Here are a few key lessons I’ve learned along the way:
1. Never forget the trust given to you by those you lead. My soldiers accepted the risks, but they also expected those risks not to be taken unnecessarily.
2. Trust those on your team. Not only do you rely on them to have your back, they often have more experience and areas of expertise you rely on to get the job done. If you can’t trust someone on your team, there’s a problem, and it might not be the other guy’s.
3. Encourage divergent opinions. Surrounding yourself with like-minded people only replicates your blind-spots and makes redundant your team’s collective strengths.
4. Be willing to accept mistakes, within reason. If you practice and build a learning culture when the risks are tolerable, you’re more likely to have a well-trained, well-experienced team who trusts each other when the stakes are high.
5. Missions can change, our vision and core values don’t have to. We faced new challenges in places and forms we couldn’t anticipate, but the principles we stood for as Canadians and as individuals remained the same.