TC 7-Chapter 4 Report Developing leadership competence

Chapter Four of the TC 7-22.7 is entitled The Roadmap to Leadership. The chapter is crucial in building individuals to become effective Army leaders. According to the chapter, there are key requirements that people must meet for them to qualify for the leadership position. To develop the necessary leadership skills, one must have an extensive understanding of who he or she is. Besides, one must know how other people view him or her, as well as how he views others. An army leader is required first to know himself, and that forms the basis of understanding the soldiers he will be dealing with.  Upon developing the necessary knowledge, it becomes for the individuals to identify their leadership capabilities, and know how to improve them. The chapter establishes the necessary foundation for army leadership. It provides the necessary pathway for the doctrine, policies, and procedures necessary for making one an effective leader.

Developing leadership competence

Competent and confident leaders understand their duties and responsibilities very well. They are ever aware of what is expected of them, when and how, as well as the limits within which they are expected to operate. They know what their duties mean and benefits or consequences of performing or non-performing. Army leader has got specific responsibilities, such as training, caring, and developing soldiers. Based on such responsibilities, the leader is expected to assume the duties of a trainer, disciplinarian, coach, and general leadership. Support from followers is crucial for leaders to be successful. For the soldiers to offer the necessary support for their leaders, they should be in a position of relying on their character, competence, and commitment. The leaders should also uphold and embrace high levels of ethics in Army leadership. Leadership entails influencing people by providing purpose, direction as well as motivating them to accomplish the established objectives.  Materializing the anticipated objectives is crucial in that it leads to organizational development.

For the followers to be in a position of achieving such objectives, they must first focus on developing the followers first, on equipping them with the necessary skills and capabilities. In the process of developing the followers, the leaders should focus on both near and long-term aspects of the followers. Leaders are required to; convey the required information & provide daily guidance to the followers; training the soldiers to enable them to cope, prepare and performs their duties effectively irrespective of the prevailing conditions; setting and maintaining high-quality standards and discipline within the Army; serve as role models to the soldiers by being standard bearers, training, educating, and developing the subordinates;  preparing the soldiers for missions, emphasizing on tradecrafts and physical hardening; and finally, coach, counsel and mentor the followers. Leaders who wish to succeed in meeting both short term and long-term employee needs should develop core competencies such as mentorship, comprehensive fitness, ethical decision maker, self-awareness, proficiency in duties, responsible, servant leader, the strength of character, loyalty, effective in communication, moral, critical thinker, dependable and accountable.

Leadership competencies and attributes

For leadership to be described as effective, it must have the necessary leadership competencies and be in line with the organizational mission and value. Leaders should show the necessary behaviors for promoting good performance, and moderate how learning and performance occur within the organization. The necessary attributes and competencies that the Army leaders should pose include;

  • Character: include army values, empathy, discipline, and warrior or service ethos.
  • Presence: entailing military and professional bearing, fitness, confidence, and resilience.
  • Intellect: encompass mental agility, innovation, sound judgment, expertise, and interpersonal tact.
  • Leads: it should cover leading others, building trust, extending influence the chain of command, leading by example, and effective communication.
  • Develops: should entail creating a positive environment which promotes teamwork, preparing themselves as leaders, developing others, and stewardship.
  • Achieves: entails getting the anticipated results.

Army leadership levels

There are three main levels of leadership, which include; direct, organizational, and strategic.  The position of leadership level is shaped by the span of control of the position, and the headquarter level, size of the unit, the degree of control used by the leader holding the position, planning horizon as well as the type of the operations involved.

  • Direct leadership: entails face to face or first line leadership.  It is also referred to as first-line leadership. It usually occurs where the leaders interact with the subordinates frequently. The leadership level influences dozens of followers.
  • Organizational leadership: the leadership level influences a hundred to thousands of followers. The influence is done indirectly, through the use of more levels of subordinates and staff.
  • Strategic leadership: strategic leaders are composed of both military and civilian leaders. The leaders exist at the major concern usually through DOD levels. Strategic leaders are usually found within large organizations and have got influence to thousands and a hundred thousand of people.

Developing leadership competence: Self-awareness/discovery

It entails knowing about one’s self so that one can prepare adequately. Trough self-awareness, leaders are in a position of knowing about their capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses, hence knowing how to relate with others. It is crucial in defining one’s perception of oneself and other people. Understanding one’s personality is crucial in leadership.

Leader development

It refers to deliberate, continuous, sequential as well as a progressive process, which is grounded in the army values. Leader development is facilitated by training, education, and experience. It requires leaders to execute their activities with boldness, hence leading the achievement of the established objectives. Leader development aims at achieving goals such as; developing the subordinates into the next level leadership, to be tactically & technically proficient and adaptive to occurring changes, to lead others effectively, develop self-awareness and adaptiveness, embrace ambiguity and understand consequences of their actions, and develop multifunctional capabilities.

The Army leader

To be an effective army leader, one must be a person of character, presence, and intellect. The three domains are crucial in that they help in training the army soldiers, civilians, and leaders, hence preparing them fully for the unit deployment. The leaders should prove to have conviction, character, present, and be intellectual.

Roadmap to Effective Leadership

Becoming an effective leader is not easy, as many might think. Effective army leaders are servant leaders, recommend opinions to other people, empower their subordinates, open to feedback & seek it, have got high levels of self-regulation – and adjust their thoughts and feelings accordingly, show empathy, resilience, moral courage and effective in communication.

Army leader formal development process

Leaders are first required to get the necessary skills and information relating to the functions they will be executing. Such skills and knowledge can be obtained through; training and education, experience, assessment, counseling and feedback, remedial and reinforcement actions, evaluation as well as selection. After knowing what is expected of them, the leaders should avail themselves (presence), have confidence and resilience in whatever they do. Developing leadership competence

Methods of influence

In leadership, there must be leaders and followers. For the leaders to be successful in meeting the established objectives, they are required to influence their followers towards the same. Some of the best methods of influence that the leaders can use include; pressure (issuing explicit demands), legitimating (exercising authority in respect to request), exchange (controlling rewards and resources), personal appeal (entails requesting the followers to comply to policies and procedures. Leaders take advantage of loyalty and friendship in such a case), rational persuasion, appraising, inspirational appeals as well as participation.

Developing leadership competence: Counseling

Counseling is a critical army leadership responsibility. It plays a crucial role in shaping a bright future for the soldiers through training and guidance. Through counseling, soldiers can know what is expected of them and are in a position of identifying their capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses with respect to what they are expected to do. Counseling is crucial in developing leaders and is expected to be continuous rather than occasional. There are two main types of Developmental leadership counseling, and they include; event counseling and performance counseling. Event counseling is mainly based on specific events or situations and incorporates counseling such as; Reception and Integration counseling, Crisis Counseling, Referral Counseling, Promotion Counseling, and Separation Counseling. Performance counseling is concerned with the performance of the leaders within a specified period. It is mainly concerned with; discussing the established performance objectives, supporting form requirements, beginning & during performance evaluation periods.

In a broad perspective, counseling entails; establishing plans for the accomplishment of individual and professional goals, Identifying and discussing subordinate’s capabilities and weaknesses, creating a personal development plan that builds on the identified strengths and weaknesses as well as creating Opportunities for civilian and military schooling, future assigned tasks and options for reenlistment.

NCO Support Channel

The channel is crucial in the process of enhancing leadership. It is mainly concerned with communication and supervision, from leaders in different positions within the army. The command issued run from the Command Sergeant Major (CSM) up to the 1SG, and other leaders who have been enlisted in the NCOs. Authority and responsibilities under the NCOs are mainly done by; promoting ethics in the army, planning and executing day to day operations of the army units, training soldier, ensuring physical fitness of the soldiers, educating soldiers on army history, caring for individuals, accounting and maintaining transparency of the weapons held by soldiers, among others.

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