Concerning leadership buzz words and catchy phrases

One of the newest buzz words surrounding the development of Marine Corps leadership is “kneecap to kneecap” counseling. The idea is to sit down with your subordinates and talk to them in a more intimate setting where potentially your knees are touching. This style of coaching and mentoring is touted as “a tool to add to our toolbox.”

I may be one of the greatest advocates of talking to Marines on a regular basis. There are times when conflict arises. Through the friction generated by this you may find yourself going “toe to toe” with peers or subordinates. I once read something about knowing your Marines and looking out for their welfare. Talking to them is how to meet the intent of this particular leadership principle and ensure you and your Marines see “eye to eye.” Once they do, your unit cohesion will be so tight, everyone will be “asshole to bellybutton.”

Of course, becoming too close to your Marines may lead to fraternization. A “mouth to mouth” relationship with subordinates has always been objectionable. Screw around and you may find yourself “nose to nose” with the Staff Judge Advocate.

As for me, anyone touching my body parts without permission is usually subject to a “wall to wall” counseling.  Normally this continues until there is complete understanding why this was a mistake. I suppose this type of leadership style is best described as “hand to hand.”

Semper Fidelis!
America’s SgtMaj

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  1. I’ve been back in University the past few years to learn “Administrative Leadership”. So I adopted this catchy buzzword laden New Year’s resolution, “Energize my synergystic entropy.”

  2. Seems to me that Corps might benefit from formalizing rack parties.

    There’s actually nothing like intense peer pressure… and pain… pain helps a whole lot… in squaring away the round pegs.


    If the “knee to knee” fails, what’s next? Hands around neck and knee to gut?

    – Grimmy

  3. Eric, we have been known to run toward the sounds of entropy.

    Zail, dang, I knew I’d forget one.

    Book, you flatterer!

    Grimmy, beats me, at first I thought “knee to knee” was where I applied my axe handle.

  4. ASM, It appears that if a person uses enough buzz words and serpurfurlis (a made up work by an old “leader”) wording, they can cover up the fact they have no idea how to lead.
    I once had to sit through a class/ breefin’ by our old Sergeant Major on how to fill out NCO evals.
    The briefing / class should have taken 20 minutes….3 and a half hours later…we were trying to stay awake.
    I counted where he’d said “with that said” about 30 times.

  5. One of my faves, with which i won two complete rounds of bullshit bingo at the pub (copied straight out of one of my ex-employer’s “all-hands” memos) is:

    “Repositioning the brand for the market segment and implementing a flexible total quality management approach to synergize exponential growth in sectional territories.”

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