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Army Leadership Essay Sample

When subordinates succeed, praise them. When they fall short, give them credit for what they have done right, but advise them on how to do better.

When motivating with words, leaders should use more than just empty phrases; they should personalize the message.
In addition, what helps foster a good working environment is recognition of success, and discussion to rectify sub-par performance. People want to be recognized when they work hard. I believe in making sure I recognize individuals both publicly and privately in order to increase initiative and motivation, and to redirect efforts when a subordinate is off task. If a subordinate has proven that they are unable to succeed, I will pull that person aside and talk through observed problems to assist that individual to develop a plan, which will overcome these identified difficulties. This is centered around respect for all and not wanting to embarrass the individual by critiquing them in front of others. In either case, it shows the subordinates that I, as the leader, and the organization, care about them. They, in turn, will work harder knowing that their leadership believes in them.

1-14. Indirect approaches can be as successful as what is said. Setting a personal example can sustain the drive in others. This becomes apparent when leaders share the hardships. When a unit prepares for an emergency deployment, all key leaders should be involved to share in the hard work to get the equipment ready to ship.
As a direct leader, you are the frontline leader to the soldiers such as their team leaders or squad leaders. Direct leaders are responsible for building cohesive bonds amongst their team and to empower their subordinates along with implementing policies to be able to accomplish the mission. As a direct leader, you must be able to operate independently, but within the limits of the commander’s intent. Organizational leaders on the other hand are those that must deal at higher echelons such as a battalion or brigade level. Their policies influence the command climate, and they must be adept in communication, negotiation, critical reasoning, and interpersonal skills. They must be skilled at complex decision making and problem solving and have a good understanding of the entire range of full-spectrum operations. Strategic leaders set the organizational structure, allocate resources, and articulate the strategic vision. Strategic leadership involves running the army from developing strategic plans, policies, guidance, and laws to determining force structure designs based on future mission requirements and capabilities.

This includes leadership presence at night, weekends, and in all locations and conditions where the troops are toiling. OPERATING

1-15. Operating encompasses the actions taken to influence others to accomplish missions and to set the stage for future operations.

Lets first start with the definition of leadership and what it means to the military. The military defines leadership as the process of influencing others to accomplish a mission (a job) by providing purpose, direction, and motivation. Without leadership the military would cease to exist. Chaos would ensue enabling the enemy to break down the infrastructure created by many generations of loyal patriots.

One example is the motor sergeant who ensures that vehicles roll out on time and that they are combat ready. The sergeant does it through planning and preparing (laying out the work and making necessary arrangements), executing (doing the job), and assessing (learning how to work smarter next time).
Leadership and the military are practically inseparable. For the last two hundred plus years the military has gone through many changes in how it conducts itself abroad. Military leadership and leadership development have become foundational concepts for all Army personnel. It defines the military culture beginning with every recruit learning Warrior Ethos to the leader development programs. It should not be any surprise that civilian Companies conduct research on military leadership, leadership development; and the military culture.

The motor sergeant leads by personal example to achieve mission accomplishment. The civilian supervisor of training developers follows the same sort of operating actions. All leaders execute these types of actions which become more complex as they assume positions of increasing responsibility.
Leaders must be able to encourage and support the growth of individuals and teams to facilitate the achievement of organizational goals. Leaders need to prepare others to assume positions within the organization, ensuring a more versatile and productive organization. Guidance is an important of being a leader in the army by ensuring those tasks are consistent and accomplished in a timely manner. According to Army Regulation 600-100 (AR 600-100), there are three levels of leadership. The levels of leadership are direct, organizational, and strategic.

IMPROVING

1-16. Improving for the future means capturing and acting on important lessons of ongoing and completed projects and missions. After checking to ensure that all tools are repaired, cleaned, accounted for, and properly stowed away, our motor sergeant conducts an after-action review (AAR).

This approach is based on open two-way communication. I believe in providing a clear vision of what needs to be accomplished, with guidance for how it should be accomplished when necessary. I also believe in fostering an environment where questions are allowed, and creativity is encouraged. Subordinates should be able to approach me with a problem without fearing the outcome or repercussion. I’m willing to take the time to assist the subordinate in finding a plausible resolution and assess how much coaching and mentorship is required for that individual to get on the right path. Constant interaction and communication will ensure this becomes routine and part of the norm.

An AAR is a professional discussion of an event, focused on performance standards. It allows participants to discover for themselves what happened, why it happened, how to sustain strengths, and how to improve on weaknesses.
Lastly, I believe in transparency. I am open to criticism and am prepared to implement identified improvements. Using regular meetings open to the collective, identifying successful and unsuccessful initiatives or systems provides me with feedback which can then be used to make needed changes in the section or organization. This provides a voice to subordinates, gives them buy in, and makes the overall organization more flexible and probably more competitive and cooperative as everyone will feel they have participated in the outcome.

Capitalizing on honest feedback, the motor sergeant identifies strong areas to sustain and weak areas to improve. If the AAR identifies that team members spent too much time on certain tasks while neglecting others, the leader might improve the section standing operating procedures or counsel specific people on how to do better.
We are at a critical point in our history in America. For the second time in a century we have been attacked on our own soil and forced to defend ourselves against a global threat. Due to this treat our soldiers have been able to lead abroad; and here in the homeland giving them a variety of ways to give purpose direction and motivation to accomplish any mission given to them. The military is notorious for developing leaders that have been able to run multi-billion dollar organizations. Everywhere you go businesses cry out for leadership, leadership necessary to build better and more competitive products. Most people and organizations are not happy with the people at work who call themselves leaders? They are also not confident in their local, state, and national leaders? Most people just don't know what a leader is and what a leader should do. In this paper I am going to do is discuss the way the U.S. military defines leadership, and what all of us can do to become better leaders.

1-17. Developmental counseling is crucial for helping subordinates improve performance and prepare for future responsibilities. The counseling should address strong areas as well as weak ones. If the motor sergeant discovers recurring deficiencies in individual or collective skills, remedial training is planned and conducted to improve these specific performance areas.

We can learn valuable leadership lessons from the people that have been training leaders for over 200 years, the U.S. military. The idea most people have of leadership in the military has a lot to do with yelling and threatening individuals forcing them to crawl through the mud and miss home. That just doesn't work in the modern military. The crawling through mud and being stressed out in multiple situations seems to be the norm though. The old Army of threatening individuals creates a counter productive environment. With the techniques that are taught in military leadership schools the civilian world can learn a lot by studying how the military trains its leaders.

Part Three and Appendix B provide more information on counseling. 1-18. By stressing the team effort and focused learning, the motor sergeant gradually and continuously improves the unit. The sergeant’s personal example sends an important message to the entire team: Improving the organization is everyone’s responsibility.
Army leaders are committed to developing value based leadership and seeing to the well-being of Soldiers and their families. The role of an army leader extends influence beyond the direct chain of command. An army leader is a direct representation of the organization in which they represent and the military in general. As a leader in the army, one must lead by example and must be a direct representation of the standard and of good behavior. Leaders are responsible for establishing and maintaining positive expectations and attitudes, which produce the setting for positive attitudes and effective work behaviors.

The team effort to do something about its shortcomings is more Nation’s wars by providing prompt, sustained land dominance across the spectrum of conflicts in support of combatant commanders. In a sense, all Army leaders must be warriors, regardless of service, branch, gender, status, or component.

Another role of a leader is to train soldiers in a way that they will exemplify the warrior ethos as it is stated in the soldier’s creed. The army has a commitment to the development of its future leaders by providing the proper training in values, attributes, and increasingly complex and unstable world. Respect and leadership is something that goes hand in hand. To be a good leader, you must be able to gain respect in order to be a good leader and be able to maintain moral amongst the soldiers in which you are attempting to lead.

All serve for the common purpose of protecting the Nation and accomplishing their organization’s mission to that end. They do this through influencing people and providing purpose, direction, and motivation.
The role of an army leader is to provide purpose, direction, and motivation to soldiers while continuing to carry out the mission or task that is at hand. As a leader in the army, one must maintain their knowledge of the standards of conduct, policy, law, rules of engagement, and the Geneva Conventions. Leaders of the army must be able to understand that their actions, behaviors, and decisions are a direct reflects of their leadership and the army as a whole. As a leader in the army, one must be able to stand for the army’s leadership values as a direct representation and they must be able to be a role model for their soldiers to follow.

Leadership is the process of influencing people by providing purpose, direction, and motivation while operating to accomplish the mission and improving the organization. INFLUENCING

1-7. Influencing is getting people—Soldiers, Army civilians, and multinational partners—to do what is necessary.

In the Army, it is customary to influence Soldiers to better themselves, not only for military life, but also for the civilian world. A perfect example of tranformative leadership is influencing Soldiers to attend college and military career progression schools. This also prepares the Soldier for life other than the military. By influencing Soldiers to attend colleges and career progression...

Influencing entails more than simply passing along orders. Personal examples are as important as spoken words. Leaders set that example, good or bad, with every action taken and word spoken, on or off duty.
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Through words and personal example, leaders communicate purpose, direction, and motivation. PURPOSE AND VISION

1-8. Purpose gives subordinates the reason to act in order to achieve a desired outcome. Leaders should provide clear purpose for their followers and do that in a variety of ways.

For one to be considered a good leader there must be an even amount of leadership and respect that is portrayed to the soldiers. Soldiers are more apt to respect leaders that show them respect instead of those that do not show them respect. As a leader of soldiers, you must be able to separate the line from friend and leader but must be able to give respect in order to get respect. Respect is one of the core army values and every soldier should live by it if they are part of the army and they must adhere to the army values in their everyday lives.

Leaders can use direct means of conveying purpose through requests or orders for what to do. 1-9. Vision is another way that leaders can provide purpose. Vision refers to an organizational purpose that may be broader or have less immediate consequences than other purpose statements.
At the core, I believe in investing the time, effort, resources, vision, and latitude into subordinates. These are critical if they are to reach their full potential. Empowering subordinates to thrive is key. At the end of the day, I work very hard to teach, coach and mentor to the point where my subordinates can operate autonomously and could step up to replace me as the leader if necessary. As a leader, what are we doing other than molding our replacements—essentially investing in the future.

Higher-level leaders carefully consider how to communicate their vision. DIRECTION

1-10. Providing clear direction involves communicating how to accomplish a mission: prioritizing tasks, assigning responsibility for completion, and ensuring subordinates understand the standard.

As a leader when you coach a junior soldier, you are merely providing guidance to the soldier in ways to accomplish a task at hand. Coaching is a tool best used to bring out that individual quality as a future leader and to enhance their leadership abilities. One of the most important roles as an army leader is to mentor lesser experienced soldiers and help them to reach their fullest potential both personal and professional. Leader must be able to mentor soldiers in both a professional and casual manner.

Although subordinates want and need direction, they expect challenging tasks, quality training, and adequate resources. They should be given appropriate freedom of action. Providing clear direction allows followers the freedom to modify plans and orders to adapt to changing circumstances.
My leadership philosophy is deeply rooted in my 12 years of experiences in the Army. As a leader, I believe in being accessible and mentoring subordinates. I recognize success and work hard to assist my subordinates in overcoming their difficulties in performance. I welcome feedback sessions to remain flexible and open to change. This sets up the group to be very productive and adaptable and can be incorporated at all levels of any organization.

Directing while adapting to change is a continuous process. 1-11. For example, a battalion motor sergeant always takes the time and has the patience to explain to the mechanics what is required of them.

The sergeant does it by calling them together for a few minutes to talk about the workload and the time constraints. Although many Soldiers tire of hearing from the sergeant about how well they are doing and that they are essential to mission accomplishment, they know it is true and appreciate the comments.

The definition of respect is an attitude of deference, admiration, or esteem; to pay proper attention to and show consideration towards an individual and to treat them courteously. Respect is something that is need in the army due to the fact that as individual progresses in rank they take on more responsibilities and must be able to lead soldiers and in order to lead soldiers, first you must be able to give respect to your soldiers for them to show you respect. Without respect in the army there would be no form of order or standard in which a leader can hold a soldier to as a guide to follow.

Every time the motor sergeant passes information during a meeting, he sends a clear signal: people are cared for and valued. The payoff ultimately comes when the unit is alerted for a combat deployment.
The ultimate test of success or failure in war is victory or defeat. Yet some of history's most successful commanders have experienced defeat, Napoleon Bonaparte at Waterloo, Erwin Rommel at El Alamein and Douglas MacArthur at Bataan. They were defeated for different reasons, usually because of circumstances wholly or partially outside their control.

As events unfold at breakneck speed, the motor sergeant will not have time to explain, acknowledge performance, or motivate them. Soldiers will do their jobs because their leader has earned their trust.
The skills, talents and qualities which are associated with successful military leader are fairly easy to identify their origins. Education, training and experience are all indispensable in a successful military leader, yet intangible qualities appear in most instances to be traceable more to the nature, personality and temperament of successful warrior-leaders which may owe as much to birth and genetics as to upbringing. The only sensible conclusion is that nature and nurture are both important in the development of an effective military leader.

MOTIVATION

1-12. Motivation supplies the will to do what is necessary to accomplish a mission. Motivation comes from Basis of Leadership All Army team members, Soldiers and civilians alike, must have a basis of understanding for what leadership is and does.

As a Senior Non-Commissioned Officer, with over twenty years of service, I have served in numerous leadership roles. Since the beginning of my career, I have been a leader of Soldiers. Being a leader in the Army requires one to be both a transitional and transformational leader. Transformational leadership is a relationship of mutual stimulation and elevation that converts followers into leaders and may convert leaders into moral agents. (Burns, 1978)

The definitions of leadership and leaders address their sources of strength in deep-rooted values, the Warrior Ethos, and professional competence. National and Army values influence the leader’s character and professional development, instilling a desire to acquire the essential knowledge to lead.
As a strategic leader they must be able to prioritize over-arching army programs against competing interests while articulating army programs and policies to the highest levels of DOD and the government. All leaders have the responsibility of mentoring those junior enlisted soldiers below them in rank and to develop them to the fullest extent possible. Army leaders can develop junior soldiers through training and education and are responsible for providing feedback to the soldier through counseling, coaching, and mentoring.

Leaders apply this knowledge within a spectrum of established competencies to achieve successful mission accomplishment. The roles and functions of Army leaders apply to the three interconnected levels of leadership: direct, organizational, and strategic.
Leadership is and has always been a key element in the success of the United States Army. Since the beginning of the Revolutionary War, this country has been run by some of the best leaders this world has ever seen. Without leadership, the Army can not sustain the successful force it is. Like businesses, the Army is built on the success of its leaders.

Within these levels of leadership, cohesive teams can achieve collective excellence when leadership levels interact effectively.

Chapter 1 Leadership Defined
1-1. An enduring expression for Army leadership has been BE-KNOW-DO. Army leadership begins with what the leader must BE—the values and attributes that shape character. It may be helpful to think of these as internal and defining qualities possessed all the time. As defining qualities, they make up the identity of the leader. 1-2. Who is an Army leader?

An Army leader is anyone who by virtue of assumed role or assigned responsibility inspires and influences people to accomplish organizational goals. Army leaders motivate people both inside and outside the chain of command to pursue actions, focus thinking, and shape decisions for the greater good of the organization.

In the Army a leader must be both, a transactional and transformational leader. Successful leaders thrive on successful Soldiers and teamwork. Mission success is vitally dependent upon the cohesion and mutual respect between leader and follower.

1-3. Values and attributes are the same for all leaders, regardless of position, although refined through experience and assumption of positions of greater responsibility. For example, a sergeant major with combat experience may have a deeper understanding of selfless service and personal courage than a new Soldier.
Respect is an attribute that must be earned in order to be given. In order to get respect, you must first be able to treat soldiers with respect and as adults. Respect is a major aspect in everyday life in both a professional and personal manner. Respect is the foundation on which our society lives. The darkest times in our country’s history can be traced to a lack of respect. When laws are ignored there can be no civility. The laws in our society are based on respect, both for ourselves and those around us.

1-4. The knowledge that leaders should use in leadership is what Soldiers and Army civilians KNOW.

Leadership requires knowing about tactics, technical systems, organizations, management of resources, and the tendencies and needs of people. Knowledge shapes a leader’s identity and is reinforced by a leader’s actions. 1-5. While character and knowledge are necessary, by themselves they are not enough. Leaders cannot be effective until they apply what they know. What leaders DO, or leader actions, is directly related to the influence they have on others and what is done. As with knowledge, leaders will learn more about leadership as they serve in different positions.

This research paper examines the many different types of leadership exist, business, military, moral, political, etc. The focus of this paper is on military leadership in times of war when the stakes are high and the outcome in terms of victory or defeat is generally apparent.

1-6. New challenges facing leaders, the Army, and the Nation mandate adjustments in how the Army educates, trains, and develops its military and civilian leadership.

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