Famed leadership guru John C. Maxwell correctly states, "Leadership is influence -- nothing more, nothing less."* Being a Marine entails a lot of training, discipline, and learning how to fight. Along the way, all Marines engage in follwing and leading to one degree or another. Good leadership and the ability to influence others is absolutely essential for mission success whether in the Corps or out.
Warfighting is about influencing the enemy to quit by means of violence or the threat thereof. After their time in the Corps, Marines will inevitably be asked to carry out other tasks that may have nothing to do with warfighting, but there is one factor that will persist regardless of the endeavor: friction. According to pg. 5 of MCDP1--Warfighting, friction is "The force that makes the apparently easy so difficult." Friction is nearly always present when people are involved in accomplishing a task. Differing opinions on how to go about the matter always creates some amount of friction. Good leadersship and the ability to influnce other can help reduce friction regadless of the environment. All Marines can think of exampes of easy tasks made difficult by poor leadership and hard missions made easy by good leadership.
Reviewing these two manuals will help you remain cognizant of why leadership matters and what it means to be a Marine even after you finished your time in service. Continue practicing "Semper Fidelis". Apply the principles instilled in you while in the Corps to help improve the conditions around you (Churches, families, businesses, communities, etc.). Always continue to develop as a leader.
MCDP1 -- WARFIGHTING FMFM 1-0 -- LEADING MARINES
THE 11 LEADERSHP PRINCIPLES
Be technically and tactically proficient
Know yourself and seek self improvement
Know your Marines and look out for their welfare
Keep your Marines informed
Set the example
Ensure the task is understood, supervised, and accomplished
Train you Marines as a team
Make sound and timely decisions
Develop a sense of responsibility among your subordinates
Employ your unit in accordance with its capabilities
Seek responsibility, and take responsibility for your actions
THE 14 LEADERSHIP TRAITS
*Maxwell, John C. (1998). The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc. p. 17.