Some would say a leader is born a leader while others have the belief that a leader is created over time. Some would say a good leader cannot exist without experience, and others believe a leader can learn all they need to be effective from books and classes. If you were to ask me, IÃ¢â‚â„¢d say that the best leaders possess a little of each. A real leader is a machine, consisting of several internal components that make him or her stand out as a good working model of what the general populous, as well as the Army, expect as a defined leader. There are any numbers of qualities that comprise a good leader.
–Knowledge: A leader must hold a high level of knowledge of not only what is, but also of what could be. A leaderÃ¢â‚â„¢s level of knowledge, above those around him or her, of the current situations and how to mold and shape future situations is what will set a leader apart from those around him. Knowledge is one of the monumental keys to success leadership in all its forms. Without knowledgeable leadership, an organization is almost certain to fail.
–Communication: A leader must understand communication in all its variables. Effective leaders not only understand how to communicate, but also value open communication both up to superiors and down to subordinates. Leaders also understand that communication involves not only transmitting and conveying what you, as a leader, expect from those around you, but also listening to and acting upon what those, both superior and subordinate, have as requests of you. The ability to blend knowledge with communication is what facilitates a leader with the ability to create a plan of action to ensure success in any given situation. Failing to ensure key information is communicated can be catastrophic to a unitÃ¢â‚â„¢s mission. Without communication, troops lack the knowledge of the purpose, vision and direction for any given task or mission.
This unit recognises that communications do not automatically take place effectively in organisations and that both information and work-based knowledge is often insufficient when decisions are made. Learners will look at how managers can improve the planning of their communications processes as well as their communication skills. Learners will understand why managers need to adopt a more ...
Something as simple as failing to update a duty roster can leave troops shorthanded and ineffective, creating chaos, doubt in the leadership, lowered morale for having a heavier work load to make up for the absence of those missing, and a general mistrust for the overall communication and leadership structure. Additionally, miscommunication can be just as detrimental to a unitÃ¢â‚â„¢s mission. Miscommunication can put people in places of danger unnecessarily, create a different direction for the mission than what is intended, and can add addition workload for subordinates than what is needed to achieve a successful mission. Good leaders should always ensure that communication is conveyed properly by getting confirmation from the subordinates affected immediately upon issuing an order or directive that it is clearly understood and that all questions are answered in as timely a fashion as possible.
–Ability to influence: Perhaps one of the key signs of being a leader is the effectiveness in which a person influences those around him. A good leaderÃ¢â‚â„¢s influential ability often goes beyond what he or she can even see. By utilizing tools of success such as a defined purpose, shared vision, unwavering direction, and the ability to effectively motivate others, a leaderÃ¢â‚â„¢s impact can often create a ripple effect, making a positive impact on the overall mission both up and down the chain of command. Giving subordinate a purpose is the first step in leading troops to effective completion of a task. Purpose defines precisely what the mission at hand is. It also gives reason to subordinate and clarifies what is expected of them. Sharing a vision with those you are leading plays privy to success as a leader as well. With a shared vision, those being led, as well as those leading, have a joint base of knowledge of the purpose and what the end result should be, making it easier and simpler to accomplish the intermediary tasks necessary to gain successful completion to whatever the overall task may be. Having an unwavering direction sets a certain solidarity for the leader and makes him or her appear stable, certain, reliable and trusted by those they are leading. By consistently changing course, leaders often lose the faith and shared vision of those they are leading.
Do you know where you are taking your business? Having a sense of vision, mission and purpose provides the underpinning for strategic direction. Established and made explicit sometime in the past. Objectives therefore establish direction and in some cases set specific end points. They should have time-scales or end-dates attached to them. The attainment of them should be measurable in some way and ...
With a loss of vision and direction, the purpose becomes uncertain and the entire leadership structure can, and most certainly will, be lost. The quality that ties all of these other qualities together is motivation. Being able to effectively motivate the ones you are leading is the trademark of a good leader. With motivated soldiers, small falters in direction, vision, and purpose can often be overlooked and overcome due to the momentum that motivation carries. Ã¢â‚Å“False motivationÃ¢â‚Â, or giving an appointed leader a response that is what one believes they want to hear, though it is not the true feeling of the subordinate, is widely, and wrongly, used in todayÃ¢â‚â„¢s military. Ã¢â‚Å“False motivationÃ¢â‚Â usually comes out of a fear of reprisal for conveying a problem or breakdown in the leadership structure. If a leader truly has a grasp on effective communication, Ã¢â‚Å“false motivationÃ¢â‚Â should rarely occur. Subordinates should never fear giving an honest opinion to superiors, as long as it is done with tact, respect and due courtesies. Likewise, superiors should always hold the views and opinions of their subordinates in high regards. Without those views and opinions, leaders may lose a degree of situational awareness of the mission on the subordinateÃ¢â‚â„¢s level, which would lead to lowered morale, a loss in momentous motivation, and could cause the mission to fail.
Values: Finally, leaders must know and adhere to certain values. In the United States Army, there has been a set core of values for which all personnel are expected to know, understand, and make a way of everyday life. Values, in general terms, are those things that, whether written, spoken, directed, or merely implied, a person sets as a means to live their lives from day to day. Values generally consist of certain types of rules or characteristics that people use to mold and shape their demeanor, their beliefs, both personal and public, and their personal morals. In the army there are seven core values that soldiers are, as a minimum, required to make their personal standard. With proper knowledge and experience, working hand in hand with these seven values, a person will have everything needed to be a great leader.
Being a good leader means that someone is humble, thoughtful and unselfish. Creon is a rather weak man who has been placed into a position of authority and is incapable of handling the position well. He is a self-conceited man who is also very narrow minded. Creon who only thinks of himself, not the good of the people, causes him to lose many dear family members. And he doesn't like to be wrong or ...
–Loyalty: To bear true faith and allegiance to God, Family, and Country. A person showing loyalty is one who possesses a high degree of dedication, always insuring that he or she is available when called upon and puts the mission and itÃ¢â‚â„¢s completion in high regards.
–Duty: Simply put, duty refers to working hard, no matter what the situation is, and always giving your all. There are times, as soldiers, we fail to complete a mission single handedly. Leaders recognize the effort given by both themselves and those around them, and are able to redistribute additional help when needed. In doing so, the soldiers helping each other are performing the true definition of duty, and the leader exemplified his duty as a leader by ensuring that as a team, the workforce came together for a common task and mission.
–Respect: Respect is something sometimes given from one person to another freely, and often times demanded by either rank, authority, or experience. In the military, it is expected that respect be mutually distributed by all ranks. Special care must be given by those who are subordinate to ensure that proper respect, whether genuine or implied, is given to the leadership above them, and that, at no time, that respect be perceived as false or sarcastic in nature. With a youthful army such as the current military we live and work in, respect is often neglected by subordinates due to pride and a lack of proper observation and remedial action by leadership. A leaderÃ¢â‚â„¢s role requires that they tend to each act of disrespect responsibly, swiftly, justly and fairly with consistency and authority.
Self-Respect is a quality which is extremely important for the dignity, confidence and personality of an individual. People with self-respect have the courage of accepting their mistakes. They show certain toughness, courage and character. Without self-respect, one becomes an unwilling audience of one’s failing both real and imaginary. To live without self-respect is to live counting ones ...
–Selfless Service: All soldiers commit to an act of selfless service when they enlist. The degree to which their selfless service goes beyond merely enlisting varies greatly based on circumstances. As leaders, we ensure that the welfare of all subordinates comes before our own.
–Honor: Leaders will always conduct themselves in a way that brings to light, all that is good, cherished, loved and respected about who they are and the institutions they represent. Doing this effectively shows what it is to live with honor. From the word honor comes honesty. Honesty is a quality in leaders that is paramount to success. Dishonesty almost always shows through and creates a great level of distain for a person. A dishonest person will almost certainly fail as a good leader as people will not trust in, show loyalty, respect, or follow.
–Integrity: Following in line with honesty, comes integrity. Integrity is the degree to which a person can be held accountable on a moral and ethical scale. Often, a person trusts another based solely on their faith in the persons level of integrity. Leaders must maintain integrity to ensure the trust of their subordinates in all tasks and missions.
–Personal courage: Leaders, it is said, must lead from the front. From leading troops on a foot march, all the way to near certain death on the modern field of combat, leaders must show unwavering courage on a personal level. Often, by simply taking control when times seem dire, advancing forward with whatever the mission is, when subordinates are showing fear, can change the morale of subordinates and can sway the outcome of the situation or mission.
Closing: By reading and understanding the valuable information contained in the pages of the US Army FM 6-22, IÃ¢â‚â„¢ve recalled a lot of what my personal mission as an NCO requires of me, and will continue to learn at every opportunity and attempt to pass on my knowledge of how to be a leader through my experiences while always trying to learn from the experiences of my leaders who I see these values exemplified. It is only through constant and adaptive learning that we can create better leadership values in our subordinates. As situations and missions continuously change, it is important that all soldiers, both leaders and subordinates, understand the importance of relying, first, on these core values as a means to conduct themselves professionally and, secondly, on current procedural rules and regulations that are put in place. Personally, I think that with the current trends of unprofessional behavior in all its ranks, the military, as a whole, should ensure that every single soldier, airman, sailor or marine read, and review often, FM 6-22 and always strive to achieve the next level of leadership.
Drive: Leaders have a high effort level, they are relatively determined towards achieving an objective. They are motivated, full of energy and ambitious which is converted into working tirelessly in their activities, and they show initiative. Desire to Lead: Leaders have a strong desire to influence and lead other. This is demonstrated in their willingness to take responsibility. A business leader ...