The following ‘Army Values’ comes from the Army Leadership Manual. I think these values can apply to anyone in leadership, specifically to basketball coaches and players!
The values the Army uses to guide the leader forms the acronym LDRSHIP:
More from the Army Leadership Manual on each of these values:
Bear true faith and allegiance to the US Constitution, the Army, your unit, and other soldiers.
“Loyalty is the big thing, the greatest battle asset of all. But no man ever wins the loyalty of troops by preaching loyalty. It is given to him as he proves his possession of the other virtues.”
~Brigadier General S.L.A. Marshall (Men Against Fire)
…Loyalty is a two-way street: you should not expect loyalty without being prepared to give it as well. Leaders can neither demand loyalty nor win it from their people by talking about it. The loyalty of your people is a gift they give you when, and only when, you deserve it — when you train them well, treat them fairly, and live by the concepts you talk about. Leaders who are loyal to their subordinates never let them be misused.
Fulfill your obligations.
“The essence of duty is acting in the absence of orders or direction from others, based on an inner sense of what is morally and professionally right…”
~General John A. Wickham, Jr. (Former Army Chief of Staff)
…Army leaders take initiative, figuring out what needs to be done before being told what to do. What’s more, they take full responsibility for their actions and those of their subordinates. Army leaders never shade the truth to make the unit look good — or even to make their subordinates feel good. Instead, they follow their higher duty to the Army and the nation.
Treat people as they should be treated.
“The discipline which makes the soldiers of a free country reliable in battle is not to be gained by harsh or tyrannical treatment. On the contrary, such treatment is far more likely to destroy than to make an army. It is possible to impart instruction and to give commands in such manner and such a tone of voice to inspire in the soldier no feeling but an intense desire to obey, while the opposite manner and tone of voice cannot fail to excite strong resentment and a desire to disobey. The one mode or the other of dealing with subordinates springs from a corresponding spirit in the breast of the commander. He who feels the respect which is due to others cannot fail to inspire in them regard for himself, while he who feels, and hence manifests, disrespect toward others, especially his inferiors, cannot fail to inspire hatred against himself.”
~Major General John M. Schofield (Address to the United States Corps of Cadets, 11 August 1879)
…Respect means recognizing and appreciating the inherent dignity and worth of all people. This value reminds you that your people are your greatest resource. Army leaders honor everyone’s individual worth by treating all people with dignity and respect.
…Leaders create an environment in which subordinates are challenged, where they can reach their full potential and be all they can be. Providing tough training doesn’t demean subordinates; in fact, building their capabilities and showing faith in their potential is the essence of respect. Effective leaders take the time to learn what their subordinates want to accomplish. They advise their people on how they can grow, personally and professionally. Not all of your subordinates will succeed equally, but they all deserve respect.
Put the welfare of the nation, the Army, and subordinates before your own.
“The nation today needs men who think in terms of service to their country and not in terms of their country’s debt to them.”
~General of the Army Omar N. Bradley
…Selfless service means doing what is right for the nation, the Army, your organization, and your people — and putting those responsibilities above your own interests. The needs of the Army and the nation come first. This doesn’t mean that you neglect your family or yourself; in fact, such neglect weakens a leader and can cause the Army more harm than good. Selfless service doesn’t mean that you can’t have a strong ego, high self-esteem, or even healthy ambition. Rather, selfless service means that you don’t make decisions or take actions that help your image or your career but hurt others or sabotage the mission. The selfish superior claims credit for work his subordinates do; the selfless leader gives credit to those who earned it. The Army can’t function as a team, and for a team to work, the individual has to give up self-interest for the good of the whole.
…Selfless service is an essential component of teamwork. Team members give of themselves so that the team may succeed.
Live up to all the Army values.
“What is life without honor? Degradation is worse than death.
~Lieutenant General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson
…Honor provides the “moral compass” for character and personal conduct in the Army.
…Honor holds Army values together while at the same time being a value itself. Together, Army values describe the foundation essential to develop leaders of character. Honor means demonstrating an understanding of what’s right and taking pride in the community’s acknowledgment of that reputation.
…Honor means putting Army values above self-interest, above career and comfort…it means putting Army values above self-preservation as well…Army leaders have the strength of will to live according to Army values, even though the temptations to do otherwise are strong, especially in the face of personal danger. The military’s highest award is the Medal of Honor. Its recipients didn’t do just what was required of them; they went beyond the expected, above and beyond the call of duty. Some gave their own lives so that others could live. It’s fitting that the word we use to describe their achievements is “honor”.
Do what’s right — legally and morally.
“The American people rightly look to their military leaders not only to be skilled in the technical aspects of the profession of arms, but also to be men of integrity.”
~General J. Lawton Collins (Former Army Chief of Staff)
…People of integrity consistently act according to principles — not just what might work at the moment. Leaders of integrity make their principles known and consistently act in accordance with them. The Army requires leaders of integrity who possess high moral standards and are honest in word and deed. Being honest means being truthful and upright all the time, despite pressures to do otherwise…Army leaders say what they mean and do what they say. If you can’t accomplish a mission, inform your chain of command. If you inadvertently pass on bad information, correct it as soon as you find out it’s wrong. People of integrity do the right thing not because it’s convenient or because they have no choice. They choose to do the right thing because their character permits no less. Conducting yourself with integrity has three parts:
- Separating what’s right from what’s wrong.
- Always acting according to what you know to be right, even at personal cost.
- Saying openly that you’re acting on understanding or right versus wrong.
Face fear, danger, or adversity (physical or moral).
“The concept of professional courage does not always mean being as tough as nails either. It also suggests a willingness to listen to the soldiers’ problems, to go to bat for them in a tough situation, and it means knowing just how far they can go. It also means being willing to tell the boss when he’s wrong.”
~Former Sergeant Major of the Army, William Connelly
…Personal courage isn’t the absence of fear; rather it’s the ability to put fear aside and do what’s necessary. It takes two forms, physical and moral. Good leaders demonstrate both.
…Physical courage means overcoming fears of bodily harm and doing your duty. It’s the bravery that allows a soldier to take risks in combat in spite of the fear of wounds or death. Physical courage is what gets the soldier at Airborne School out the aircraft door. It’s what allows an infantryman to assault a bunker to save his buddies.
…Moral courage is the willingness to stand firm on your values, principles, and convictions — even when threatened. It enables leaders to stand up for what they believe is right, regardless of the consequences. Leaders who take responsibility for their decisions and actions, even when things go wrong, display moral courage. Courageous leaders are willing to look critically inside themselves, consider new ideas, and change what needs changing.
Can these Army Values transfer to your coaching or playing values? What happens if you replace some of the words such as Army, subordinate, nation, etc with ‘myself’, ‘my team’, ‘players’, ‘assistants’, etc? What would your program look like if you adopted these values? How would your leadership skills look if you followed these values? Share your thoughts in the comments below!