This essay will inform the reader of the foundations of Army leadership, built through core leadership skills, character, and intellectual capacities. Leading others, developing them into what you want them to be and achieving desired goals. Values instilled in a leader, disciplined, and confident to be the best you can be leading others. Resilient and innovative being able to adapt. Sharing your expertise and always staying professional. We will begin with understanding core leadership skills.
Starting with core leadership skills we will discuss lead, develop, and achieve.
It is best to lead others by example. “The most important thing I learned is that soldiers watch what their leaders do. You can give them classes and lecture them forever, but it is your personal example they will follow.” General Colin Powell (2003). Showing others you do something encourages them to do the same and builds trust. Using your influence and experience to prove you’re capable of leading. You want to be able to expand your sphere of influence beyond the structure of rank.
Good communication is paramount to get your point across, Regardless of rank or position, good communication and influence will resonate with anyone. Which leads me to Develop. Being a leader you must continue to develop yourself to fulfill your responsibility of developing others. Honing your skills to sharpen your level of expertise. You must steward the profession to uphold standards and capabilities. Leaders encourage others to always seek improvement. You need to be able to have a positive attitude and build a positive environment.
Being a positive leader will help in developing others to achieve organizational goals. Achieving organizational goals through development and good leaders. We need to accomplish task set forth by the organization as a whole. We are one army led by leaders who were developed like everyone else. Developed through core leadership skills to accomplish every mission. Achieve skills you developed as a leader builds into your character. Which we will get into next.
In character you will know about values, discipline, and confidence. These three things will build a strong character. Values to live by set forth by the Army, loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage. As leaders we set a standard which is emulated by those we develop. Quoted from Benjamin Suulola (2019) “Sound character, integrity, purity, high ethical and moral standards are foundations of effectiveness in leadership.” We are all responsible for being true to ourselves and living by these values. Your character is built by these values. Living by Army values and having self-control is discipline. You must be disciplined as a leader to hold high standards set forth by your values. Being able to share these values and spread your sphere of influence to others. Discipline gives you that self-control to do what is right holding onto your integrity. Living by army values and having discipline go hand and hand. As a leader your followers should have confidence in you. They should be confident in you to be disciplined and do what is right. Confidence goes a long way in many aspects. If you don’t show confidence while communicating it will be hard for your fellow comrades to trust what you say. Use confidence and discipline to hold yourself to the highest intellectual capacity.
Intellectual capacity is resilience, your innovation, and expertise. Quoted from ADP 6-22 (2012) “The leader’s intellectual capacity helps to conceptualize solutions and acquire knowledge to do the job.” You can use your intellectual capacities to communicate to subordinates to help them through situations. Being resilient is being able to bounce back from a negative situation and still be positive. Resilience is a key trait to instill in all soldiers. Leaders should be resilient and innovative. Taking an idea and innovating it into something new. Being able to adapt to a situation to overcome using innovation. As stated in ADP 6-22 (2012) “critical and innovative thought are abilities that enable the leader to be adaptive”. Leaders achieve greater expertise through the development of others. Leaders will not hesitate to take on more responsibility. Denis Waitley (2003) “You must continue to gain expertise, but avoid thinking like an expert.” You have to look at everything you do as a learning experience. Try not to think as if you have achieved your highest level of expertise and you cannot get better from there. “Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” Benjamin Franklin (1785). There is always room to grow and achieve more. Quoted from Benjamin Suulola (2019) “Growing your leadership capacity demands personal effectiveness. Being effective is the ability to do the right thing at all times, no matter the cost.”
The foundations of Army leadership, built through core leadership skills, character, and intellectual capacities. Leading others, developing them into what you want them to be and achieving desired goals. “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” Warren Bennis (2003).
“Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them.” Colin Powell (2003)