By Tiffany Carty
Leadership development expands an individual’s capacity and ability to perform in leadership roles within organizations. A leadership role could be formal in making decisions, taking responsibility and supervising. It could also be informal with little authority, but leading and influencing a team by providing purpose and direction.
Some supervisors lack the basic leadership experience and need development, but many organizations sometimes believe these supervisors should already have a skill set in this area. Therefore these organizations don’t have an extensive Leadership Development Program or may have one but it’s not a priority. It is imperative to use the resources a command has (e.g., human resources and operations) to create a Leadership Development Program. Soldiers are looking to NCOs and Officers for direction, character development, knowledge and skills, resiliency, and so much more. These are areas of responsibility a leader needs to have.
Today, leaders tend to lack communication skills, the exchange of ideas, and the flow of information. Leader inability to ask for feedback or provide opportunities for professional development growth create an ineffective leadership style. Some leaders are inexperienced in these areas of responsibility which could hinder the organization in developing managerial effectiveness, inspiring others, leading the team and developing Soldiers. Some other developmental challenges supervisors have are practicing emotional intelligence, self-awareness, and compassion. These are all skills a leader should work on a daily basis. Many leaders need to prioritize this effort, otherwise they make a minimal investment of time and resources toward mission accomplishment, or they have the wrong strategy. Hence, it is important for a command to evolve the way a leader thinks.
The unit’s Human Resources (S-1/G-1), and Operations (S-3/G-3) sections should ensure there is an outstanding Leadership Development Program within their command and should consult and inform leaders on the importance of leadership development. If not, it could break the organization.
If our leaders are not where they need to be, where does that leave our young and upcoming Soldiers? We have to provide purpose, direction, and motivation to our Soldiers as they are the future of our Army!