Army leadership is more than just commanding troops – it’s about developing individuals into strong leaders who can make sound decisions, work effectively as part of a team, and overcome challenges. The Army Leadership Competencies provide a framework for Army leaders to use in order to assess and develop their own leadership skills.
There are four Army Leadership Competencies:
– Army Values: Leaders must uphold the Army’s values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage.
– Leader Development: Leaders must be committed to continuously developing themselves and others.
– Leading by Example: Leaders must lead by example in all aspects of their lives.
– Mission Command: Leaders must be able to execute mission command principles in order to achieve the mission.
Army leaders must continuously work to develop their own skills and those of their subordinates in order to be able to effectively lead troops. The Army Leadership Competencies provide a framework for Army leaders to use in order to assess and develop their own leadership skills. Army values, leader development, leading by example, and mission command are essential competencies for Army leaders.
The Army’s Leadership Competencies are sets of related activities that leaders are supposed to perform. The leads, develops, and achieves classifications represent the three types of leadership. The purpose of the Army leader is to lead others; to improve the organization as a whole; and to achieve organizational objectives. Universal competence groups include those possessed by all leaders, across time and geography.
Army leaders must be able to lead others in carrying out the Army’s mission. They do this by setting the example, providing motivation, direction and purpose. Leaders at all levels develop their subordinates and create an environment that supports learning and growth. Leaders achieve results by planning and executing operations effectively and efficiently.
The Army Leadership Competencies are:
– Leads: The Army leader serves to lead others; to develop the environment, themselves, others and the profession as a whole; and to achieve organizational goals. Army leaders demonstrate their leadership competency when they establish direction, provide purpose, motivate others and exercise influence – all within the context of Army values, the Warrior Ethos and team dynamics.
– Develops: Army leaders must be competent in developing subordinates, Army civilians and themselves. Developing others is a leaders’ most important task because it ensures the Army has the deep bench of talent required to sustain long-term success. Army leaders accomplish this by creating an environment that supports learning and growth, setting the example, providing coaching and mentorship, and counseling subordinates.
– Achieves: Army leaders strive for excellence in everything they do. They are committed to the Army’s success and work diligently to accomplish the mission. Leaders at all levels plan and execute operations effectively and efficiently. They use available resources wisely and adjust plans as necessary to achieve desired results. Army leaders continuously look for ways to improve processes and procedures while maintaining high standards of ethical conduct.
The Army’s five-level leadership framework has served as a vehicle for developing and articulating the expectations of commanders. Competencies can be built. Direct leadership abilities are developed over time. As the leader rises through organizational and strategic levels, his or her competencies become the foundation for leading through change. Leaders improve their ability to master these competencies by learning how to apply them to increasingly complex circumstances on a daily basis.
The Army Leadership Competencies are:
– Army Professionalism
– Leading Change
– Leading People
– Leading in a Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental, and Multinational Environment
– Mission Command
– Building Coalitions
Army Professionalism is the Army ethic. It is trustworthiness, honor, character, commitment, and personal courage–the attributes that define what it means to be an Army professional. The Army Ethic describes how the Army Professionals live their lives, both personally and professionally. The Army Ethic is founded on trust—between Soldiers; between subordinates and leaders; and between the American people and those who serve in their Army. This trust must be nurtured through adherence to the highest Army values, Army Professionalism, and Army standards.
Leading Change is the process of directing, coordinating, and executing organizational change. It includes developing a vision and strategy, communicating the vision and strategy to all members of the organization, aligning resources to support the vision and strategy, and monitoring progress towards goals. Leaders use leading change competencies to drive successful organizational transformation.
Leading People is the process of influencing people to achieve objectives. It includes developing relationships, providing direction and guidance, motivating and inspiring others, developing others’ capabilities, and leading by example. Leaders use leading people competencies to build effective teams and create an environment where people can thrive.
Leading in a Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental, and Multinational Environment is the process of leading organizations that are composed of members from different agencies, governments, and countries. It includes understanding the organizational cultures and operating procedures of other organizations, coordinating activities across organizational boundaries, and building relationships with counterparts in other organizations. Leaders use leading in a joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational environment competencies to effectively operate in complex environments.
The five competencies of leads are represented by a single category. The first two deal with how followers are affiliated and the typical ways in which they interact with them. Influencing Soldiers and Army Civilians in the leader’s organization is part of Leads Others. Influencing others when the leader does not have designated authority or when others do not recognize the leader’s authority, such as through unified action partners, is part of Extends Influence Beyond the Chain of Command.
Building coalitions focuses on the leader’s ability to work with others inside and outside of the Army to accomplish the mission. Finally, developing self and others involves Army leaders continuously growing themselves and their subordinates.
Army leaders must be competent in all five of these areas in order to be successful. Leaders who are not competent in one or more of these areas will likely struggle to Army Leadership Competencies to succeed as a leader.
Army leaders must also be able to adapt their leadership style to the situation. The Army Leadership Framework provides guidance on how Army leaders should adapt their leadership style. The framework is based on the premise that there are three primary leadership styles: directive, supportive, and participative.
Directive leadership is best used when the situation is clear and the followers know what needs to be done. Supportive leadership is best used when the situation is unclear and the followers need support and guidance. Participative leadership is best used when the situation is unclear and the followers need to be involved in the decision-making process.
Army leaders must also be able to effectively communicate with their subordinates. Communication is a two-way process and Army leaders must be able to listen as well as speak. Army leaders must also be able to adapt their communication style to the situation. The Army Communication Styles Guide provides guidance on how Army leaders should communicate with their subordinates.