Leadership Competencies

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Army Leadership Competencies

Leadership competencies are groups of related actions that the Army expects leaders to do. The three categories are leads, develops, and achieves. The Army leader serves to lead others; to develop the environment, themselves, others and the profession as a whole; and to achieve organizational goals. Core competencies are those groups of actions universal to leaders, across cohorts and throughout organizations. They provide a clear and consistent way of conveying expectations for Army leaders. Leader competencies can be developed. Leaders acquire competencies at the direct leadership level. As the leader moves to organizational and strategic level positions, the competencies provide the basis for leading through change. Leaders continuously refine and extend the ability to perform these competencies proficiently and learn to apply them to increasingly complex situations.

The category of leads encompasses five competencies. The first two focus on the affiliation of the followers and the common practices for interacting with them. Leads others involves influencing Soldiers and Army Civilians in the leader’s organization. Extends influence beyond the chain of command involves influencing others when the leader does not have designated authority or while the leader’s authority is not recognized by others, such as with unified action partners. Builds trust is an important competency to establish conditions of effective influence and for creating a positive environment. Leader actions and words comprise the competencies of leads by example and communicate. Actions can speak louder than words and excellent leaders use this to serve as a role model to set the standard. Leaders communicate to convey clear understanding of what needs to be done and why.

Leaders are expected to extend influence beyond the chain of command, which usually has limited formal authority. This competency widens the responsibility and sphere of...
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