Loss of Temper Not Cool - The Warrior's Journey®

Loss of Temper Not Cool

Author: Chaplain, COL Scott McChrystal, USA (Ret.)

Exercise Lipizzaner V. Photo by The U.S. Army is licensed under CC By 2.0

Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control. Proverbs 25:28 (NIV)

Despite the presence of political correctness in our military ranks today, somehow one myth persists: fits of rage and anger are a part of effective leadership.

That’s hogwash. I lived through years of active duty service and can recall leaders, both officers and non-commissioned officers, who regularly lost their temper and displayed anger and rage as a means of “motivating the troops.” The outcomes were not constructive.

Granted, in the short run this behavior often gets results. Over time, however, the impacts are negative at many levels. First, it reflects poorly that a leader can’t maintain self-control. Second, it often demeans the warriors who are the targets of the anger. Third, it hinders leaders from hearing the truth. Who wants to get blown away by simply telling the leader the way it really is?

Last, at crucial times when calmness and assurance are needed by subordinates, leaders who lack self-control may not be able to deliver. As has often been said, “What you do in practice you will do in a game.”

Learn to exercise self-control.

The content of this Devotional comes from “Daily Strength for the Battle (You, God’s Word, 5 Minutes): Volume 6 Developing the Leader in You” (2020) and is copyrighted by Scott and Judy McChrystal. Used with permission.

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