Municipal Monitor Q1 2017 | Page 32

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airdberlis . com airdberlis . com initiative . With the end of large-scale conflicts , militaries have moved away from the stereotypical authoritative style to one of participatory leadership that is more in keeping with the realities of how these forces operate in the modern world .
To drive this evolution , comprehensive leadership programs were developed and taught to all classes of soldiers . Even senior officers are trained to be leaders first and commanders second . The goal is for modern forces to work far more collaboratively at all rank levels to ensure a proper balance between the demands of the mission and the needs of the soldiers .
As with any training program , the first step in development must be to define the core terminology . The definition of leadership varies among military forces , but the Canadian Forces ( CF ) offers an excellent example : “ Leadership is the art of influencing human behaviour so as to accomplish a mission in the manner desired by the leader .”
Although this definition has evolved and many variations exist today , it captures the essence of what leadership is . Leadership consists of two equally important components . The first component is the mission or goal either determined by the leader or assigned by another , more senior person . The leader and team must work toward this ultimate outcome . The second , equally important , component is the method in which the team will work toward that outcome . The leader must control this method to ensure all team members are working effectively toward the same outcome . If either of these two components is missing , then leadership is absent and the likelihood of the desired outcome being achieved efficiently is significantly reduced .
With leadership well defined , these programs establish the core concepts that will be their critical focus . These concepts summarize the entire leadership program in several short and concise points that are easily referenced at any time . While the exact wording and number of points used varies even within individual countries , the general concepts remain the same . Use of these points recognizes the fact that the human mind will only retain a small percentage of information presented . The points ensure that the core concepts are not permitted to be overlooked or forgotten .
The Canadian Forces ’ Principles of Leadership are an ideal example of these core concepts . Although the current CF leadership program dates back several decades , it remains as relevant now as ever , thanks to constant updating . One example of it is : 1 . Achieve professional competence ; 2 . Appreciate your own strengths and limitations and pursue self-improvement ; 3 . Seek and accept responsibility ; 4 . Lead by example ; 5 . Make sure your soldiers know your meaning and intent , and then lead them to the accomplishment of the mission ; 6 . Know your soldiers and promote their welfare ; 7 . Develop the leadership potential of your soldiers ; 8 . Make sound and timely decisions ; 9 . Train your soldiers as a team and employ them to their full potential ; and
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