In the book, Smarter, Faster, Better Charles Duhigg ventures out to discover some amazing feats. A lot of those feats actually stem from groups.
As I mentioned before, groups can actually help significantly in boosting our confidence in ourselves. But it can also help in discovering who we are, where we want to go, and more.
So the work that Duhigg goes through is quite significant and worth looking into.
For this post in particular, I want to be focusing on the training regimen used by US Marines.
The training that the individuals need to go through is life-changing to say the least.
Furthermore, it’s from this training that the US Marines are some of the happiest workers.
A lot of that stems from the bootcamp that they go through and what they learn through it.
“We never tell anyone they’re a natural-born leader.” — General Charles C. Krulak
It all started when General Charles C. Krulak became in charge of the Marine Corps in 1995.
As commandant, he decided to do a major overhaul of the training system as the system itself was rather flawed.
The commandant knew this because at the time the Corps were fighting in Somalia and Iraq at the time.
In these environments, combat was constantly changing.
But it’s because of those environments, soldiers needed to make life-endangering choices all in real time.
The thing is though those who were in training were people who lacked direction. They coasted through life with no clue where to go or what to desire.
The current training system needed an overhaul as the training no longer was suitable for the soldiers. The first kind of change that formed the current system today revolves around one thing:
The locus of control.
The Locus Of Control
“We teach them that leadership is learned, it’s the product of effort.” — General Charles C. Krulak
When Krulak was looking into what can be done, he stumbled upon some research talking about the locus of control.
To explain it, the locus of control stems from two parts: you have either a interior locus of control or an exterior.
With interior, you believe that everything happens based on your own individual actions.
Exterior you believe that outside forces dictate what happen to you.
But it’s through that discovery that Krulak discovered something else.
The locus of control can’t simply be determined by reading about it or taking some test. No.
Instead the type of locus of control we have arises when we can see the connection between results and our own actions.
In other words, Krulak can change the training to the point that those who will go through the training have a bias towards taking action and working as a group.
Seeing It In Action
“It was like working with a bunch of wet socks. Marines can’t be wet socks.” — General Charles C. Krulak
Because of this change, the new basic training to this day has morphed into a 13 week bootcamp finished off with a 54-hour obstacle course at the end. That obstacle course is known as The Crucible.
For many people, this is a nightmare, however The Crucible puts to the test everything that has been reinforced day after day in the 13 week bootcamp.
It involves teamwork where the group needs to trek over vast tracks of land in different environments, carry massive packs on their backs, and also climb large hills.
Those who are able to make it through this training are individuals who aren’t “natural born-leaders”, but rather ordinary people who are trained to think quickly and as a unit.
Because of this hard training, the Marine Corps have seen performance scores and retention rates from new recruits rising up past 20%.
We can all learn a thing or two from the intense training that the Marines go through. In our groups and with taking action, it’s better for us to make quick decisions on the fly in certain situations, but also to not get really into our head.
In a lot of those scenarios you have no time to get into your head and think about the possibilities. Some times you really do need to just go and do it.
Consider applying this and let me know what sort of results you get over time.
To your growth!
Eric S Burdon
This post is part of an 3 month writing challenge that I’m committing myself to. Every day for 3 months, I’ll be writing articles with specific criteria in mind. You can learn all about my reasoning as well as what that criteria is right here. This is 28 of 91 of this series.
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