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Lessons from military leadership: The importance of morale

IbyIMD+ Published 31 January 2023 in Leadership • 7 min read

Since the pandemic, we have been seeking to describe the phenomenon of how feelings impact performance. We explored resilience, well-being, and self-care, meandering through agility and mental health.

Now the peak of the pandemic seems to have passed, we are still trying to pinpoint exactly how our internal state and outer productivity are interrelated. 

Beyond this semantic quest, a word to describe these dynamics will help leaders focus and build on the well-being we have been trying to promote for the last three years. 

Due to my experience in managing personal energy, I am often invited to talk about this topic – and yet, I have not found a label that coachees can easily share with their teams. 

The breakthrough came from a very surprising field: military leadership. They call it ‘morale’ and it has been the key to how well soldiers carry out their missions for centuries. 

The concept was embodied and patiently described to me by Stephen Kilpatrick, a former British colonel who saw operational service in multiple global locations as well as two tours as an instructor at the UK’s world-renowned military leadership academy, Sandhurst. 

What is morale? 

Morale, or…

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