First Core Competencies
One of the First Core Competencies of the Leadership Requirements Model states an army leader leads. They do this through leading others on and off the battle field, extending influence beyond their reach, leading by the example they want their soldiers to follow, and by communicating to create a shared understanding. Simon Sinek elaborates on leading others in his Lesson 5: Lead People, Not Numbers. He achieves his point by comparing two CEO’s in well-known organizations in America: Jack Welch of General Electric (GE) and James Sinegal of Costco. He points out major aspects of their business and how they both led and interacted with their employees. Welch of GE created a culture with his leadership that was “driven to do whatever they could to make themselves look good” (Sinek, 2017, Pg. 218). Army leaders face the same reality as they are tasked with a group of people accomplishing whatever mission they are handed. It is the leaders job to create that priority in their soldiers and create that community of trust and loyalty to better the organization as a whole. In that goal, it will take work in developing that culture and creating an environment where everyone feels valued and supported. Each has a purpose but together can be developed into achieved results.
Leadership Requirements Model
The Leadership Requirements Model adds that an army leader develops, creating value in others and to bring more leaders into the organization. They do this by creating a positive environment, preparing themselves to set the standard, and developing others in order to achieve an overall focus on development through leadership. Sinek begins early on by urging others to create a sense of belonging. He outlines the organization by discussing threats both internally and externally through a concept known as the Circle of Safety. This concept shown in Figure 1 begins with establishing safety around the people in the organization, which will reduce the external threats and allow for more time and energy to focus on growth of the organization. Without this, there will be too much focus on self-protection and individuals trying to survive rather than to thrive (Sinek, 2017, Pg. 26-27). For an army leader the importance is to create that environment of safety with their soldiers because you need full commitment to focus on that mission or goal. If individuals are concerned about others around them or the culture is toxic where no one feels comfortable communicating or bettering the organization, then there is no development being done.
Looking After the Household
Sinek adds in his book that “as leaders you are the gate keeper in charge of who and what comes into your home.” He continues that “everyone in that household will have to share in the responsibility of looking after the household however you as a leader are ultimately the one setting the standards for entry” and the culture of the household (Sinek, 2017, Pg. 28). Development as a whole requires the team and as the army leader watching over their soldiers you will need everyone involved with that shared responsibility that Sinek is explaining in his concept. In order to create development in others and in yourself it will require that self-preparation and set standard for everyone under to follow. In this challenge to safeguard the environment and build the group there will be outlying factors that you will come in contact with and make the correct decisions as a leader of character to hold the integrity of the group.
Importance of Character
One of the most important and last army attributes we will discuss that applies to everyone in the organization, especially leaders, is character. This attribute brings together the values, discipline, and ethos that all army soldiers are taught to live by every day, in and out of uniform. The United States Army expands on character by how “it is a critical component of being a successful army leader” and “it is the essence of who the individual leading by what they do, their behavior, and their ethics and beliefs” (Department of the Army, 2015, Pg. 97). Sinek will go on to point in his Leadership Lesson 3: Integrity Matters that integrity, honesty, and accountability are the essential values that build trust in a group. He talks about a story of a marine at Officer Candidate School (OCS) in Quantico Virginia and how a Colonel was late to a class one time due to dealing with a situation concerning a candidate being removed from OCS by simply falling asleep on watch.
Sinek discusses chemical reactions and how they pertain to the actions that we take as people. He explains the chemical Cortisol and how the release is triggered through our bodies when we feel a threat. Internally this stops another chemical called Oxytocin which controls empathy and the drive to help one another (Sinek, 2017, Pg. 66-68). With the nature of character, a leader is there to lead and that includes providing a helping hand to those under you. Empathy is needed and outlined in the Army Leadership Requirements Model as a key duty of having good character. Becoming selfish and lacking that drive to develop and improve the organization will become toxic as others will emulate those traits and live them, thus setting the wrong standard for an army leader with character. Setting a standard of good character is necessary to boost an organization of integrity, honesty, and empathy with one another. This builds the trust required from everyone to grow and accomplish their tasks and mission.
Simon Sinek’s Opinion
Simon Sinek discusses some important lessons and describes some musts that all leaders must know in order to be successful. Ultimately his goal was a call to action saying that “leadership is a commitment to people that takes time, effort, and energy. We must make our own contribution for the good of others … to be the leaders we wish we had” (Sinek, 2017, Pg. 287-288). Army leadership asks of the same thing as each individual grows through the ranks, both officer and enlisted. They publish and teach these critical values and attributes to create that tight knit community for a great organization to operate in. Sinek does well in relating some of his wisdom and lessons with leadership as does the army leadership requirements model that has been used for years. To be the next great leaders of the world requires work and dedication to the profession. It starts with building that character and setting that standard of a leader. It requires you to do your part and lead and develop the people appointed under you. Sinek said it best as he ended asking for “the leaders we wished we had” and “to make our contribution to others.” This is how the everyone who listens and emulates turns into the next great stories to be told.