Saturday, January 17, 2009

Be-Know-Do of leadership

A close friend emailed me a link to the U.S. Army Leadership Board Study Guide page, which defines leadership as "influencing people—by providing purpose, direction, and motivation—while operating to accomplish the mission and improving the organization."

According to the U.S. Army, having a purpose gives those you're leading "a reason to act in order to achieve a desired outcome," while "providing clear direction involves communicating how to accomplish a mission: prioritizing tasks, assigning responsibility for completion, and ensuring subordinates understand the standard." Finally, "motivation supplies the will to do what is necessary to accomplish a mission."

The Army follows a BE-KNOW-DO plan:

Leadership begins with what the leader must BE, the values and attributes that shape a leader’s character. Your skills are those things you KNOW how to do, your competence in everything from the technical side of your job to the people skills a leader requires. But character and knowledge—while absolutely necessary—are not enough. You cannot be effective, you cannot be a leader, until you apply what you know, until you act and DO what you must.

[For a PDF of the full Army leadership manual, click here. Thanks, Bob!]