Leadership is one of the most important attributes of effectiveness in all levels of human interaction and endeavor. Indeed, the success of one of the oldest institutions in the world, the military, is largely dependent on the effective application of leadership, including the proper development of the leaders themselves. Generally, an army defines leadership as influencing people by providing purpose, direction, and motivation while operating to accomplish a mission and improve the institution.
The Army Culture is the consequence of customs, traditions, ideals, ethos, values, and norms of conduct upheld by military forces since ancient times. Military leaders who manage operations require the highest level of individual and organizational discipline. The law of the land warfare, along with the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and codes of conduct for public officials regulate the discipline imperative to which leaders must adhere.
Leadership training–particularly for military leaders–must instill in them values to which they must adhere at all times. These include loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and courage. It means bearing true faith and allegiance to the Constitution, the civilian chain of command, fulfillment of obligations, and putting the welfare of the Nation above one’s own.
Character is essential to any successful leader. It determines how people act in a number of situations. An effective military leadership development program produces leaders of character who are able to determine right from wrong and choose the right course of action. Living up to Army values means following your moral compass under any circumstance. Doing what is right–legally and morally–is a thread woven deep into the military ethos.
Presence is not just a matter of showing up; it also involves the image that a leader should project. Presence is conveyed through words, actions, and the manner by which leaders carry themselves. Any military leadership training must incorporate this. This is a critical attribute that leaders of the military and any institution or organization must understand.
Finally, a leader should have a sound intellectual capacity. Especially for the institution, an army leader’s intelligence draws on the mental tendencies and resources that shape conceptual abilities, which are applied to one’s duties and responsibilities. Military leadership training should aim to develop leaders’ mental abilities. This enables sound judgments before implementing plans and missions. Some decisions set off a chain of events, therefore leaders have to anticipate the effects of their actions.
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