that he knew the names of more people in my old unit than I did, and I had seen them daily for the last ten months!

When we visited the other units, Mike did this again and again, causing me to wonder:

  • Hhow was it possible he could remember so many names?

When I had the opportunity to ask him his secret. He told me it was as simple as consciously remembering something about each person. At first, he had to practice. After a while, it just came to him naturally.

Mike taught me one of the most valuable lessons of my career.

Live Your Values

Quite often, you’ll hear others say it is too hard to remember names. Not true!  If it worked for me, it can work for you.

Everyone I know appreciates it when you remember his or her name. By showing me he could remember the names of so many people, Mike was demonstrating our leadership values:

  • Respect – Treat people as they should be treated

When leaders make the effort, people appreciate it and they respond.

Take a lesson from Mike: Remember names. It is a sign that you respect others and shows that you care.