Home > Personal Development > Leadership Traits: Esprit de Corps

Leadership Traits: Esprit de Corps

Esprit de Corps, French for ‘Spirit of the Unit.’  Wikipedia translates the term simply as ‘moral.’  From my side of the screen, it’s much more than that.

Have you ever worked for someone who could just care less about what it was he or she was trying to accomplish.  That was demoralizing, wasn’t it?  If you are in a leadership position, you set the tone, like it or not.  If you’re not in to it, step aside.

If you want to excel in an area, embroider it on your sleeve … eat, drink, and sleep it.  Read the books, take the classes, get connected.  Be fascinated with new developments, be proud of achievements made by colleagues, talk about it.  Bore people outside of the circle.

While making these statements, I also encourage balance.  Play hard, work hard, and rest hard.  Come back to the production line every day refreshed, happy, and eager to go.  In the words of one of my mentors, David Dumas, ‘Fake it till you make it, if it comes to that.’

Till next time, keep your own moral high … your people are watching, because you are spectacular.

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  1. 2010/03/29 at 18:43

    Actually, what Wikipedia says (“Morale, also known as esprit de corps when discussing the morale of a group, is an intangible term used for the capacity of people to maintain belief in an institution or a goal, or even in oneself and others.”) catches my own view rather closely. I would see esprit de corps as a general feeling of brotherhood, pride in a being a part of something, a wish to succeed as a group, or similar. In many ways “team spirit” is an excellent English translation.

    • Gerald Henthorn
      2010/03/30 at 00:52

      Outstanding elucidation! A very clean summation of the term, much more concise than my own humble ramblings. Thank you for your contribution.

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