As the Royal Marines, whom my colleague Marc Wicks MBE and I served, celebrate their 359th Birthday (28th Oct 2023), I reflect on the values they ingrained into both of us, courage, determination, unselfishness, cheerfulness, and professional standards.
I wanted to relate these values to today's workplace and illustrate how these values can facilitate high performance not just in the military world but the corporate world too.
The Royal Marines, a component of the United Kingdom's naval service, are renowned for their dedication, discipline, and distinguished service. They abide by a set of core values that serve as a compass, not only in military operations but in all aspects of life.
When these values are distilled and applied to a workplace setting, they can become a blueprint for fostering a high-performance culture.
1. Courage The Royal Marines are trained to face challenging and often dangerous situations with determination and bravery. In the workplace, courage means taking calculated risks, speaking up for what’s right, and stepping out of one's comfort zone. By fostering a culture where employees feel empowered to take initiative and are not afraid to make mistakes, organisations can innovate and adapt to an ever-changing business environment.
2. Determination Marines undergo gruelling training and are known for their unyielding resolve. This determination is vital in the workplace, especially when faced with challenging projects or tight deadlines. Employees who show determination persevere, remain committed to the task, and see challenges as opportunities rather than setbacks.
3. Unselfishness In combat, putting the welfare of comrades before oneself can make the difference between life and death. In a corporate setting, unselfishness translates to teamwork and collaboration. When employees prioritise the team's success over individual accolades, it fosters a sense of unity and collective purpose. This cohesive work environment can boost productivity and morale.
4. Cheerfulness Despite facing challenging conditions, the Marines are taught to maintain a positive attitude. A cheerful disposition, especially during stressful situations, can have a profound effect in a workplace setting. Employees who approach challenges with optimism and maintain a positive outlook contribute to a more resilient and supportive work environment. This not only aids in problem-solving but also enhances workplace morale.
5. Professional Standards The Royal Marines pride themselves on their professionalism, ensuring they are always well-prepared, disciplined, and conduct themselves with integrity. Similarly, maintaining high professional standards in the workplace means consistently delivering quality work, upholding ethical standards, and continually seeking ways to improve. This commitment to excellence can set a company apart in a competitive market.
So I conclude from my reflections today that the core values of the Royal Marines – courage, determination, unselfishness, cheerfulness, and professional standards are timeless values that are universally applicable, both in combat and within the corporate world and have a profound relevance in fostering a high-performance culture within the workplace.
Organisations that adopt and instil these values can expect not only to achieve their performance objectives but also to build a cohesive, resilient, and dedicated workforce.
Happy Birthday Royal, and thank you for the great work you continue to do.