The leader assessment and development module emphasizes the Army leadership requirements model and the development of the core leader competencies; lead, develop, achieve. As I proceed with my career, the contents of this module will be of greatest assistance to me for maximizing my professional growth and development. FM 6-22 refers to the lifelong learning experience and states, “Leader competence develops through a balanced combination of institutional schooling, self-development, realistic training, and professional experience.” Although numerous educational venues and life experiences contribute to the development of the core leader competencies, the most significant factor in the lifelong learning process to master the core leader competencies is through self-development.
                Self-development is the process by which a person’s character or abilities are gradually developed.   It is dependent upon self-awareness, which is “being aware of oneself, including one’s traits, feelings, and behaviors.”   The ability to look within oneself to identify strengths and weaknesses is crucial for establishing professional goals, developing, and implementing a plan for improvement. If one fails to follow the process of self-awareness and self-development, the means to the end is unknown. In other words, the pathway to developing the core leader competencies will lack foresight, direction, and clarity.
For example, several years ago I established a goal to seek and obtain board certification as an orthopedic clinical specialist in physical therapy. After practicing orthopedic physical therapy for more than 12 years, I anticipated I would pass the exam without participating in any preparatory activities. I took the test and failed; however, the exam served me well from the perspective of increasing my self-awareness regarding my strengths and weaknesses.   I used the results of my exam as a guide to establish and incorporate a plan for improvement. I dedicated...