Leadership is an important aspect within the Army in order to achieve excellence and the desired goals. A good Army leader must function in direct, organizational, and strategic levels of leadership who possesses good values and attributes. Aside from good character, a leader must know about different tactics, technical systems, and management resources. However, these are not enough unless executed and implemented well.
According from the FM 6-22 – an official army leadership manual, an army leader whom specific responsibility is assigned is an individual who ‘inspires and influences people to accomplish organizational goals’ either inside our outside the chain of command.
Leadership, on the other hand, is defined as the ‘the process of influencing by providing purpose, direction, and, motivation while operating to accomplish the mission of the organization.’ In short, the role of an Army leader is to ensure that the objective of the organization is achieved (Army Leadership: Competent, Confident, and Agile, 2006).
In leadership, there are three major responsibility of a leader: influencing, operating, and improving.
Before operation and improvement can be done, the leader must be familiarized with the people such as the Soldiers, Army civilians, and multinational partners. Aside from passing along orders, a leader must be a good example either by action or spoken words. Through this, a leader is able to communicate purpose, direction, and motivation well. Purpose can be delivered by an Army leader through requests or orders that are directly executed. However, it must be clear so that the followers could achieve it the way it is expected. There is another way of conveying purpose that is through vision, which is broader and generalized like organizational purpose. After making the purpose and vision clear, direction follows. In a mission, a leader must provide clear direction by prioritizing tasks, assigning responsibilities, and ensuring that the standards are met by subordinates. While on mission, there is a need for continuous motivation especially to those who needed reassurance. A leader must understand its members, their needs and desires, and capabilities and limitations in order to measure the kind of responsibility that will be assigned to them. At the end of it, give praise to the subordinates. Otherwise, give them credit and advise them on how to improve for the next missions. In giving motivation and praises, it should be personalized as much as possible. Also, the presence of a leader is also important especially at night, weekends, and, various locations and conditions (Army Leadership: Competent, Confident, and Agile, 2006).
In operating, a leader must continuously influence others, for example, by ensuring that all equipments are working and ready for combat. Follow-up operations must also be conducted. Motor sergeants, for example, conducts and after-action review (AAR), checking that all tools are repaired, cleaned, properly stowed away, and accounted for. Through AAR, a specific event is being discussed based on performance standards. There is an assessment of what the members did and what are the results, and also their strengths and weaknesses. A motor sergeant would dwell on the weaknesses of team members and advise what to do next for improvement (Army Leadership: Competent, Confident, and Agile, 2006).
The foundations of an Army leader were established in history based from the Nation’s democratic foundations. Values and standards of excellence and competence are recognized by the Army for years. While leadership doctrines still acknowledges changes in the society, different security threats, and technological advances for adaptability(Army Leadership: Competent, Confident, and Agile, 2006).
In order to achieve values-based leadership and professional competence, there is a basis for thinking and learning about leadership called the Leadership Requirements Model. It is divided into two: core leader competencies and attributes. The core leader competencies refer to what an Army leader does while the attributes refers to what a leader is composed of.
The core leader competencies are developed from institutional schooling, self-development, realistic training, and professional experience. The core leader competencies are to: lead, develop, and achieve. These do apply in other careers which could help in achieving success in other fields. These are observed behaviorally and serve as basis for development. A good Army leader should lead other by providing purpose, motivation, and inspiration; enforce standards, and balance mission and the welfare of Soldiers. It is accompanied by good character, confidence, competence, and understanding (Army Leadership: Competent, Confident, and Agile, 2006).
In order to achieve development, a leader must create a positive environment through teamwork and cohesion, initiative encouragement, and care. A leader must be aware of other circumstances in order to be prepared for unexpected events and think of strategies. Aside from developing the self, developing future leader is also important to help people learn and achieve professional and personal growth. The last competency, to achieve, is determined through providing direction and guidance, execution of plans, and accomplishment of tasks consistently (Army Leadership: Competent, Confident, and Agile, 2006).
Attributes are composed of an Army leader’s character, presence, and intellectual capacity. All these are essential in building a respected and good reputation. Under character, a leader must possess the Army values, empathy, and warrior ethos. Moral and ethical qualities of a leader are important for self-motivation and judgment in all circumstances. Army values are important in achieving the goal of the country and protecting the people which gives moral confidence and strength in times of combat. The seven core values in the Army are: loyalty, duty, respect, self-less service, honor, integrity, and personal courage. Loyalty refers to ‘faith and allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, the Army, your unit, and other Soldiers”. By duty, every member is expected to fulfill their obligations; and by respect, everyone should others as they deserve. As a faithful soldier, one must consider own welfare last among the Nation, Army, and, subordinates; and honor the Army values first. They must bear in mind that they should do only what is morally and legally right. Lastly, they must have enough courage to ‘face fear, danger, or adversity”. These values allow a leader to make the right choices in different consequences (Army Leadership: Competent, Confident, and Agile, 2006).
These characteristics of a leader develop through experience and exposure with different people. A leader is tested in planning and decision-making while working other Soldiers. Support with subordinates is important to maintain a good working relationship. Giving them opportunities to speak their minds, knowing their feelings, providing them relevant trainings and equipment, sharing hardships with them during wartime, giving reasonable comfort, these are all characteristics of an empathic leader. These help in maintaining good moral and accomplishing missions effectively. Among uniformed members, a special doctrine intended required professional attitudes and beliefs of an American Soldier – the Warrior Ethos. It was developed through commitment to the Army values, discipline, and pride for the heritage of the Army. It has been a guide for continuously persevering in tough conditions like war, for example, were lives of the Soldier are at stake. It is needed in order to sustain the will to win and help others even in exchange of death (Army Leadership: Competent, Confident, and Agile, 2006)
An Army leader’s appearance, actions, and words determine the level of confidence a member has for a leader. Being effective should reflect in one’s military bearing, physical fitness, confidence, and resilience. Military bearing provides a figure of professionalism and authority; but having a good physical and emotional health, endurance and strategic abilities is also important. In faces of challenges, showing confidence could assure subordinates for a mission’s success. Resilience on the other hand is another challenge. The ability to recover from injuries, adversities, shocks, and stress is an admirable characteristic (Army Leadership: Competent, Confident, and Agile, 2006).
Army Leadership: Competent, Confident, and Agile. (2006). Retrieved May 3, 2008. from http://www.fas.org/irp/doddir/army/fm6-22.pdf.
Cite this Army Leadership
Army Leadership. (2016, Jul 22). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/army-leadership/