Army leadership traits might seem simple and straightforward, but that is simply because the expectation is that every soldier can demonstrate these traits with great ease. Being a leader in the Army means providing understanding to any given situation instead of weakness. It means being generous instead of selfish and it means being firm without being harsh.
Developing these leadership traits begins with a commitment to having a vision. Change for the sake of simply changing doesn’t make sense because a broken wheel doesn’t need to be fixed. When there is a break in the wheel or if a better, more effective wheel has been invented, however, those with Army Leadership traits are expected to lead change so that everyone can be brought up instead of torn down.
There Must Be a Moral Compass
Army leadership traits focus on ethics because every decision has the chance to be right or wrong. The perfect decision might not always be made, but the moral purpose behind every decision must be consistent. This consistency originates from the top of the chain of command, which means every leader must be ethically and morally consistent in order to be an effective leader.
Adaptability Is a Must
A leader who isn’t able to adapt to changing situations isn’t really a leader at all. Army leadership traits require flexibility because circumstances can change at a moment’s notice. Leaders must be able to think on their feet and be unafraid to make a critical decision in the blink of an eye.
Risk Must Be Balanced
Greatness can’t be achieved without taking some risks, but it doesn’t make sense to assume great amount of risk without a reward. Balancing risk means seeing every opportunity as a potential reward. Does the reward of taking a risk outweigh the chances that must be taken to achieve success? If so, then a decision makes sense. If the risks are too great, however, a leader using Army leadership traits will look for alternative solutions.
Empowerment Is Required
A great leader will empower others to be great. The best way to make this happen is to roll up one’s sleeves and get dirty with everyone else. By working with everyone, a leader inspires others. The leader will be out front, doing the job everyone else is doing, but also showing others how to be better while doing that job.
Leaders Create Performance
Army leadership traits encourage everyone to be a little bit better tomorrow than they were today. Leadership sometimes means sacrifice, certainly, but that sacrifice must make sense. By encouraging personal growth, people who work with leaders using Army traits will be a little better tomorrow and every following day than they were today and each previous day.
Communication Must Happen
Leadership is impossible without open lines of communication. Leaders tell a story in an effective way so that it relates to everyone listening. These stories inspire action and action inspires loyalty.