Marine Corps Leadership Traits: Decisiveness

Candidates, this is the fifth in a series of leadership posts relating specifically to the Marine Corps Leadership traits–the most basic introduction to the Corps’ philosophies that you will learn about at OCS. Study the leadership traits and other lessons ahead of time on our academics page.

Decisiveness Definition

Decisiveness means that you are able to make good decisions without delay. Get all the facts and weight them against each other. By acting calmly and quickly, you should arrive at a sound decision. You announce your decisions in a clear, firm, professional manner.

In Officer Candidates School, decisiveness will get you a passing grade and help you avoid some ridicule and pain for a short while. In combat, decisiveness saves lives and accomplishes the mission. Decisiveness is a crucial skill to develop, but it needs to achieve a balance between rashness (acting too quickly with too little data) and analysis paralysis–needing all the facts to make the slightest decision.

Decisiveness must be tempered by humility. Stubborness in the face of changing facts and an ever-evolving enemy can be suicidal. The key is agile decision-making. Develop methodical yet timely decisiveness and accept the need to change.

Suggestions for Improvement

Practice being positive in your actions instead of acting half-heartedly or changing your mind on an issue.

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See all leadership posts here, and check back often as there are many more to come!


Marine Corps Leadership Traits

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