BookLink: Army Leadership (Lead ~ Develop ~ Achieve) {Book 1, Wk. 2}

BookLink continues with review and summary of the second week of reading the The U.S. Army Leadership Field Manual.  Our assignment this past week was to read chapters 6 thru 9 (pages 54 thru 106).  Below, you can find links to the recent Command Performance posts discussing The U.S. Army Leadership Field Manual, which have an embedded version of the field manual.  Also, below, I have included links to the field manual found elsewhere on the internet for you to view and download.

BookLink ~ The U.S. Army Leadership Field Manual – Posted 01/23/2012

BookLink: Army Leadership (BE ~ KNOW ~ DO) {Book 1, Wk. 1} – Posted 01/30/2012

This coming week, our assignment is to read chapters 10 thru Appendix A (pages 107 thru 155).  Then, on February 13, I will have a post for discussion on what we have read.


Army Leadership FM 6-22 (FM 22-100) (Paperback) ~ US Army Cover ArtFrom this week’s reading, the book goes a little further into leading people, leaders developing themselves, subordinates and organizations, and achieving mission accomplishment.

Leader intellect is what you know and think. How you act or what you do in a situation depends on your mind. What you’ve learned ahead of time and what you are thinking will drive your actions.  A leader must utilize their mental agility, judgment, innovation, interpersonal tact, and their tactical and technical knowledge.

Leaders serve to provide purpose, direction and motivation.  Leaders go about this by: 

  • Setting a clear direction 
  • Enforcing standards 
  • Taking care of their people to ensure they remain productive and successful in their duties 
  • Working alongside various levels of an organization, where many departments and cross-functional teams are directly and indirectly tied to the project, but may not be under their authority 
  • Leading by example, serving as a role model to all of the people they encounter 
  • Communicating their intentions so that it is clearly understood to achieve the goals and tasks necessary for mission accomplishment.

Within the Army’s competency-based leader model, there are core leader competencies that fall into three main categories derived from the basic parts of our leadership definition:

  • Leads
  • Develops
  • Achieves

Each of these categories has within it competencies that a leader must possess.  Remember that these competencies are mutually supporting.  You need to do some of each of them.  As a leader (and a follower) you need to find the right balance—different leaders in different jobs and organizations will allocate different attention to competencies depending on the situation.

The leader who leads provides vision through purpose, motivation, universal respect, and direction to guide others to inspire action.  They extend one’s influence beyond the chain of command to build trusting partnerships and alliances to accomplish complex work.  Leaders build consensus among individuals within and outside the organization, while resolving conflicts.   is conveyed by communicating and setting the example, while enforcing standards and instilling discipline.

A leader leads by displaying character at all times, putting the organization and subordinates above personal self-interest, career and comfort.  They project confidence, especially under adverse conditions, displaying the moral courage to stand firm on values, principles and convictions.  Leaders who take full responsibility for their decisions and actions display such moral courage.  And, along with moral courage, the leader demonstrates competence; tactical and technical knowledge.

The results that the leader achieves through their people depend on good communication.  Communication is not a one-way street.  While the leader must clearly state the goals for action, they should also be an active listener.  To be effective in their communication, the leader and the followers should ensure that there is shared understanding about what needs to be done, what the desired results should be, and the progress towards those results.  Good leaders keep their finger on the pulse of their organization by getting out to coach, to listen and to clarify.

The leader who develops leads organizations by creating and maintaining a positive environment that fosters teamwork, promotes cohesion, and encourages initiative and acceptance of responsibility.  A leader should also maintain a healthy balance between caring for people and focusing on the mission.  A positive climate is developed through fairness & inclusiveness and open & candid communication. 

Developing includes assessing needs to improve self, others and the organization.  The leader must seek self-improvement, mastering their profession at every level.  They must make a full commitment to lifelong learning and self-improvement, ultimately acquiring new skills necessary to adapt to changes in their environment.  Preparing for expected and unexpected challenges and developing self-awareness, the leader should strive to expand their knowledge. 

The leader must invest adequate time and effort to develop individual subordinates and build effective teams.  Success demands a fine balance of teaching, counseling, coaching and mentoring.  The Army, after all, is a learning organization, gaining strength from the experience of its people and organization to improve the way it operates.  The leader should, therefore, develop the learning environment that supports learning among its leaders and people.

A leader develops others by: 

  • Assessing developmental needs 
  • Developing them on the job 
  • Supporting professional and personal growth 
  • Helping them learn 
  • Counseling, coaching and mentoring 
  • Building team skills and processes

“Soldiers learn to be good leaders from good leaders.” – Richard A. Kidd, Sergeant Major of the Army (1991-1995)

The leader who achieves focuses on what needs to be accomplished.  They have an expeditionary mindset and can adapt to unanticipated, changing, and uncertain situations.  Achieving in the short-term is about getting results.  But, in the long-term, it is about setting the vision to obtain objectives. 

Getting results embraces all actions to get the job done on time and to standard; planning, preparing, execution.  The leader provides direction, guidance, and clear priorities, considering intended and unintended consequences, guiding teams in what needs to be done and how.  Developing and executing plans for mission and task accomplishment involves anticipating how to carry out what needs to be done, managing the resources used to get it done, conducting the necessary actions, and adapting to changes that might occur.  Accomplishing missions consistently and ethically involves monitoring organizational, group, and individual performance to identify strengths and correct weaknesses.  A successful mission requires the reinforcement of good performance.  And, of course, a failed mission requires a little more evaluation and review to assess what may have gone wrong, learning from those lessons, and improving performance for the next mission.

Leaders who have the competencies to lead, develop and achieve also have the “BE – KNOW – DO” necessary to be successful in today’s United States Army.  And, when these leaders apply these competencies, the Army wins America’s wars.  As General Gordon Sullivan, retired former Chief of Staff of the Army (1991-1995), said to Third Army staff following the Operation Desert Storm victory in 1991, “The American People expect only one thing from us: That we will win.  What you have done is no more than they expect.  You have won.”


Next assignment (February 6 to February 13) is to read chapter 10 thru Appendix A (pages 107 thru 155) – Discussion post will be on February 13

Forthcoming BookLink Leadership Reading Series schedule is as follows:

February 27, March 5, 12, 19 and 26 – Leadership Lessons of the Navy Seals – By Jeff Cannon and Lieutenant Commander Jon Cannon

April 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 – Leading Marines – By The United States Marine Corps

One Response to “BookLink: Army Leadership (Lead ~ Develop ~ Achieve) {Book 1, Wk. 2}”

  1. […] Leadership has been defined as the art, science, or gift by which a person is enabled and privileged to direct the thoughts, plans, and actions of others in such a manner as to obtain and command their obedience, their confidence, their respect, and their loyal cooperation.  Simply stated, leadership is the art of accomplishing [a] mission through people.[i]  Another definition is the process of influencing people by providing purpose, direction, and motivation while operating to accomplish the mission and improving the organization.[ii]  To accomplish this, the leader employs the principles of leadership, core values and the qualities that lead to success.[iii]  Within these two definitions are three basic elements of leadership; to lead, to develop, to achieve.  I discuss these three rudimentary cornerstones (and competencies) of leadership in-depth in one of my previous posts, BookLink: Army Leadership (Lead ~ Develop ~ Achieve) {Book 1, Wk. 2}. […]


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