President Trump visited the troops today at the Fort Drum 10th Mountain Division to announce the signing of the 716-billion-dollar National Defense Authorization Bill. His speech was liberally peppered with recognition of various individuals who had distinguished themselves by selflessly heroic behavior. Once again he showed his grasp of the importance of morale-building accolades, singling out soldiers and families who had gone above and beyond the normal call of duty. The live video that was broadcast via Breitbart is below.

 

Being retired military, I can tell you from a first-person perspective how important it is to follow the practice of  “Praise in public, reprimand in private”. It is by far one of the most impactful leadership skills a person can have. I think most people have an inbuilt desire to please and to receive recognition for their efforts. When I was in a leadership role I saw firsthand the huge morale boost public praise will do for troops. About 4 months or so into my final tour as a unit leader I was spontaneously called into the boss’s office, and he posed a totally unexpected question.  Paraphrasing, he said “I want to know what you’re doing to my unit…” To which I answered, “I’m not sure what you mean…what am I doing to them?” He then replied “I’ve never seen them so HAPPY! What are you doing to my unit??” The good news is, he then immediately laughed! My response was short and to the point: “I just treat them the way I want to be treated. I’m high in encouragement and public praise, and very slow to be critical. If things aren’t going well, I get in there with them to try to help figure out what to do to improve their performance, and I don’t just bust their chops in an attempt to make them afraid of consequences. Nobody really performs to their highest potential if they’re operating from unhealthy fear.”

Bottom line is, I LOVE the way President Trump treats all of our military and public service forces with such respect. He obviously loves and respects them all. If I were on active duty now, I can say for sure I would be VERY proud to say I’m an American because of my fantastic Commander-in-Chief. It irks me no end that there are so many, especially the visible ones in the media, who spew their hatred and divisive rhetoric against America, and especially against our president.

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