The new generation of nonmilitary organizational leaders were treated to a leadership discussion with an experienced officer representing the Center for Army Leadership.
Colonel Christopher Croft, director of the Center for Army Leadership, visited with students of the Leadership for Public Service class at the Henry W. Bloch School of Management Friday, July 22. The purpose of the visit was to share the philosophies and leadership experience of CAL and the Army in general. The class was made up of mostly of students currently — or planning on — working in the nonprofit sector and few had any real exposure to the Army.
“Our students come from many different perspectives, and we wanted this event to be an opportunity for them to hear from a person who is both a practicing leader and one who is helping others develop leadership capacity and skills,” said David Renz, professor and chair of the Department of Public Affairs at the Henry W. Bloch School of Management. “The idea was to have a senior officer talk about what the Army is doing and to encourage the students to more broadly reflect on what they’ve been hearing in the class.”
Renz said one of the most valuable aspects of this exchange was for the students to see how their learning can be applied to the world outside of the academic setting.
“Part of the benefit and value of doing this is that the average civilian — probably including me — has an image of what military leadership is and how that plays out in terms of hierarchy, organization and approach,” Renz said. “Being able to talk about it in a more nuanced, in-depth and practical real-life way is important. In a class like this where we’re talking about leadership in particular, it’s useful for people to hear how — in the Army context in this case — things they’ve been learning about in class are applied in real life.”
Croft said this was more than just a discussion about how the Army views leadership, but also a great way to share the Army experience with people who may not have as much knowledge of the branch as those in military service.
“Any time we can talk about leadership and what the Army does with outside audiences is extremely valuable,” Croft said. “Even though we were just discussing leadership today, they also got an exposure to the Army and I was very excited about that. You would think just because they’re 25 miles down the road for Fort Leavenworth, they’d know about the Army, but that’s not always the case.”
The Center for Army Leadership is the Combined Arms Center’s lead organization for leadership and leader development research, studies, analysis, assessment and evaluation. It provides the Army leadership and leader development doctrine, products and services, as well as develops and maintains the Army Leader Development Strategy and annexes. Additionally, CAL manages the Army Leader Development Program.
The Henry W. Bloch School of Management at UMKC offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and executive non-degree education. According to the school’s website, its mission is “to develop purposeful, entrepreneurial and innovative leaders to meet changing global demands, and advance knowledge and practice through excellent teaching, scholarship, outreach and service.”