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Levels of Leadership in the Army (Essay Sample)


The task was about explaining the levels of leadership in the army


Levels of Leadership in the Army
Institutional Affiliation
Levels of Leadership in the Army
The purpose of this essay is to inform you on the levels of leadership in the Army. For over two centuries, the Army has believed in people's leadership potential and the ability to learn effective leadership. Therefore, over time, it has dramatically prioritized leader development. The Department of the Army (2019) defines leadership as influencing people by motivating, directing, and giving them a sense of purpose to facilitate mission accomplishment and overall organizational improvement. Leaders motivate others by understanding individual needs, elevating them into team goals, and inspiring others to take the necessary risks to accomplish significant goals. They provide direction by communicating openly, designating tasks and responsibilities, and ensuring quality performance. Lastly, they give a sense of purpose through requests, orders, directives, explanations, and context. These competencies apply across all Army leadership levels. The critical levels of leadership in the Army are direct leadership, organizational leadership, and strategic leadership.
First, direct leadership is first-line leadership that entails face-to-face interactions between leaders and their subordinates. This leadership level encompasses squad to battalion level leaders (Department of the Army, 2007). Direct leaders may be in charge of a few people or dozens of people. These leaders exert direct influence by engaging in mentoring, coaching, and counseling to develop others (Department of the Army, 2019). They focus on building cohesive teams, empowering subordinates, and creating and executing plans that facilitate accomplishing the organization's mission. Since they interact with subordinates at a personal level, they must develop effective communication, analytical, interpersonal, and decision-making skills for efficient operations (Department of the Army, 2007). Direct leaders’ roles feature fewer complications than higher-level leaders due to their proximity to subordinates. They guide, teach, motivate, designate tasks, and ensure successful assignment or mission completion. Moreover, they focus on short-term planning and mission accomplishment ranging between three months to a year. Overall, they stay close to the subordinates during task execution to identify and address emerging issues.
Second, organizational leadership exists in more complex Army organizational levels, including brigade, corps, directorate, installation, and assistant Army levels. Organizational leaders lead through subordinate leaders in charge of different organizations that form the larger organization (Department of the Army, 2019). Therefore, they are responsible for creating an organizational climate that supports subordinate leaders. These leaders communicate the commanders’ intent to their subordinates to foster effective organizational operations. They engage in multiple leadership functions, including tailoring resources to organizational programs, establishing the long-term vision, managing several priorities, and empowering others to accomplish the organization’s mission (Department of the Army, 2007). They also synchronize combined arms operation; therefore, they are well versed in synchronizing systems, organizational planning, budgeting, programming, and execution. The organizational leadership level also entails regular and personal interactions with subordinates for observation and assessment. Consequently, organizational leaders possess effective communication, critical thinking, negotiation, and interpersonal skills. Overall, organizational leaders focus on midrange planning and mission accomplishment lasting between a year to five years.
Lastly, strategic leadership exists at the highest Army levels and encompasses military and civilian leaders from major command to DOD levels. Strategic leadership features more complexity than organizational and direct leadership. The strategic leaders design the organizational structure, formulate and communicate the strategic objectives, allocate resources, and prepare commands for the Army’s future missions (Department of the Army, 2019). Hence, they shape the Army's organizational culture through guidance, directives, programs, and policies. Strategic leaders’ decisions influence large populations amounting to hundreds of thousands of people. As such, their decision-making process is based on considerations of several aspects, including congress proceedings, Army budgetary constraints, extensive

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