Morale

Morale

My cousin lent me a book on leadership recently. It is called “Serve to Lead” and is an anthology of writings by various commanders, given to trainee officers at Sandhurst.
The very first article is by Field Marshall Sir William Slim. He commanded the British forces fighting the Japanese in Burma during World War 2.
He tabulated the foundations of morale as:-
1. Spiritual
a. There must be a great and noble object
b. Its achievement must be vital
c. The method of achievement must be active, aggressive
d. The man must feel that what he is and what he does matters directly towards the attainment of the object
2. Intellectual
a. He must be convinced that the object can be attained; that it is not out of reach
b. He must see that the organisation to which he belongs and which is striving towards the object, is an efficient one
c. He must have confidence in his leaders and know that whatever dangers and hardships he is called to suffer, his life will not be lightly flung away
3. Material
a. The man must feel that he will get a fair deal from his commanders and from the army generally
b. He must as far as possible be given the best weapons and equipment for the task
c. His living and working conditions must be made as good as they can be
It is a bit brutal, but was written shortly after the War!
Can we learn from this? Well I think so.
This is how I would alter the words to fit a modern day business scenario.
Every member of the team must believe that they are working for an organisation that has a keen sense of doing good for others (a great and noble object). They must believe that what they do has an impact. They must believe that their leaders believe wholeheartedly in the purpose. And they must be treated well by their leaders so that they can in comfort direct all of their efforts towards the achievement of the purpose.
I would call that:-
1. Following a Purpose beyond making a profit which all team members believe in.
2. Following leaders who live, breathe and communicate the purpose and do their utmost to strive towards it.
3. Recognise that their leaders really care about them and want the best for them.
It seems to me that is the way to create a team with great morale.

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