To be a good supervisor, you must show initiative.
Dont put off until tomorrow what you should do today.
If you see an unsafe condition, take action to correct
it before an accident occurs. If you see that a new form
or procedure would simplify a job, devise the new form
or procedure. If you see an inadequacy in yourself, try
to overcome it. Weak people lack initiative. Good
leaders are characterized by strong initiative.
Courtesy is treating others with respect, as impor-
tant human beings, not as tools to be used for your
convenience. It means following the accepted rules of
conduct and being polite. Courtesy is important to the
supervisor. One discourteous act, even though unin-
tentional, can make an enemyand the supervisor
cannot afford to have enemies. If you have even one
enemy, you have one too many. Remember, courtesy
Good leaders are able to make decisions. A common
complaint heard from subordinates is You cant get
a decision from them.
Most of the decisions that must be made by super-
visors in the naval service concern relatively minor
actions. Subordinates usually want the supervisors
approval to perform some action that they already
know should be done. A prompt go-ahead from the
supervisor is all that is needed. In many trivial mat-
ters, it makes little difference whether an answer is
yes or no; the important thing is to give an answer.
The supervisor who stalls, puts off, evades, or re-
fuses to give a decision is a bottleneck.
Of course, there are times when a decision re-
quires careful consideration of many factors and,
therefore, much deliberation. In such cases, you
should tell the person when to return for the decision
and see to it that you have made the decision.
Tact and Courtesy
Good leaders are habitually tactful and courteous.
Whether in the work center or in the office, super-
visors can be thoughtful of others without being
Tact is saying and doing the right thing at the right
time. It is the lubricating oil in human relationships.
It is the regard for the feelings of others based on an
understanding of human naturethe little considera-
tions that make the job pleasant and smooth.
Personnel are extremely sensitive to partiality by
a supervisor; they may even single out little incidents
where there was absolutely no intent to show favor-
itism. To avoid causing any problems of unfairness,
you must think ahead on changes or decisions to be
made, work to be assigned, recommendations for pro-
motion, etc. In each instance, you must try to ensure
that your actions are both fair and impartial.
Sincerity and Integrity
Sincerity and integrity are extremely important to
a supervisor. You should deal with your personnel
squarely and honestly at all times to win and hold
their respect. Talk to your crew on a one-to-one basis.
Dont be afraid to face the facts and say what you
think. You of-ten hear, Give me the person who looks
you straight in the eye and tells the truth every time!
A reputation for being a square shooter is worth every
effort on your part.
Consistency and dependability are valuable assets
Consistency of thought and action is important if
your personnel are going to know where they stand.
Being too strict one day and too lax the next day is
worse than being consistently strict or consistently
lax, Avoid exhibiting inconsistent moodsgood one
day, bad the nextto your crew. Your crew tends to
reflect your attitudes. Exhibit a firm and positive atti-
tudeand be consistent.