Most important question before asking how to become a leader is
Most important question before asking how to become a leader is: why do I need to become a leader? In an organization or the military, there are positions where one is in charge of a group of individuals who must accomplish a common goal for the organization. These groups can be as many as hundreds of individual and as little as one person. There are three pillars or better known as levels when it comes to leadership in the military. These levels consist of Direct, Organizational, and Strategic Leadership. They better determine the leadership’s position of control, but how can you tell the different types of leadership styles.
According to ADRP 6-22 (Army Leadership), there are three levels of leadership: Direct, Organizational, and Strategic leadership. It describes that Strategic Leadership is the Upper or top level of a unit, which discusses how a leader must be responsible for influencing several thousand to hundreds of thousands of people. The inner level is Organizational leadership, which deals with less amount about people than the Strategic Level but in addition tries to have that face-to-face contact. The bottom level would consist of you Direct Leadership, or better well known as your first-line supervisor. These levels of leaderships should be utilized to assess ones’ capabilities and to develop good future leaders in the organization.
How are Strategic Leaders able to affect so many people at one time? It can be a hard task for just one person. Military and civilian leaders play a key role when it comes to major command through DOD levels. The decisions that strategic leaders make affect more people, commit more resources, and have a wide range of consequences in time and political impact. The biggest impact that is established consists of: allocate resources, communicate strategic vision, force structure, and prepare their commands and the Army for future roles.
The middle level consists of both Directive and Strategic Leadership. The organizational level focuses at the Battalion level, not so much face-to-face or a huge group. The focus is mainly on the unit’s core competencies, and to provide a vision of the goals that the unit wants to meet. Understanding the technical requirements in a unit at the Battalion level can better influence people through setting policy, managing priorities, and empowering others to perform the mission. As an upcoming NCO working on the organizational level will have a primary duty of running a staff section. The NCO will be a direct leader that supports the leaders that run the organization. For example, NCOs will be in “S” shops to help the unit perform at its top potential.
The last but not least important level of the three levels of leadership is the direct level of leadership. Previous two levels would consist of massive groups of people. However, direct leadership focuses on the individual or a face- face kind of leadership. This is someone you see every day, better well known as your fist-line supervisor who is responsible for your team’s motivation and well-being. Direct Leadership is your basic one-on-one, and influence your organization through their subordinates. An effective leader must acknowledge that his/her peers aren’t any less than themselves. Attitude towards the peer must be respectful in order to have followers follow the leader, as Scouller notes that “leader without followers isn’t a leader”. A leader must be able to face challenges, regardless of the circumstances.
When it comes to one-on-one training it mainly focuses on the leader’s ability to assess himself/herself and analyze the characteristic to improve those soldiers below you. At some point, one must take responsibility and take charge of his/her peer and motivate them to achieve the common goal of the organization/group. Improving behavior with the peer shows how capable that leader is with a group in order to finish an objective and effectiveness of the management skill. Improving personal skill, for example, breaking old habits and expanding one’s flexibility of the command.
Becoming a leader in the military can be one of the hardest jobs that a soldier has to go through. As they grow through the ranks of a Noncommissioned Officer, they must look to better themselves at the lowest level. Having that direct approach with a soldier or a peer can not only help yourself but helps those around you. Gets to that point that prepares soldiers to be able to go out and not only affect only soldier but the unit as a whole. The levels of leadership each have their own roles, and might be the same in some ways, but when enforced can ensure to have great leaders through all levels.