Service to others before self
Service before self tells us that professional duties take precedence over personal desires. At the very least it includes the following behaviors:
• Rule following. To serve is to do one’s duty, and our duties are most commonly expressed through rules. While it may be the case that professionals are expected to exercise judgement in the performance of their duties, good professionals understand that rules have a reason for being, and the default position must be to follow those rules unless there is a clear, operational reason for refusing to do so.
• Respect for others. Service before self tells us also that a good leader places their people ahead of his/her personal comfort. We must always act in the certain knowledge that all persons possess fundamental worth as human beings.
• Discipline and self-control. Professionals cannot indulge themselves in self-pity, discouragement, anger, frustration, or defeatism. They have a fundamental moral obligation to the persons they lead to strike a tone of confidence and forward-looking optimism.
More specifically, they are expected to exercise control in the following areas:
· Anger. Our professionals—and especially leaders at all echelons—are expected to refrain from displays of anger that would bring discredit upon themselves and/or SGT Peterson’s.
• Faith in the system. To lose faith in the system is to adopt the view that you know better than those above you in the chain of command what should or should not be done. In other words, to lose faith in the system is to place self before service. Leaders can be very influential in this regard: if a leader resists the temptation to doubt ‘the system’, then subordinates might follow suit.