Leader Competencies

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The core leader competencies are actions that the Army expects leaders to do: lead, develop, and achieve. Competencies provide an enduring, clear, and consistent way of conveying expectations for Army leaders. The core competencies are universal for all Army leaders.

Leads (See pp. 1-29 to 1-40.)

Leads consists of five competencies. Leads others includes influencing members in the leader’s organization. Influence is central to leadership. Extends influence beyond the chain of command involves influencing others when the leader does not have designated authority or when others may not recognize the leader’s authority. Builds trust establishes conditions that lead to mutual confidence among leaders and subordinates. Leader actions and words comprise the competencies of leads by example and communicates. Actions can speak louder than words and leaders who embody standards as role models are generally more effective than those who simply talk about standards. Effective leaders clearly communicate what needs to be done and why.

Develops (See pp. 1-41 to 1-48.)

Military leadership is unique because the armed forces develop and select their own leaders. The responsibilities of Army members change as they assume new leadership positions. To ensure the quality of our leaders and future leaders does not diminish, all Army Soldiers and DA civilians have a responsibility to develop themselves and their subordinates. In Army leadership, there are four competencies in the category of develops that leaders consider while preparing themselves and their subordinates. A leader develops themselves, creates a positive climate, develops subordinates, and stewards the profession.

Leaders develop their own leadership proficiency through deliberate study, feedback, and practice. Fundamentally, leadership develops when an individual desires to improve and invests effort, their superior supports development, and the organizational climate values learning. Learning to be a leader requires knowledge of leadership, experience using this knowledge, and feedback from one’s seniors, peers, and subordinates. It also requires opportunities to practice leading others as often as possible. Formal systems such as evaluation reports, academic evaluation reports, and 360 assessments offer learning opportunities, but the individual must embrace the opportunity and internalize the information. The fastest learning occurs when multiple challenging and interesting opportunities to practice leadership with meaningful and honest feedback are present. These elements contribute to self-development, developing others, and setting a climate conducive to learning.

Leader development of others involves recruiting, accessing, developing, assigning, promoting, and retaining the leaders with the potential for levels of greater responsibility. Leaders develop subordinates when they prepare and then challenge them with greater responsibility, authority, and accountability. It is the individual professional responsibility of all leaders to develop their subordinates as leaders.

Achieves (See pp. 1-49 to 1-50.)

A leader’s primary purpose is to accomplish the mission. Leadership builds and guides the effective organizations necessary to do so. Leaders require a focus on the future that views building and maintaining effective organizations as critical to mission accomplishment. Building effective Army organizations serves the larger purpose of mission accomplishment. Mission accomplishment takes priority over everything else, especially in combat where their unit may be at risk of destruction.
Achieves embraces all actions to accomplish tasks on time and to standard by—

• Providing direction, guidance, and priorities.
• Assessing, adjusting, and continuing mission.

TLS7: The Leader’s SMARTbook,  7th Ed. (Leadership as a Dynamic of Combat Power)This article is an extract from "TLS7: The Leader’s SMARTbook, 7th Ed. (Leadership as a Dynamic of Combat Power)" by The Lightning Press. Download a free PDF sample and learn more at:  TLS7: The Leader’s SMARTbook, 7th Ed. (Leadership as a Dynamic of Combat Power).

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