Leadership Ideas, Information and News

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Commander’s Handbook for Unit Leader Development

Leaders develop from a combination of new challenges and experiences, new knowledge, and time for reflection. Leader development in the Army is a deliberate, continuous, sequential, and progressive process, grounded in Army values (FM 7-0). The result is Soldiers and civilians who are competent and confident leaders capable of decisive action.

The operational (unit) assignment is the most effective setting for
leader development. In a 2006 leader development survey, captains and majors ranked leading a unit along with personal examples and mentoring as the three most effective ways their leadership qualities are developed. The consensus among private sector leader development professionals is that a full 70 percent of leader development occurs on the job, 20 percent from other people (leaders, mentors), and 10 percent from training courses.

The organization and content of this handbook provide you with key principles, TTPs, and applications to implement the most effective methods of leader development.

First – Set conditions for
leader development. Personally model behaviors that encourage leader development, create an environment that encourages on-the-job learning, and get to know the leaders within your command.

Second – Provide feedback on a leader’s actions. Immediate, short bursts of feedback on actual
leadership actions enhance leader development in operational assignments.

Third – Integrate Learning. Leverage leaders who are role models in your unit. Encourage mentoring, training, reflection, and study. Learning from other
leaders is one of the most effective and efficient methods of development.

Fourth – Create a legacy. Modify job assignments to challenge leaders. Be deliberate about the selection and succession of
leaders. Integrate leader development across day-to-day unit activities. Evaluate its effectiveness.


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