Douglas MacArthur was one of the greatest military leaders the United States of America ever produced. General MacArthur’s discipline and leadership extended beyond his military service. He was of course an effective general but also a renowned statesman, administrator and corporate leader.
Through the years, biographies of MacArthur have noted what they call “The MacArthur Tenets,” and they developed a series of questions that reflect the human relations and leadership principles that people saw in him.
These are the types of questions that all leaders should be asking themselves from time to time. Better yet, perhaps they should be asking their mentor or maybe even their followers.
I am not particularly found of the term “subordinate” and the tone of some of the questions is a bit terse but given the fact the both MacArthur and at least some of his biographers had military backgrounds I understand their use of the term and the inclusive, direct nature of the questions.
Here are the questions the biographers came up with:
- Do I heckle my subordinates or strengthen and encourage them?
- Do I use moral courage in getting rid of subordinates who have proven themselves beyond doubt to be unfit?
- Have I done all in my power by encouragement, incentive and spur to salvage the weak and erring?
- Do I know by NAME and CHARACTER a maximum number of subordinates for whom I am responsible? Do I know them intimately?
- Am I thoroughly familiar with the technique, necessities, objectives and administration of my job?
- Do I lose my temper at individuals?
- Do I act in such a way as to make my subordinates WANT to follow me?
- Do I delegate tasks that should be mine?
- Do I arrogate everything to myself and delegate nothing?
- Do I develop my subordinates by placing on each one as much responsibility as he can stand?
- Am I interested in the personal welfare of each of my subordinates, as if he were a member of my family?
- Have I the calmness of voice and manner to inspire confidence, or am I inclined to irascibility and excitability?
- Am I a constant example to my subordinates in character, dress, deportment and courtesy?
- Am I inclined to be nice to my superiors and mean to my subordinates?
- Is my door open to my subordinates?
- Do I think more of POSITION than JOB?
- Do I correct a subordinate in the presence of others?
Your answer to these questions can go a long way towards helping you become the type of leader people want to follow, regardless of your position or title. How would you answer them and how would the people you are responsible to lead answer them?
Oh by the way, honesty absolutely counts when answering.