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Be Know Do

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Be Know Do

Leadership the Army Way: Adapted from The Official Army Leadership Manual


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Anyone with honesty, competence and the ability to deliver can lead. Add communication skills and you may be the next Patton.

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Editorial Rating



  • Applicable


Leadership often is assigned a mystical quality, as if people either possess the spark that makes others follow them, or they don’t. Well, now you can lead without the innate spark. In fact, the U.S. Army sets out to prove that anyone can become a leader, as this engaging book from the Leader to Leader Institute explains. Using The Army Leadership Manual (abstract available from getAbstract) as its foundation, this volume demystifies leadership. Promisingly enough, this speedy read persuasively argues that being a leader requires little more than honesty and competence. Throw in an ability to communicate and a willingness to listen to your people, and you could become the next Patton, or at least a respected officer. This enlightening tome is a little thin on ways to turn its leadership development philosophy into action. Still, recommends it to managers and to those who strive to become leaders.


Replacing Commands with Nuanced Leadership

Leaders are any organization's most precious asset, and exactly how to develop them is one of the business world's great mysteries. Now, as scandal taints once-glamorous business leaders, private industry increasingly looks to the military as an example of effective leadership. This might sound naive; after all, the military has a long history of autocratic attitudes. Private-sector managers would love the ability to issue orders that must be followed without argument. Yet the old-school, hierarchical model largely has disappeared, even in the military. In fact, U.S. Army officials readily admit that motivating soldiers today requires more than a direct order from a superior officer. In the wake of that admission, they have embraced a whole new jargon of collaboration, empowerment and inclusion.

In generations past, the existence of the draft meant large numbers of Americans were exposed to Army training. Widely held cultural values born of that training imbued soldiers with respect for their officers. But now the Army has changed. It is an all-volunteer force, and exists in a culture that is no longer so accommodating or ...

About the Authors

The New York-based Leader to Leader Institute, formerly the Drucker Foundation, is a nonprofit group that publishes books and videotapes, and offers leadership workshops. Frances Hesselbein, its chairman, is the former CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA. Gen. Eric K. Shinseki retired from the Army in 2003 after a long career, including service as Army Chief of Staff.

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