by Michael Holland    

Crucible:  A place or occasion of severe test or trial.

Marine Corp recruits culminate their boot camp training with “The Crucible”, a 54 hour strenuous training exercise meant to simulate typical combat situations wherein recruits apply everything they’ve learned to that point in their training.   The “exercise” includes 48 miles of marching while carrying 75 pounds of gear, having limited access to food, being deprived of sleep and having to navigate severe obstacles as a team under battle conditions.  Practice Marine Corp style is evidently very real.

How do you practice as a leader?  Have you put yourself through the same level of training as Marine recruits by creating a chance to fully experience all the aspects of your leadership role in live business conditions before the skills are required?  Have you had a crucible training experience?

The capability of a well-trained, practiced leader to act and behave in crystal clear ways, at critical moments in time, can be extremely valuable to a company and to those whom the leader leads.  Creating a “live conditions” business leadership boot camp experience akin to the Marines may be difficult and impractical.  So, great leaders have figured out that if they invest time each week reflecting deeply upon and situationally assessing their behaviors, they can practice their leadership and at times, create virtual crucible training experiences.  This visualization process helps the leaders to see how their behaviors ripple within their team, the organization, their customers and their family and community.

Be reflective, practice leadership and create your virtual crucible training experiences.

Coaching Thoughts – For You and Your Peers

  • How do you practice as a leader? What are some ways to get this practice?
  • Have you had a crucible experience? If so, what was it?