Army Leadership ~ Competent, Confident, and Agile
As I said in my inaugural post, I wanted this blog to not only be informative, but interactive as well. One of the interactive elements of this blog is to have a virtual reading room for my blog’s readers; where recommended books, articles, etc., would be listed, and where there would be a forum for discussion about what we are reading.
Today, I am introducing a new feature that will provide you the opportunity to have direct and complete access to military-oriented leadership books, pamphlets, field manuals, and other resources of information. The BookLink Leadership Reading Series will be a weekly “book club” where I will provide you a link to the full text of a book, and together we will read and discuss its content. With the rapid growth in e-book popularity, and the ever-increasing availability of books and literature online (in some cases for free), I saw BookLink as a logical forum for delivering valuable information and knowledge, as well as the opportunity of sharing together what we learn from the books and manuscripts I will be presenting.
We start with The U.S. Army Leadership Field Manual. For the next four weeks, we will read prescribed sections of the text and then discuss them here. I hope you will join me for this invaluable reader’s journey to increased knowledge and leadership wisdom.
Below, you will see an interactive embedded version of this book. You will see that it is easy to page through the document, zoom in & out, expand to the full screen view, etc. You may also go directly to Scribd.com at http://www.scribd.com/doc/6255277/FM-622-Leadership-US-Army to view or download it. Also, The U.S. Army Leadership Field Manual can be found and downloaded for free at The United States Army Combined Arms Center (Fort Leavenworth, Kansas), Center for Army Leadership, website at http://usacac.army.mil/CAC2/repository/materials/FM6_22.pdf.
Our reading schedule, along with weekly discussions of what we’ve read, for the next four weeks will be as follows:
January 23 to 30 – Chapter 1 thru 5 (pages 1 thru 53) – Discussion post will be on January 30
January 30 to February 6 – Chapter 6 thru 9 (pages 54 thru 106) – Discussion post will be on February 6
February 6 to 13 – Chapter 10 thru Appendix A (pages 107 thru 155) – Discussion post will be on February 13
February 13 to 20 – Remainder of the book (pages 156 thru 216) – Discussion post will be on February 20
For more than 50 years, The U.S. Army Leadership Field Manual has provided leadership training for every officer training program in the U.S. Army. This edition brings the manual’s value-based leadership principles and practices to today’s business world. The result is a compelling examination of how to be an effective leader when the survival of your team literally hangs on your decisions. More than 60 gripping vignettes and stories illustrate historical and contemporary examples of army leaders who made a difference.[i-a]
The U.S. Army Leadership Field Manual also provides:
- A leadership approach based on the army’s core principles of “Be, Know, Do”
- Hands-on lessons to enhance training, mentoring, and decision-making skills
- Chapters that focus on the different roles and requirements for leadership[i-b]
This volume is the product of The Center For Army Leadership, which conducts research on emerging leadership trends, and establishes the standards of leaders in the U.S. Army. The Center, located at the General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, KS, also creates the leadership training curriculum used throughout the Army. This book is known in the military as FM 6-22 (formerly FM 22-100), The U.S. Army Leadership Field Manual. It is the single-source reference for all U.S. Army leaders. American army training repeatedly emphasizes moral leadership, character and integrity, as seen in this primary field manual of leadership, which is used by soldiers and officers everywhere.[i-c]
As the keystone leadership manual for the United States Army, FM 6-22 establishes leadership doctrine, the fundamental principles by which Army leaders act to accomplish their mission and care for their people.[ii]
The Army does two things each and every day: it trains its soldiers, and it grows them into leaders. The principles and practices of effective leadership that make the United States Army the greatest land force in the world are relevant, as well, to civilian organizations–businesses, nonprofit organizations, and governmental agencies.[iii]
In the Army, leaders need to lead men into battle, and keep them cohesive in the face of danger and death. How do you do that? It’s not about shouting orders, the book makes clear. It’s about taking responsibility and leading from the front, sharing risks with your people, and forging your own character so that you deserve to lead. This book shows you how to do that, and how that kind of leadership works just as well in business. It doesn’t make this kind of leadership sound easy, because it’s not. But it does show that if you’re willing to do the work and adopt the discipline, you can be a leader.[iv]
Army Leadership describes the character, competence, knowledge, and results-driven initiative that the U.S. Army seeks to develop within every one of its soldiers, regardless of rank. It teaches to Be of strong ethical and moral character (loyalty, integrity, discipline), Know valuable skills and knowledge (technical and personal), Do utilize the leadership skills to make a difference.[v]
Be– To be an effective leader you have to be the kind of person people want to follow. This comes down to almost the Golden rule, Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Other words would be loyalty, integrity, personal courage; a good set of personal qualities that make a good person. Leadership is about character. It is not a pretense. Honesty, discipline, and duty are paramount for a leader.[vi-a]
Know – Every leader must be knowledgeable. Not only about their job, but everyday things. You have to know what you are asking subordinates to do. It’s hard to lead people into doing things that you can’t do yourself.[vi-b]
Do – The old adage, Follow Me, summarizes the leader’s point of view. You have to do; you have to show the way. Leaders put their skills to good use.[vi-c]
People want leaders who are honest, competent, forward-looking, and inspiring…People willingly follow only those who know what they are doing. One of the quickest ways for a leader to lose trust and commitment of followers is to demonstrate incompetence…Character and competence, the Be and the Know, underlie everything a leader does. But character and knowledge – while absolutely necessary – are not enough. Leaders act; they Do…They solve problems, overcome obstacles, strengthen teamwork, and achieve objectives. They use leadership to produce results.[vii]
Leadership is a deep and complex subject because it requires one to deeply understand oneself and the others. The leadership curriculum at West Point, and virtually all military leadership training schools, repeatedly emphasizes moral leadership, character and integrity. The U.S. Army Leadership Field Manual stresses ethics and high moral character.[viii]
The Army teaches leadership at all levels from the squad leader with only a few subordinates to generals with hundreds of thousands. The US Army has determined that in some fashion everyone that reports to you is also a leader and needs to be trained and respected as such. The US Army’s leaders are actively developed at all levels so that they can lead and develop others. The “values” and the “leadership” embodied by the U.S. Army make it one of the most respected institutions in the world.[ix]
Learn from the best. The US Army produces the most effective leaders. Ask anyone who has hired a veteran.[x]
Copyright © Dale R. Wilson
[i-a,b, c] The U.S. Army Leadership Field Manual – http://www.getabstract.com/en/summary/leadership-and-management/the-u.s.-army-leadership-field-manual/3498/ – getAbstract (The World’s Largest Library of Business Book Summaries) – Accessed 23 January 2012 – http://www.getabstract.com
[ii] Headquarters, Department of the Army, Army Leadership – Competent, Confident, and Agile, October 2006, page v.
[iii] Eric K. Shinseki (USA Ret.), Frances Hesselbein, Be – Know – Do: Leadership the Army Way: Adapted from the Official Army Leadership Manual. From the Introduction by Frances Hesselbein and General Eric K. Shinseki. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2004. Print.
[iv] Be – Know – Do: Leadership the Army Way: Adapted from the Official Army Leadership Manual – Customer Reviews – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/be-know-do-eric-k-shinseki-usa-ret/1006063934 – Barnes & Noble (BN.com) – Accessed 23 January 2012 – http://www.barnesandnoble.com
[v] The U.S. Army Leadership Field Manual – Customer Reviews – http://www.amazon.com/U-S-Army-Leadership-Field-Manual/dp/0071436995 – amazon.com – Accessed 23 January 2012 – http://www.amazon.com
[vi-a,b,c] Be – Know – Do: Leadership the Army Way (J-B Leader to Leader Institute/PF Drucker Foundation – Customer Reviews – Page 1 – http://www.amazon.com/Know-Leadership-Institute-Foundation-ebook/product-reviews/B003C2SOVA – amazon.com – Accessed 23 January 2012 – http://www.amazon.com
[viii] The U.S. Army Leadership Field Manual – Customer Reviews – http://www.amazon.com/U-S-Army-Leadership-Field-Manual/dp/0071436995 – amazon.com – Accessed 23 January 2012 – http://www.amazon.com
[ix] Be – Know – Do: Leadership the Army Way (J-B Leader to Leader Institute/PF Drucker Foundation – Customer Reviews – Page 2 – http://www.amazon.com/Know-Leadership-Institute-Foundation-ebook/product-reviews/B003C2SOVA?pageNumber=2 – amazon.com – Accessed 23 January 2012 – http://www.amazon.com
[x] Army Leadership FM 6-22 (FM 22-100) – Customer Reviews – http://www.amazon.com/Army-Leadership-FM-6-22-22-100/dp/0981620671 – amazon.com – Accessed 23 January 2012 – http://www.amazon.com