Leader Development: How Will It Assist My Duties as a Field Grade Officer?

“Just as the diamond requires three properties for its formation—carbon, heat, and pres-sure—successful leaders require the interaction of three properties—character, knowledge, and application.   Like carbon to the diamond, character is the basic quality of the leader… But as carbon alone does not create a diamond; neither can character alone create a leader. The diamond needs heat. Man needs knowledge, study and preparation…the third property, pressure—acting in conjunction with carbon and heat—forms the diamond. Similarly, one’s character attended by knowledge, blooms through application to produce a leader”.
                                              - General Edward C. Meyer Army Chief of Staff (1979-1983)
There are many popular definitions of leadership.   According to the Army’s leadership doctrinal manual, Field Manual (FM) 6-22, Army leadership is “the process of influencing people by providing purpose, direction, and motivation while operating to accomplish the mission and improve the organization.”   Leader development is one of the most important predictors of whether Soldiers are able to effectively adapt to transitions, provide guidance, and perform in a war or peace time condition.   The purpose of this paper is to concentrate on leader development and how it will assist me in my duties as a Field Grade officer over the next 10-years of my career.   Because of the ongoing military change and transformation, I will rely on effective leader development more than ever to allow adaptation to strategies and become more responsive in today’s military environment.

My future in the military will rely heavily upon leader development to effectively orchestrate changes, adapt to technology, society, and doctrinal knowledge.   Effective leader development will provide a better understanding of one’s strengths and weaknesses as a leader, follower, mentor, and begin the development of a personal approach to a successful command.

A good leader...