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Abstract

Leadership is a convention amongst all successful organizations whether civilian or military, exceedingly respected for its power to motivate achievement and translate revelation into results, Vince Lombardi once said: “Leaders aren’t born, they are made”. “Setting conditions, providing feedback, enhancing learning, and creating opportunities are the fundamentals of leader development” (FM 6-22, pg. 41), how have I advanced others? I have successfully advanced soldiers both professionally and personally, by utilizing the fundamentals of leader development on a daily basis, creating a growing dynamism of subsequently contributing assets to the Army. The development of my Soldiers is always my first priority, this foundation made it possible to achieve higher levels of developing others.

Leadership

Being a leader is a challenge and is easier said than done. General George S. Patton said, “Do everything you ask of those you command.” I have developed others by following the fundamentals of developing a leader and personally molding my behavior. This allows me to set the conditions, as well as foundations, in the daily development of my subordinates. Which led to my assignment of leading the dental clinic at Camp Shelby. There is no replacement for the practical experiences of life including triumph, adversity, and frustrations; using my experiences as a soldier and as a civilian to ensure necessary feedback is provided. Everyone learns and retains knowledge in different ways; No two individuals are the same. Enhanced learning is a necessary technique to aid the goal to develop others. Maintaining situational awareness and being engaged as a leader is an essential tool to will ensure more opportunities are created for others. “In a leader development survey, leaders ranked: leading a unit, personal examples, and mentoring as the three most effective ways to develop their leadership qualities” (FM 6-22, pg. 3-1).

Structural philosophies vary by duty assignment; providing direct leadership is my duty as a leader; one of three levels of leadership. Leading by example is a mindset to help others develop in new ways every day. Consistently challenging myself in a personal and professional manner, promotes a core challenge to subordinates. Prioritizing and designating a time for leadership development on a consistent basis allows my soldiers to be surrounded by a positive learning environment. As the leader, I am to provide the resources and encouragement essential to earn professional recognition and rewards. Identifying the importance of knowing my soldiers and continuously placing their needs above my own permits me to obtain vital information about my subordinates.

I am a proud mother and wife making it necessary to display my behaviors according to to be an influential role model and leader. My approachability is required for my success in developing others. My mother instilled in me at a young age, the significance of how I demonstrate approachability. She always taught me to treat others as I want to be treated, this trait creates mutual respect and trust guaranteeing appropriate relationships are formed. The development process of change is not immediate but ongoing, similar to learning. During my initial counseling with a new soldier, I share my Individual Development Plan (IDP), which has proven successful in setting the conditions and standards. Within the initial counseling, I informally ask thought-provoking questions that assist me in gathering information on my Soldier’s education, proficiencies, and goals thus creating a course of action within an IDP. The thought-provoking questions ignite two-way conversation ensuing in shared experiences, motivation, and the self-confidence to tackle additional goals with milestones deemed necessary for their development.

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“Leaders who demonstrate behaviors supportive of learning and development create a learning environment for the whole organization” (FM 6-22, pg. 42). My current leadership identifies and inspires the development of others from gained knowledge of individuals with distinctive skills, abilities, and circumstances.

My advanced preparation of training the trainers allowed me to receive and provide feedback, these fundamental identified accurate and descriptive observations from the training to be executed. Train the trainer training was conducted and executed under my direct guidance and oversight by those who excel above their peers ranging from E-2 through E-5. Mission requirements within the clinic created impediments; the feedback I observed and received from the trainers was instrumental in streamlining the efficiency of unit-level training.

Enhanced learning is a necessary action in my development of others. It is with this fault that identified the proper course of action that was necessary for the development of others. “Because leaders vary in their skill and experience level, an effective way to learn is directly from unit role models” (FM 6-22, pg. 57). By following this enhanced learning fundamental of leader development, by providing proper feedback to the subordinate, the organization, and Army as a whole benefit from this action, thus improving their capabilities and perspective on the privilege of serving the country.

Upon completion of each mission, the soldiers complete an After Action Review (AAR), it is each AAR that validates my success as a leader. It is with my successful development of others that “Integrating these efforts into a holistic program will establish lasting operating norms” (FM 6-22, pg. 69). Returning to the clinic please me greatly but I remain unselfish and have expressed to my command my intent in training others to create opportunities for them. My development of others within the clinic has enabled their future to assume greater responsibilities with higher visibility ensuring opportunities to grow and be more efficient.

General Colin Powell once said “The most important thing I learned is that Soldiers watch what their leaders do, you can give them classes and lecture them forever, but it is your personal example they will follow”, it is with this that I lead by example to develop others. With the use of the fundamentals of leadership development, I have successfully developed subordinates into leaders and others into trainers, contributing to developing members of the Army. Initially establishing my tone and demonstrating my personal behaviors set the conditions necessary for developing others that followed me, demonstrating comradery and assuming greater responsibility with the execution of missions tasked. My personal experiences recognized the importance of observing subordinates and providing developmental feedback, it is with this I trained trainers and a unit to execute missions with precision and expertise. The positive and enhanced learning environment I fostered has proven to be instrumental to our unit’s current successful execution of missions. The most important course of action implemented was the shadowing tool, creating opportunities, enhancing mission efficiency, and enabling future leaders for the unit. My development of others will never cease upon mission completion but will be passed on, positively impacting the unit, installation, and the Department of Defense.

References

  1. Allen, C. (2012) Our Veterans Deserve better. Armed Forces Journal, April 2012
  2. https://ssl.armywarcollege.edu/dclm/pubs/Our%20Veterans%20Deserve%20Better%20(Allen,%20AJF,%20Apr%202012).pdf
  3. U.S. Department of the Army. (2015). Leader Development. Field Manual 6-22. Washington,
  4. DC: U.S. Department of the Army. Retrieved from https:// armypubs.army.mil.

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