Follow Me

I teach leadership. As a consulting psychologist working with organizations, that makes sense. But it’s not my graduate school training in psychology that I draw upon to teach leadership skills. It’s the fact that I am a graduate of “Benning’s School for Boys”, otherwise known as the Army’s Infantry Officer Candidate School (OCS) training school in Ft. Benning, Georgia. That’s where I not only learned about leadership, I became a leader. 
 
The motto of the Army Infantry OCS is … Follow Me.  See the logo below: 
 

 
In basic and advanced infantry training we used to do 20 horizontal bars before chow. At OCS, we did 40. As a private we ran for a mile every morning, at OCS, we ran for 2 miles. We took 10-mile marches on weekends in basic training, at OCS we went on 20-mile marches, often overnight. 
 
Why did they do that at the infantry officer training school? It’s simple, when the going got tough, when everyone else was tired and ready to quit, we were trained to get up and say, “Follow me.”
 
Leaders have a vision. They paint a picture of that vision and enlist others to help them. They get others to enroll, to engage, to help achieve the vision. And, they are not afraid to do the dirty work needed to accomplish the mission.    
 

Why is it a good idea to lead from the front? You do have a choice. You can lead from the back where it’s safe, or you can lead from the front, where the danger is. Where you can fail. Leaders who aren’t afraid of failing, who get up and keep going create great cultures.