Gold Star Leadership
Lesson 1


"Leadership is the art of influencing human behaviour
in order to accomplish a task in the manner desired by the leader."
Canadian Forces
Definition of Leadership

Special Note: While the information and examples in the following material relate specifically to cadets, the theories discussed can also be applied to other leadership roles that you might encounter in your life at St. Andrew's College such as a team captain, house captain, play producer or prefect. As you read through these three lessons, try to think of how these other kinds of situations would apply.

A Follower's Expectations
As a battalion, platoon or section commander or senior NCO, you expect the cadets in you charge to act as responsible followers, as taught in the Green Star Course. They must obey all regulations, maintain good personal habits, admit their mistakes, cooperate with others, accept constructive criticism and learn from experience. All this is well and good, but did you know that these very same cadets have expectations of you, the leader? In this lesson, we will look at a selection of 12 expectations that you cadets will probably have of you. This list is not complete however, as you will probably discover on your own over the next few years.

  1. The first expectation is a desire to see you demonstrate good leadership at all times or lead by example. Leadership depends, in part, on personality and temperament, but there are some general rules that al leaders must obey in order to be considered leaders. For example, a good leader will always share the hardships with his cadets and look after their welfare first.

  3. The second expectation is that all your followers need to know what is expected of them. They need to know what standard of dress to meet, when a given task must be completed and how often they can be expected t have a break. These are just three examples of how a leader can provide guidance. When cadets understand what the rules and standards are they can better focus their attention and efforts.

  5. Another expectation is that followers want to be recognized for their good performance. There is nothing better for self-esteem and confidence than to have worked hard at completing a task and to be congratulated for it. If the cadets in your section or platoon or company do a good job - tell them so!

  7. The next expectation is closely related to the preceding one. Cadets not only expect recognition, they also hope to be rewarded and promoted. After all, followers don't expect to be followers forever. Explain the minimum qualifications required for promotion to each of your cadets and that the rank structure rewards demonstrated leadership. Followers need to know that they too can be promoted.

  9. Those of you who have brothers or sisters can probably sympathize with the next expectation - fair treatment for all. Did your sister ever forget to take out the garbage and then go off to school, leaving you holding the bag? Did your brother ever leave the dishes unwashed in the sink so that you had to do them when you got home? Surely some of you have a similar tale of woe to tell. Cadets are no different from brothers and sisters. Make sure that you keep a schedule of duties so that all the cadets do their fair share.

  11. "Treat others as you would like to be treated yourself" is an old saying that best introduces the next expectation of a follower/ All followers expect you to treat them with dignity. Everyone wants to be treated with respect. 

  13. The sixth expectation of a follower is to be free from over supervision. Supervision by a leader is an important function, but too much of a good thing is not good. Give your followers some room to manoeuvre within your supervision of their activities.

  15. Have you ever known a cadet who did not like a a party? Probably not! Followers love social activities. We are not necessarily talking about rock concerts, but rather any occasion that is social in nature. A well deserved break from a morning's work can serve as a great opportunity to socialize. The cadet corps is a social organization and it is important for every leader to recognize that followers expect time to be allocated for socializing just like any other activity.

  17. The eighth expectation centres around providing good working conditions for your followers. As a leader, you are expected to provide the best possible working conditions for your followers. After all, why should your cadets cook the platoon's lunch on a Coleman stove in the pouring rain when you could take the time to set up a modular tent to act as protection against the elements?

  19. As a follower, there is nothing more frustrating than having the plans changed and no one bothers to tell you about it. When you were a younger cadet, did you ever show up for Friday night sports only to find that everyone was in uniform for drill team practice? Or even worse, did you ever show up in uniform only to find out that it was sports night? Cadets expect to be kept informed. If the plans change (and they do) tell everyone!

  21. Why do you think young people like yourself join army cadets instead of other youth organizations? A big part of this answer is the challenge. Army cadets must work hard to succeed, and more often than not, they surpass the challenges put before them. Don't take the challenge out of army cadets; the cadets themselves expect a challenge!

  23. Lastly, followers want to contribute to the group form time to time. Provide them with an opportunity to express their ideas and suggest solutions to common problems affecting the platoon, company or battalion.
And there we have it, 12 expectations that your followers have of you. Remember that this is not an exhaustive list and that there are other possible expectations. Cadets will respond to your requests and be more motivated to do their work if you can keep these expectations in mind.
Your Turn...

1. Match the expectation in the left-hand column with the example in the right.

A. Good leadership a) Sgt Allen said "Let's put some music on while we work on setting up the dance hall."
B. What is expected of them b) The Sergeant Major ordered "Coleman, it is your turn to do the graveyard shift on fire picket."
C. Recognition of good performance c) "Who has got some ideas on the design of the cadet corps T-shirt?" asked WO Monty.
D. Fair treatment d) "Listen Cadet O'Donnell, you take the better snow-shoes. I can manage with the broken ones," spoke Lt Hill.
E. Treated with dignity e) Captain magnificent announced "Because of a superior performance on the Green Star Course, Cadet Mallette will be promoted to Corporal."
F. No over supervision f) "Well done Kontopoulos, you were the first one packed!" said Sgt Gharlambidis."
G. Social group activity g) "Carry on everyone - I'll be back in 15 minutes to check up on your progress," said MCpl Moya.
H. Good working conditions h) Sgt Foltea said "Take 10 minutes to catch your breath, billy up some tea and socialize."
I. To be kept informed i) "We must change direction - the road is washed out ahead of us," said Sgt Hill.
J. Challenging work j) The Sergeant Major said "Your boots must be as shiny as mine!"
K. Advancement in promotion k) The Warrant Office pulled Richard aside and told him that he was teaching the halt on the wrong foot. Richard went back to teach it correctly after that.
L. Contribute to the group l) "OK, let's make it a little more challenging - strip the rifle blind-folded" said the instructor.
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2. Which one of the 12 expectations do you think is the most important for your followers and why?
3. Which one of the 12 expectations was the most important for you when you were a follower, and give an example explaining your choice?

Move to Gold Star Leadership - Lesson 2

Source: Gold Star Handbook (A-CR-CCP-121/PT-001) - Chapter 11

Answers to the 
Leadership Quiz