From time to time, it’s good to pause and ask ourselves — what are we doing to develop ourselves and others as leaders? And — how well are we doing it?
Leader development is fundamental to our Army. It’s achieved through the lifelong synthesis of knowledge, skills and experiences gained through training and educational opportunities in the institutional, operational and self-development domains (Field Manual 6-22).
The Army is one of the few organizations that grows its leaders from within — as opposed to hiring a new CEO from a different company. Our doctrine tells us that as leaders, we have an inherent obligation to develop others and ourselves. Army Doctrine Reference Publication 6-22 highlights the importance of coaching and counseling, expanding knowledge, helping others to learn, and being self-aware.
Here at the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, we work to improve professional military education to support leader development. An example of our commitment to leader development is through educating the force on available opportunities and how they can get ahead. We will host the third installment of the State of NCO Development Town Hall Nov. 3 at 11:30 a.m. EDT. You can join, watch and learn at www.tradoc.army.mil/watch.
Your units also put together formal leader development programs focused on specific areas, but we should remember that there are opportunities to grow as leaders every day — whether during physical fitness training, at the motor pool or while out in a field training exercise. As leaders, we need to be creative and seize opportunities to foster and improve the attributes and competencies required of Army leadership.
The Center for Army Leadership also periodically hosts leader exchanges that you can log into and participate via Defense Collaboration Services, or DCS. The Army Leader Exchange, or ALx, hosts speakers, from inside and outside of the Army, to talk about leadership principles and facilitate thoughtful discussion. The sessions are streamed live on DCS, and you can ask questions through a chat box in real time.
As part of the ALx program, legendary NFL coach Dick Vermeil shared his experiences as a leader of high-performing teams, highlighting some of his valuable lessons learned over the years. ALx is a great resource and tool. It offers opportunities for noncommissioned officer, officer and leader professional development sessions, with little resources required to set it up. I recommend you take advantage of the program.
On Nov. 10, 2016, the director of the Army’s Talent Management Task Force, Maj. Gen. Wilson Shoffner will give a talk, and Jan. 10, 2017, retired Sgt. Maj. of the Army Jack Tilley will be the guest speaker. For future ALx events and to get the DCS URL to log on, visit www.facebook.com/armyleaderexchange.
Pictured above: As part of the Army Leader Exchange, or ALx program, legendary NFL coach Dick Vermeil recently shared his experiences as a leader of high-performing teams, highlighting some of his valuable lessons learned over the years.