Sunday, October 19, 2014

Leader Competencies for a Complex World

We continue the Twitter based professional conversation between military leaders in the United States and faculty and students at Kings College in London with a post from Ryan T. Kranc - @rkranc Ryan is an Army cavalryman assigned to Training and Doctrine Command, Fort Eustis, VA.  The views expressed in this post are his alone and not representative of US Army or DOD. If you’re interested in participating just “tweet” your response with #CCLKOW

On October 7, 2014 the Army published TRADOC Publication 525-3-1, The US Army Operating Concept, Win in a Complex World[i].  The Army Operating Concept explains how the Army must operate in the future, describes the Army’s contribution to globally integrated operations, and provides focus for future force development.  The Army Warfighting Challenges within Appendix B of the Operating Concept detail the first order capabilities the Army must possess to win in a complex world.  Army Warfighting Challenges 8, 9, and 10 speak specifically to those capabilities required  of our Soldiers and leaders to thrive and succeed in environments of complexity and uncertainty.  
 They are[ii]:

8.   Train Soldiers and leaders to ensure they are prepared to accomplish the mission across the range of military operations while operating in complex environments against determined, adaptive enemy organizations.

9.   Develop resilient Soldiers, adaptive leaders, and cohesive teams committed to the Army professional ethic that are capable of accomplishing the mission in environments of uncertainty and persistent danger.

10.  Develop agile, adaptive, and innovative leaders who thrive in conditions of uncertainty and chaos, and are capable of visualizing, describing, directing, leading, and assessing operations in complex environments and against adaptive enemies.

Leadership is the process of influencing people by providing purpose, direction, and motivation to accomplish the mission and improve the organization (FM 6-22).  What are the “mission essential tasks” for leaders at echelon?  What are the tasks or skills that allow leaders to succeed in environments of uncertainty and chaos?  What are the core tasks that build the foundation and baseline for excellence in leadership in the profession of arms?

The following are proposed fundamental organizational leader skills.  The mastery of these skills are required successfully lead and improve organizations and are built upon to develop additional skills later in one’s career (i.e. fluency in Troop Leading Procedures (TLPs) and Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield (IPB) later assists in developing competency in the Military Decision Making Process (MDMP)):

1.     Training Management

2.     Troop Leading Procedures

3.     Counseling

4.     Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield

5.     Writing and Delivering an Operations Order

6.     Actions on Contact

7.     Reporting

8.     Maintenance Management

The list of 8 competencies above serves not necessarily as an authoritative or definitive inventory but as a conversation starter.  What on the list above resonates?  What should be replaced? What would you add?  If you were a company commander receiving a new lieutenant what do you expect?  How many are applicable to both officers and non-commissioned officers

“Tweet” your response with #CCLKOW

Ryan T. Kranc is an Army cavalryman assigned to Training and Doctrine Command, Fort Eustis, VA and has served as a combat engineer platoon leader, tank platoon leader, scout platoon leader, cavalry troop commander, armor and reconnaissance tactics instructor, squadron and Regimental operations officer, and Cavalry Doctrine branch chief.  The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the United States Army, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.

[i] Training and Doctrine Command, TRADOC PAM 525-3-1, Army Operating Concept, US Government Printing Office, Fort Eustis, VA, October 7, 2014

[ii] Ibid, p30


The Quadshot Warrior blog is hosted by Jonathan Silk, who is a Major in the U.S. Army. He has served as a Cavalry Scout platoon leader , and has commanded both a Tank Company and an Infantry Company. He is currently an Academic Instructor and serving as the Operations Officer for the Center for the Advancement of Leader Development and Organizational Learning (CALDOL) at the United States Army Military Academy, West Point, NY. He was a recipient of the calendar year 2009 General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award. The views expressed in this blog are not representative of US Army or DOD

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