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competencies and skills

competency models & development tools

joint | medical | air force | opm | navy | army | marines | coast guard | intell | lanl | irs | nasa

two metacompetencies found in multi-year Army study

leadership succession | organizational principles | motivation

team building | other articles & pubs | videos

see also Mini-Course on Writing




  • Competency Models, Lists, and Development Tools ___[return to top]

  • Joint / DoD ___[return to top]

    • Leadership Competencies of the Joint Warrior (local copy), by Sands, JAWS, JFSC, 5 Apr 2008

    • Integrating Innovation, Leadership, and Cultural Change (local copy), Oct 2003 briefing by Garstka, Office of Force Transformation
      • includes emerging competencies

        • Change Leader
          • Adapting to/managing/creating change
          • Transformation
          • Tolerance of others' views
          • Implementation
          • Leading with speed
          • Communication skills
        • Innovation
          • Entrepreneurship
          • Creating of new knowledge
          • Risk taking and management
          • Adaptability
          • Leveraging technology
        • Leading People
          • Team builder
          • Teamwork
          • Cultural sensitivity
          • Developing others
          • Inspiring
        • Personal Leadership
          • Vision
          • Continuous learner
          • Self-awareness
          • Decisiveness
          • Courage
          • Aggressiveness
          • Honesty and integrity
          • Trust, loyalty, selflessness
          • Initiative
          • Energy and enthusiasm
        • Results Driven
          • Achievement oriented
          • Accountable
        • Collaboration
          • Building coalitions
          • Building consensus
          • Partnering
          • Building social networks
          • Taking the risk to step beyond own organization
        • Problem Solving
          • Interdisciplinary
          • Collaborative
          • Cutting Gordian Knots
        • Influence
          • Communications skills
          • Negotiation skills
          • Political acumen
        • Strategic Thinking
          • Mental agility
          • Analytical
          • Critical thinking
          • Holistic/systems thinking
          • Synthesis
          • Thinking across boundaries
          • Cognitive understanding
          • External awareness

    • Joint SOF Leadership Competency Model Explained (local copy) - downloaded from JSOU, 30 Mar 2010
    • SOCOM Capstone Concept for Special Operations, 2006 (local copy) - includes the SOF Leadership Competency Model from JSOU
      • Core Values are Integrity, Courage, Creativity, and Competence

        • Vision & Strategy
          • Vision Creation & Execution
          • Strategic Art
          • Strategic Awareness
          • Opportunity Development
        • Developing Partnerships
          • Communication
          • Collaboration
          • Influencing/Negotiating
          • Cultural Awareness
        • Force Application
          • Operational Art
          • Joint & Combined Warfighting
          • SOF Integration
          • Joint SOF C4ISR
          • Situational Awareness
        • Action Orientation
          • Problem Solving
          • Decisiveness
          • Initiative
          • Adaptability
          • Risk Management
        • Force Management
          • Asset Management
          • Technology Management
          • Resource Management
        • Interpersonal Orientation
          • Team Building
          • People Development
          • Conflict Resolution

    • Education for Transformational Leadership (local copy), Mar 2004 briefing by Pattillo, Office of Force Transformation - includes references to competencies -- two interesting slides are after the Questions? slide at the end

    • Joint Leadership Competencies Working Group welcome briefing (local copy), Mar 2004, by Col (P) Thomas C. Maffey, Vice Director J-7
      (in the slides, GNA is the Goldwater-Nichols DoD Reorganization Act)

    • Human Resource System:Competencies, Selection and Experience, Leader Development & Learning - Project Progress and Approach to Way Ahead (local copy), Mar 2004 briefing, by Bill Newlon, JFCOM J9 Decision Superiority Department
      • Joint Senior Leadership Competencies - draft (expanded descriptions of competencies begin at slide 43 in the briefing above)
        • World Class Warfighter
          • Strategic Art
            • Strategic Decision-Making
            • Diplomatic, Information, Military, and Economic (DIME) Relationships
          • Operational Art
            • Strategic Objectives to Tactical Actions
          • Effects-Based Approach
            • Battlespace System of Systems
            • Effects-tasks linkages
          • Campaigning
            • Orchestrating/Synchronizing
          • Joint Warfighting
            • Doctrine and Concepts
        • Technical
          • Understanding Systems
            • Doctrine and Concepts
          • Tools Supporting Enterprise
            • Decision Making Strategies/Tools
          • Ends, Ways, Means Framework
            • Elements of National Power
            • Information Age Concepts
          • Resource Stewardship
            • DoD/Interagency Systems
        • Improving
          • Lifelong Learning
            • Self/Others
          • Team Building
          • Leading Change
            • Develop/Implement Vision
            • Innovation
        • Influencing
          • Communicating
            • Commander's Intent & Vision
          • Decision Making
            • Adaptive Leadership/Decision Making
          • Motivating
            • Inspiring/Empowering
          • Foster Teamwork & Collaboration
            • Build Trust & Confidence
        • Personal Leadership
          • Joint Values/Warrior Ethos
          • Identity
            • Self-Awareness/Self Confidence
            • Lifetime of Development
          • Professional Astuteness
            • Leader of the Profession
            • Develops Future Leaders
        • Interpersonal Maturity
          • Communication
            • Negotiation
          • Cross-Cultural Savvy
            • Know Cultures Beyond Own
            • Build Collaborative Relationships
        • Conceptual
          • Cognitive Capacity
            • Systems View
            • Compexity/Uncertainty
          • Creative Thinking
            • Ideas/Alternatives
          • Critical Thinking
            • Understand/Evaluate
            • Problem Solving
          • Adaptability
            • To Environments
            • To Opportunities

    • Concept developers bringing human factor to transformation process (local copy), USJFCOM news, Sep 2003 - "... there are three key areas that will be critical for future operations, and impact leadership development in this joint military decision making process according to Newlon"
      • First, is the need for a more coherent organizational design where the joint capabilities are more modular and tailorable. Leaders must have the ability to be more dynamic in terms of how they utilize a set of joint capabilities to conduct a mission.
      • Second, leaders must be provided and be familiar with the new process of making decisions as individuals and commanders based on the complexity and adaptive nature of the adversary in the future environment.
      • Finally, Newlon mentioned that military leaders would be required to operate more globally, across time, geographic and regional boundaries, where they will be required to make high-quality decisions more rapidly.

  • Joint Medical ___[return to top]
  • Air Force ___[return to top]

    • USAF Force Development (FD) program

    • USAF Air and Space Core Competencies (local copy), Chief's Sight Picture
      • developing airmen,
      • technology-to-warfighting, and
      • integrating operations

    • Air Force Doctrine Document 1-1, Leadership and Force Development, Feb 2004, interim change 18 Feb 2006 - Appendix B has the latest list of Air Force Enduring Leadership Competencies

      • Personal Leadership
        • Exercise Sound Judgment
        • Adapt and Perform under Pressure
        • Inspire Trust
        • Lead Courageously
        • Assess Self
        • Foster Effective Communication
      • Leading People / Teams
        • Drive Performance through Shared Vision, Values, and Accountability
        • Influence through Win/Win Solutions
        • Mentor and Coach for Growth and Success
        • Promote Collaboration and Teamwork
        • Partner to Maximize Results
      • Leading the Institution
        • Shape Air Force Strategy and Direction
        • Command Organizational and Mission Success through Enterprise Integration and Resource Stewardship
        • Embrace Change and Transformation
        • Drive Execution
        • Attract, Retain, and Develope Talent

    • Air Force Leadership Development Model (local copy), as of Jan 2004, from AFSLMO - posted here for comparison with final list above
      (click on column headings to go to expanded descriptions of competencies, including sub-competencies)

      • Personal Leadership
        • Exercising Sound Judgment
        • Adapting
        • Inspiring Trust
        • Leading Courageously
        • Demonstrating Tenacity
        • Leading by Example
        • Assessing Self
      • Leading People / Teams
        • Inspiring, Empowering and Exercising Authority
        • Influencing & Negotiating
        • Attracting, Developing & Retaining Talent
        • Fostering Teamwork & Collaboration
        • Building Relationships
        • Fostering Effective Communication
        • Mentoring
      • Leading the Institution
        • Commanding
        • Creating and Demonstrating Vision
        • Shaping Strategy
        • Translating Strategy
        • Driving Transformation
        • Thinking / Working Across Boundaries
        • Applying Resource Stewardship
        • Driving Execution
        • Driving Continuous Improvement
        • Integrating Systems

  • Office of Personnel Management (OPM) ___[return to top]
  • Navy ___[return to top]

    • Professional Development, Naval Education and Training Command

    • Principles of Naval Leadership (local copy)
      (from the Navy Leader Planning Guide 2003)

    • Timeless Traits of Leadership (local copy), remarks by the Honorable John H. Dalton, former Secretary of the Navy
      These traits have stood the test of time. The list is as follows: A leader is trusted, a leader takes the initiative, a leader uses good judgment, a leader speaks with authority, a leader strengthens others, is optimistic and enthusiastic, never compromises absolutes, and leads by example.

    • Navy Leadership Competency Model (NLCM) (local copy) - with 5 core competencies and 25 sub-competencies

      • Accomplishing Mission
        • Responsibility, Accountability, and Authority
        • Decisiveness / Risk Management
        • Continuous Improvement
        • Problem Solving
        • Technical Credibility
      • Leading People
        • Developing People
        • Team Building
        • Combat / Crisis Leadership
        • Conflict Management
        • Leveraging Diversity
        • Professionalism
      • Leading Change
        • Creativity & Innovation
        • Vision
        • Strategic Thinking
        • External Awareness
        • Flexibility
        • Service Motivation
      • Working with People
        • Influencing / Negotiating
        • Partnering
        • Political Awareness
        • Oral Communication
        • Written Communication
      • Resource Stewardship
        • Financial Mgmt
        • Leveraging Technology
        • Human Resource Mgt

    • Reflections on Leadership (local copy), by Thomas E. Cronin, for the Navy Command Leadership School (CLS) - includes a tentative list of leadership qualities
      • Self-knowledge/self-confidence
      • Vision, ability to infuse important, transcending values into an enterprise
      • Intelligence, wisdom, judgment
      • Learning/renewal
      • Worldmindedness/a sense of history and breadth
      • Coalition building/social architecture
      • Morale building/motivation
      • Stamina, energy, tenacity, courage, enthusiasm
      • Character, integrity/intellectual honesty
      • Risk-taking/entrepreneurship
      • An ability to communicate, persuade/listen
      • Understanding the nature of power and authority
      • An ability to concentrate on achieving goals and results
      • A sense of humor, perspective, flexibility

    • Resource Listing for Competency Development (local copy), (DOC version)
        from Naval Education and Training Command (NETC), Civilian Leadership Development (CLD) division -- for 35 competencies, for individuals, supervisors, managers, and executives - most are applicable for everyone, not just civilians

  • Army ___[return to top]

    • A Leader Development Strategy for a 21st Century Army (local copy) - the Army Leader Development Strategy (ALDS), 25 Nov 2009
      • The Army Leader Development Strategy (ALDS) builds on our Army’s experiences since the end of the Cold War including the past eight years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan and on our assessment that the future operational environment will be even more uncertain, complex, and competitive as hybrid threats challenge us across the full spectrum of operations.
      • The Army and its leaders must be capable of Full Spectrum Operations (FSO) in this operational environment. We have identified three paradigm shifts in this environment that must be addressed in our leader development strategy:
        • The effect of complexity and time.
        • The effect of decentralization.
        • The need to frame ill-structured problems.
      • Army leaders must possess and model key attributes in order to reach their full professional potential. An attribute is defined as a characteristic unique to an individual that moderates how well learning and performance occurs. Leader development must build on the foundation of an individual’s existing qualities developing well-rounded leaders that possess three critical leadership attributes.
        • Character.
        • Presence.
        • Intellect.
      • Army leaders apply their character, presence, and intellect in leading our nation’s soldiers. The expectations for what leaders should do regardless of the situation are captured in the Army’s core leader competencies. Core leader competencies are defined as groups of related behaviors that lead to successful performance, common throughout the organization and consistent with the organization’s values. There are eight leader competencies that fall into three areas:
        • One who leads.
        • One who develops.
        • One who achieves.
      • The Army will adhere to eight leader development imperatives that will guide policy and actions in order to develop leaders with the required qualities and enduring leader characteristics. These guiding principles remain constant and consistent from initial service affiliation to retirement creating a leader development process that is deliberate, continuous, sequential, and progressive. These imperatives will drive the synchronization and implementation of the ALDS.

    • Army Training and Leader Development Strategy (ATLDS) (local copy), 2 Dec 08

    • Developing Strategic Leaders for the 21st Century (local copy), by McCausland, SSI, Feb 2008

    • Collaboration and Self Assessment: How to Combine 360 Assessments to Increase Self-Understanding (local copy), by Psotka et al, ARI Report, Mar 2007
    • Army Excellence in Leadership (AXL): A Multimedia Approach to Building Tacit Knowledge and Cultural Reasoning (local copy), by Zyblut et al, ARI Report, Jan 2007
    • Assessing Army Professional Forums – Metrics for Effectiveness and Impact (local copy), by Cianciolo et al, ARI Report, Oct 2006

    • Agile Leaders, Agile Institutions: Educating Adaptive and Innovative Leaders for Today and Tomorrow (local copy), by Gehler, SSI, Aug 2005

    • Army Values
      • Loyalty: Bear true faith and allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, the Army, your unit, and other soldiers.
      • Duty: Fulfill your obligations.
      • Respect: Treat people as they should be treated.
      • Selfless-Service: Put the welfare of the nation, the Army, and your subordinates before your own.
      • Honor: Live up to all the Army values.
      • Integrity: Do what's right, legally and morally.
      • Personal Courage: Face fear, danger, or adversity (Physical or Moral).

    • Center for Army Leadership (CAL)

    • A Criterion-Related Validation Study of the Army Core Leader Competency Model (local copy, PDF), by Horey et al, Apr 2007, U. S. Army Research Institute (ARI) for the Behavioral and Social Sciences report

    • Competency Based Future Leadership Requirements (local copy, PDF), July 2004, U. S. Army Research Institute (ARI) for the Behavioral and Social Sciences report (DOC file)
      • The purpose of this research was to develop leadership requirements for the future Army. A competency framework that is used consistently throughout the force and that focuses on the functions of leadership will help align training, development, and performance management processes and better convey what leaders need to do. Numerous considerations were combined to generate the framework including: Identification of the future of technological, geopolitical, and demographic factors; review of leadership theory; review of the evolution of Army leadership doctrine; identification of literature sources of leadership requirements: specification of the relationships leaders have with others; and comparisons of competency frameworks from the other military services. Through an iterative process, analysts developed competencies, components, and sample actions that were then reviewed by subject matter experts. A core leadership competency framework was developed that includes eight competencies and 55 components. The proposed core leadership competency framework serves to provide an analytically based description of leader requirements for the future. The incorporation of the framework into leader development processes is discussed as well as how the framework can be presented in doctrine.

    • see additional ARI reports

    • Strategic Leadership Competencies (local copy), by Wong et al, Strategic Studies Institute, Sep 2003
      • On December 21, 2001, the Chief of Staff of the Army tasked the U.S. Army War College to identify the strategic leader skill sets for officers required in the post-September 11th environment. The following report is the result of that tasking. ... They [the authors] distill the essence of strategic leadership into six metacompetencies that not only describe strategic leadership, but also provide aiming points for an integrated leader development system.

    • Raising the Ante on Building Teams (local copy), by Jones, in Military Review, Jul-Aug 2004 - mentions ATLD study below

    • The Army Training and Leader Development Panel, Officer Study, Report to The Army (local copy), May 2001 - conclusions included

      • The Panel concluded that given the ambiguous nature of the Objective Force’s operational environment, Army leaders should focus on developing the “enduring competencies” of self-awareness and adaptability. In this context, self-awareness is the ability to understand how to assess abilities, know strengths and weaknesses in the operational environment, and learn how to correct those weaknesses. Adaptability is the ability to recognize changes to the environment; assess against that environment to determine what is new and what to learn to be effective; and the learning process that follows…all to standard and with feedback. Self-awareness and adaptability are symbiotic; one without the other is useless. Self-awareness without adaptability is a leader who cannot learn to accept change and modify behavior brought about by changes to his environment. Adaptability without self-awareness is irrationally changing for change sake, not understanding the relationship between abilities, duties, and the environment. Because these two competencies are so important, the Panel describes them as metacompetencies. They enable lifelong learning and their mastery leads to success in using many other skills required in full spectrum operations. The operational environment requires lifelong learning by Army officers and units that have ingrained the metacompetencies of self-awareness and adaptability as the most important skills and characteristics requisite for mission success in the Objective Force.

      • The Panel concluded that the Army must use all three strategies to harness the potential of its leaders.
        • The values-based method provides the foundation for leader competencies.
        • The research-based method provides successful leader competencies of leaders past and present.
        • The strategy-based method enables lifelong learning through the enduring competencies of self-awareness and adaptability for an uncertain and constantly changing environment.

      • Army Culture is out of balance. There is friction between Army beliefs and practices. Over time, that friction threatens readiness.

      • additional analysis of culture, career expectations, retention, etc.

    • The Army Training and Leader Development Panel, Warrant Officer Study, Report to The Army (local copy), July 2002
    • The Army Training and Leader Development Panel, NCO Study, Report to The Army (local copy), April 2002
    • The Army Training and Leader Development Panel, Civilian Study, Report to The Army (local copy), Feb 2003

  • Marines ___[return to top]

    • Lejeune Leadership Institute (LLI) Leadership Guide (local copy) - with leadership objectives, indications, principles, definitions, and essential traits

    • Marine Corps Leadership Principles (local copy) - with discussion of each and how to develop it in yourself
      • Know yourself and seek improvement
      • Be technically and tactically proficient
      • Know your Marines and look out for their welfare
      • Keep your Marines informed
      • Set the example
      • Ensure the task is understood, supervised, and accomplished
      • Train your Marines as a team
      • Make sound and timely decisions
      • Develop a sense of responsibility among your subordinates
      • Employ your command in accordance with its capabilities
      • Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions
    • Marine Corps Leadership Traits (local copy) - with definitions and suggestions for improvement
      • Justice
      • Judgment
      • Dependability
      • Initiative
      • Decisiveness
      • Tact
      • Integrity
      • Enthusiasm
      • Bearing
      • Unselfishness
      • Courage
      • Knowledge
      • Loyalty
      • Endurance
  • Coast Guard ___[return to top]

    • Office of Leadership and Professional Development

    • USCG Leadership Competencies and (local copy, 2004, PDF) (local copy, 2004, DOC)
      • Leading Self
        • Accountability and Responsibility
        • Followership
        • Self Awareness and Learning
        • Aligning Values
        • Health and Well-Being
        • Personal Conduct
        • Technical Proficiency
      • Leading Others
        • Effective Communication
        • Influencing Others
        • Respect for Others and Diversity Management
        • Team Building
        • Taking Care of People
        • Mentoring
      • Leading Performance and Change
        • Customer Focus
        • Management and Process Improvement
        • Decision Making and Problem Solving
        • Conflict Management
        • Creativity and Innovation
        • Vision Development and Implementation
      • Leading the Coast Guard
        • Stewardship
        • Technology Management
        • Financial Management
        • Human Resource Management
        • Partnering
        • External Awareness
        • Entrepreneurship
        • Political Savvy
        • Strategic Thinking
    • USCG Leadership Competencies, 1997-2004 (local copies) - click on column titles to view behaviors for each competency
      • Competencies of Self
        • Accountability and Responsibility
        • Aligning Values
        • Followership
        • Health and Well-Being
        • Personal Conduct
        • Self Awareness and Learning
        • Technical Proficiency
      • Competencies of Working With Others
        • Influencing Others
        • Respect for Others and Diversity Management
        • Looking out for Others
        • Effective Communication
        • Group Dynamics
        • Leadership Theory
        • Mentoring
      • Competencies of Performance
        • Vision Development and Implementation
        • Customer Focus
        • Decision-Making and Problem-Solving
        • Conflict Management
        • Performance Appraisal
        • Management and Process Improvement
        • Workforce Management Systems
  • Intelligence Officers ___[return to top]

    • From Intelligence Community Officer Training Curriculum Guide - "an overview of the most important competencies, characteristics, and attributes of IC Officers."
      • integrity and honesty
      • creativity and innovation
      • calculated risk taking
      • strategic thinking
      • accountability
      • external awareness
      • communications
      • team building
      • decisiveness
      • vision
      • partnering
      • problem solving
      • influence and negotiate
      • customer service
      • interpersonal skills
      • organizational and cultural awareness

  • Los Alamos National Lab ___[return to top]

    • The Development Guide (local copy), Group Leader-Program Manager & Project-Team Leader Development, from Los Alamos National Lab's Leadership Center -- addresses the 15 competencies in their Leadership Competency Model.
      • Focus & Drive
      • Emotional Intelligence
      • Building Trust / Enabling Others
      • Conceptual Thinking
      • Systems Thinking
      • Change Management
      • Coaching / Mentoring
      • Communication
      • Negotiation
      • Problem Solving
      • Marketing
      • Running the Business
      • Finance
      • Human Capital
      • Strategic Planning

  • Internal Revenue System (IRS) ___[return to top]

    • IRS Leadership Competency Model - 21 competencies from results of a 360 assessment study, presented at Air War College by Dr Jim Trinka, Director of Leadership and Organizational Effectivess, IRS Strategic Human Resources

        Briefing (courtesy of Dr Trinka) about study which shows dramatically better results for working on improving strengths versus improving weak areas (although you do need to fix "fatal flaws") - please contact Dr Trinka before any further use of these slides or results of the study

        Leadership

      • Communication *
      • Service Motivation *
      • Strategic Thinking *
      • Adaptability
      • Decisiveness
      • Integrity/Honesty
        Employee Satisfaction

      • Developing Others *
      • Group Leadership *
      • Continual Learning
      • Diversity Awareness
      • Teamwork
        Customer Satisfaction

      • External Awareness *
      • Influencing/Negotiating *
      • Customer Focus
      • Entrepreneurship
      • Partnering
        Business Results

      • Business Acumen *
      • Political Savvy *
      • Problem Solving *
      • Technical Credibility *
      • Achievement Orientation
      * asterisks indicate the 11 competencies which set apart the "great" IRS leaders
      by differentiating most clearly between the top 10% and the bottom 10%

  • NASA ___[return to top]
  • Leadership Succession - passing the baton, a vital skill ___[return to top]


  • Organizational Principles ___[return to top]


  • Motivation ___[return to top]

    • Daniel Pink on the surprising science of motivation, a talk from TED.com - if TED site is blocked, you may be able to watch it on YouTube or one of the other sites
      • Career analyst Dan Pink examines the puzzle of motivation, starting with a fact that social scientists know but most managers don't: Traditional rewards aren't always as effective as we think. Listen for illuminating stories -- and maybe, a way forward.
      • "As long as the task involved only mechanical skill, bonuses worked as they would be expected: the higher the pay, the better the performance."
      • But once the task called for "even rudimentary cognitive skill," a larger reward "led to poorer performance."
      • [His proposed new motivational] "operating system ... revolves around three elements:"
        • autonomy - the urge to direct our own lives
        • mastery - the desire to get better and better at something that matters
        • purpose - the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves
      • He also mentions ROWE - Results Only Work Environment
    • RSA Animate version of a Dan Pink motivation speech

    • Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action, a talk from TED.com - if TED site is blocked, you may be able to watch it on YouTube or one of the other sites
      • "All organizations and careers function on 3 levels. What you do, How you do it and Why you do it. The problem is, most don’t even know that Why exists." -- from his website

    • Tony Robbins: Why we do what we do, and how we can do it better, a talk from TED.com - if TED site is blocked, you may be able to watch it on YouTube or one of the other sites
      • "Tony Robbins discusses the "invisible forces" that motivate everyone's actions."

    • Richard St. John's 8 secrets of success, a talk from TED.com - if TED site is blocked, you may be able to watch it on YouTube or one of the other sites
      • "Why do people succeed? Is it because they're smart? Or are they just lucky? Neither. Analyst Richard St. John condenses years of interviews into an unmissable 3-minute slideshow on the real secrets of success."

    • Motivation (local copy), Army ROTC manual - discusses Maslow and 14 principles of motivation

    • Motivation Theory - syllabus (local copy), (DOC version) - Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI) - includes discussion of
      • Maslow' theory
        • limits in cross-cultural settings
        • Maslow’s esteem and self-actualization needs are highly personal and individualistic in nature, whereas societies that are collectivistic in nature define esteem and self-actualization in terms of one’s service to the group, community, and the whole nation. Therefore, the application of Maslow’s linear approach is limited in cross-cultural settings.
      • McClelland's Needs Model
      • Reinforcement Theory

    • Basic Needs and Human Behavior - Navy Petty Officers Course

    • How Linguistic Frames Affect Motivational Profiles and the Roles of Quantitative versus Qualitative Research Strategies, by Yeager and Sommer, in The Qualitative Report, vol. 10, number 3, Sep 2005


  • Team Building ___[return to top]


  • Articles and Publications ___[return to top]

    • See also the models and tools section above

    • See also the leadership research page

    • Narcissism and Toxic Leaders (local copy), by Doty and Fenlason, in Military Review, Jan-Feb, 2013
      • In each of the practical examples discussed above, the soldiers who bore the brunt of the leader’s narcissistic and toxic behavior experienced a form of leadership that does not motivate, build trust, or improve the organization. In fact, it does just the opposite. Yes, most of these leaders were very successful in their careers, accomplished the mission, and most often met the commander’s intent. However, authentic and transformational leadership is about more than just accomplishing the mission and getting a promotion. It also includes developing and empowering subordinates, building trust, and leaving a unit better than it was before. Toxic and narcissistic leaders do not do that.
      • Although we have focused on narcissism and toxic leaders, the reality is that America’s all volunteer Army expects and deserves the very best from its leaders, narcissistic, toxic, or not. Leaders and commanders need to be the best they can be. More emphasis on mentoring, self-awareness, self regulation, and emotional intelligence will help to ensure our leaders are the best they can be and our soldiers experience the type of leadership they richly deserve.

    • The Effect of Toxic Leadership (local copy), by Aubrey, paper at Army War College, Mar 2012
      • When focusing on toxic leadership, many researchers emphasize the symptoms of toxicity (individual characteristics, traits) and not the disease (culture, climate, outcomes). Although characteristics and traits may be helpful in identify toxic leaders, they fall short of a holistic view by failing to identify or discuss how an organization’s culture may contribute to toxicity in its leaders. Culture is a key strategic factor in predicting behaviors and outcomes. An organization’s culture may have a moderating effect on the behavior of its members and may ultimately serve to promote toxic behavior.

    • Toxic Leadership in the Military Profession (local copy), by Box, paper at Army War College, Jan 2012
      • The military wants to rid its top ranks of toxic leaders. A survey of more than 22,630 leaders from the rank of E-5 through O-6 and Department of Defense (DoD) civilians showed that roughly one in five sees his or her superior as toxic or unethical.
      • This paper highlights the nature, frequency, severity, and trepidations of toxic leadership in the military and recommends three strategies for adoption to shape a more positive and effective leadership culture and policy for the future.

    • Top 10 Myths in Military Leader Development, by Cross, Darden School of Business, U. of Virginia - discusses the myths listed below
        Myth #1 – A Competency Model is the foundation of leader development.
        Myth #2 – Strategy is about Ends-Ways-Means and is well understood.
        Myth #3 – On-the-job development is maximized by a series of 18-24 month assignments.
        Myth #4 – Team leadership is a key skill since work happens in siloed teams.
        Myth #5 – Leading change is all about the 8-step change model.
        Myth #6 – Innovation is about teaching leaders to think creatively.
        Myth #7 – Connections between private sector cases and the military are easily seen by military leaders.
        Myth #8 – Return on investment is a key metric for courses.
        Myth #9 – Computer-based training (CBT) can replace face-to-face training.
        Myth #10 – There is one universal leadership model. Outstanding leaders lead from the front.

    • Leadership Tunnel Vision (local copy), by Granderson, in Law Enforcement Bulletin, Dec 2011

    • Neuroscience for Combat Leaders: A Brain-Based Approach to Leading on the Modern Battlefield (local copy), by Steadman, in Military Review, May-June, 2011

    • Growing Strategic Leaders for Future Conflict, by Salmoni et al, Parameters, Spring 2010

    • Developing Air Force Strategists: Change Culture, Reverse Careerism (local copy), by Bethel et al, Joint Force Quarterly, 3rd Quarter 2010
      • The Air Force should seek out those officers who have a balanced brain—those who can not only intuit well and rapidly, but who also understand when it may be necessary to look for theories that can be generalized. Instead, the Service teaches “people, processes, and products” that make up the Air Operations Center at its command and staff college.
      • There is no career path for strategists or strategic thinkers, and indeed there appears to be a trend away from intellectualism.
      • Rather than disdaining intellectualism, senior leaders should be encouraged to read recent scholarship on strategic decisionmaking and ask themselves if they can learn something there. In addition to the long list of histories of command and leadership, Air Force senior leaders should have to read Scott Page’s The Difference, Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink and Outliers, James Surowiecki’s The Wisdom of Crowds, and most importantly, Alec Fisher’s The Logic of Real Arguments.

    • Mentoring: Finding Our Way to the Future (local copy, 3 Mb), by Lackey and Kamena, in Fires magazine, May/June 2010
      • Our nation has been at war since 2001. Repeated deployments and a sustained high operational tempo continue to take a heavy toll on our people, families, equipment and the development of junior and mid-level officers who are particularly bearing the brunt of separations and the stress of combat. The fast paced cyclic existence of going to war, returning and training, and returning to war affords little discretionary time for leaders to conduct developmental activities such as establishing a mentorship plan and program. If not carefully managed, professional development, particularly mentorship, may become one more casualty of the Long War. An additional challenge is that doctrine concerning mentoring is not specific and often is nothing more than a career counseling program. What is needed is an agreed to framework for mentors and mentees to operate within. Common expectations must be established. This article proposes just such a framework, a lens through which mentoring can be viewed by all concerned.

    • Developing 21st Century Senior Leaders (local copy), by Beaumont, US Army War College, Mar 2010

    • To Build Resilience: Leader Influence on Mental Hardiness (local copy), by Bartone et al, Defense Horizons, Number 69, Nov 2009
      • In work groups such as the military, where individuals are regu­larly exposed to a range of stressors and hazards, leaders are in a unique position to shape how stressful experiences are processed, interpreted, and understood by members of the group. The leader who by example, discussion, and established policies communicates a posi­tive construction of shared stressful experiences exerts a positive influ­ence on the entire group in the direction of his or her interpretation of experience—toward more resilient and hardy sensemaking.

    • Developing Strategic Leaders for the 21st Century (local copy), by McCausland, SSI, Feb 2008

    • Senior Leader Perspective: Lorenz on Leadership, by the Air University Commander, in Air and Space Power Journal, Summer 2005 - discusses 13 personal leadership principles

    • Officership in the Iraqi Armed Forces (local copy), by Nqshbande, in Military Review, May-June, 2006

    • Agile Leaders, Agile Institutions: Educating Adaptive and Innovative Leaders for Today and Tomorrow, by Gehler, SSI, Aug 2005 (local copy)

    • The Agile Organization: from Informal Networks to Complex Effects and Agility (local copy, 3 Mb), by Atkinson and Moffat, CCRP

    • Arts and The Man, by Harlan, in Air University Review
      • Unfortunately, most people who believed that war is an art also believed that artistic talent cannot be acquired: some generals, like some dancers, are just more talented than others. Fortunately, the truth is otherwise. A person's intuition can be improved just as readily as his skill at cause-and-effect reasoning. Improvement appears difficult only because most people approach it backwards. Those who believe that strategy is an art, when asked how to acquire skill in it, usually recommend the study of earlier wars. Study is a rational activity: one takes a campaign apart, one piece at a time, to isolate the critical events and determine their effects. But art does not proceed bit by bit; it seizes things whole. Studying may sharpen one's eye for the painstaking detail needed to work out an operations plan. It does not teach how to conceive the strategy underlying the plan. A person improves his logical faculties by practicing logical thinking; he improves his artistic creativity by creating art!

    • Mapping the Route of Leadership Education: Caution Ahead (local copy), by Reed et al, in Parameters, Autumn 2004

    • Toxic Leadership (local copy), by Reed, in Military Review, Jul-Aug 2004

    • The Education of "a Modern Major General" (local copy) by MGen Burns, in Naval War College Review, Winter 2004

    • Preparing Leaders for Nationbuilding (local copy), by Donahoe, Military Review, May-Jun 2004

    • Fourth Anton Myrer Strategic Leadership Conference: A “Leadership During Crisis” Workshop (local copy), Center for Strategic Leadership (CSL), July 2002 - with summaries of conclusions by various breakout panels
      • from one panel:
        All leaders need to be adept at strategic communications, especially media relations. Participating in the war of ideas is essential. Effective leaders must design and conduct outreach to help form opinions within the public sector. The group very strongly recommended against any retrenchment in outreach efforts by either civil government or the military.

    • Humility As a Leadership Attribute (local copy), by Doty, Military Review, Sep-Oct 2000

    • Emotional Intelligence

    • Transformation Begins With Leadership (local copy) - report on 11 Feb 04 speech by DoD's director of force transformation
      • "One of the great rules for transformation," he [Cebrowski] said, "is if you want to transform go where the money is and on arrival, change the rules. That's what we have to do.
      • Leaders must be willing to "devalue" things, said Cebrowski.
      • First and foremost, cultural change is a leadership issue, said the transformation chief. "Culture is what leaders believe and how leaders behave."

    • Strategic Leader Readiness and Competencies for Asymmetric Warfare, by Williams, in Parameters, Summer 03

    • Senior Officers and Strategic Leader Development (local copy), by McGuire, in Joint Force Quarterly, Autumn-Winter, 2001-2002 - compares the services and research results, including ranking by senior officers of the following five developmental processes, with respect to criticality to success
      • operational assignments
      • mentorship
      • institutional education
      • self-development
      • other developmental experiences

    • Competency-Based Leadership for the 21st Century (local copy), by Pritchard, in Military Review, May-June, 1999

    • Quotations from Chairman Powell: A Leadership Primer - actions which describe competencies and characteristics

    • Preparation for battlefield leadership and principles for a leader's conduct in battle (local copy), by Lt Gen Harold "Hal" Moore, co-author of We Were Soldiers Once... and Young: Ia Drang--The Battle That Changed the War in Vietnam
      - see also Landing Zone X-Ray website

    • MajGen Perry M. Smith, USAF(Ret)

    • The Mark of Strategic Genius, by Metz, in Parameters, Autumn 1991

    • The "Staff Experience" and Leadership Development, by Gen John Shaud, in Airpower Journal

    • Whispers of Warriors - The Importance of History to the Military Professional (local copy), by Congressman Ike Skelton, in Naval War College Review

    • Clark will leave legacy of progress, article about Navy CNO and covenant leadership
      (more on covenant leadership in the Navy)

    • Human Resource Competencies for the New Century, from Schoonover Associates

    • Generalship: Qualities, Instincts, and Character, by Meigs, in Parameters, Summer 2001 -- developed from a presentation given by the author to the Brigadier General Training Course at Fort Leavenworth
      • "... generals, like athletes, are made not born, despite the fact that some are born with a natural ability that gives them more promise than the rest of us. But all of us need development to progress to the level of competence and character our potential allows."
      • discusses the "list of essential characteristics of generalship" - intellect, energy, selflessness, and humanity

    • Jackie's Nine : Jackie Robinson's Values to Live By, book by Sharon Robinson
      • nine principles -- courage, determination, teamwork, persistence, integrity, citizenship, justice, commitment and excellence

    • The Digital General: Reflections on Leadership in the Post-Information Age, by Harig, in Parameters, Autumn 1996
      • One of the particular ironies of the Information Age is that the shifts in expectations and perceptions cataloged here may create and support superb battle staff officers, because these men and women of the future will know how to leverage powerful analytical tools for tremendous advantages in speed, precision, and effect. Yet, these transformations also could supply a hubris for the digital general because they make it more difficult to shift from the operational to the strategic level of leadership.

        In the worst case, an officer corps mesmerized by high technology could produce a generation of senior leaders that is so insecure without their computer models and decision systems that they could not step beyond them. That could have dire consequences:

        Reluctance to "break out of the box." When any formal data system becomes a leader's primary commodity for strategic decisions, the demand for hard evidence can become the enemy of hunches, eventually suppressing new perspectives on a situation. A senior leader's experience shouldn't be entrapped by rigid analytical systems that force a choice from options in all of which ambiguity is a common circumstance. In fact, strategic leaders need some personal distance from hard data in order to sample other channels of reality, such as having face-to-face discussions to sound out the feelings behind the pros and cons of an issue.

        Death of the metaphor. Just as there are plentiful examples where critical scientific breakthroughs have occurred while the right brain (our intuitive, pre-verbal cognitive resource) was operating ahead of the pack, strategic vision requires an ability to think in metaphors, to seek related patterns in unrelated objects, situations, and events. True, our future senior leaders will have access to more information. The successful ones will be those who are best able to sort out the important from the interesting. The development and testing of analogies--the patterns that allow leaders to see the important under data overload, is a skill that could waste away under a sterile diet of expert systems and virtual reality simulations.

        Fear of risk and error. I doubt that the best microchip will ever exceed the value of "Kentucky windage" in decisionmaking, but the illusion of omniscience from multisensory information systems might make our leaders fear the "guesstimate," preferring to avoid risking mistakes by substituting certainty models for their intuition.

    • Military Leaders’ Obligation to Justify Killing in War (local copy), paper by Kilner, presented at Joint Services Conference on Professional Ethics (JSCOPE), Jan 2000

    • A Charismatic Dimension of Military Leadership? (local copy), paper by Tritten and Keithly, Naval Doctrine Command, May 1995


  • Videos ___[return to top]

    • Adapt: Why success always starts with failure, video by Tim Harford (book by the same title is on the Air Force Chief of Staff's 2012 Reading List)
      • Tim's Principles of Failure:
          #1 - Be willing to fail ... a lot
          #2 - Fail on a survivable scale
          #3 - Spot a failure and fix it, early

    • Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action, a talk from TED.com - if TED site is blocked, you may be able to watch it on YouTube or one of the other sites (Sinek's book Start with Why is on the Air Force Chief of Staff's 2012 Reading List)
      • "All organizations and careers function on 3 levels. What you do, How you do it and Why you do it. The problem is, most don’t even know that Why exists." -- from his website

    • Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are, a talk from TED.com - if TED site is blocked, you may be able to watch it on YouTube or one of the other sites
      • "Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how “power posing” -- standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident -- can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success."
      • "Amy Cuddy’s research on body language reveals that we can change other people’s perceptions — and even our own body chemistry — simply by changing body positions."

    • Seth Godin: How to get your ideas to spread - a TED talk (you may need to watch it on YouTube if TED videos are blocked)
      • "In a world of too many options and too little time, our obvious choice is to just ignore the ordinary stuff. Marketing guru Seth Godin spells out why, when it comes to getting our attention, bad or bizarre ideas are more successful than boring ones"

    • Stanley McChrystal: Listen, learn ... then lead, a talk from TED.com - if TED site is blocked, you may be able to watch it on YouTube or one of the other sites
      • Four-star general Stanley McChrystal shares what he learned about leadership over his decades in the military. How can you build a sense of shared purpose among people of many ages and skill sets? By listening and learning -- and addressing the possibility of failure.

    • Daniel Pink on the surprising science of motivation, a talk from TED.com - if TED site is blocked, you may be able to watch it on YouTube or one of the other sites
      • Career analyst Dan Pink examines the puzzle of motivation, starting with a fact that social scientists know but most managers don't: Traditional rewards aren't always as effective as we think. Listen for illuminating stories -- and maybe, a way forward.
      • "As long as the task involved only mechanical skill, bonuses worked as they would be expected: the higher the pay, the better the performance."
      • But once the task called for "even rudimentary cognitive skill," a larger reward "led to poorer performance."
      • [His proposed new motivational] "operating system ... revolves around three elements:"
        • autonomy - the urge to direct our own lives
        • mastery - the desire to get better and better at something that matters
        • purpose - the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves
      • He also mentions ROWE - Results Only Work Environment

    • Tony Robbins: Why we do what we do, and how we can do it better, a talk from TED.com - if TED site is blocked, you may be able to watch it on YouTube or one of the other sites
      • "Tony Robbins discusses the "invisible forces" that motivate everyone's actions."

    • Richard St. John's 8 secrets of success, a talk from TED.com - if TED site is blocked, you may be able to watch it on YouTube or one of the other sites
      • "Why do people succeed? Is it because they're smart? Or are they just lucky? Neither. Analyst Richard St. John condenses years of interviews into an unmissable 3-minute slideshow on the real secrets of success."

    • Richard St. John: Success is a continuous journey, a talk from TED.com - if TED site is blocked, you may be able to watch it on YouTube or one of the other sites
      • "In his typically candid style, Richard St. John reminds us that success is not a one-way street, but a constant journey. He uses the story of his business' rise and fall to illustrate a valuable lesson -- when we stop trying, we fail."

    • John Wooden on true success, a talk from TED.com - if TED site is blocked, you may be able to watch it on YouTube or one of the other sites
      • With profound simplicity, Coach John Wooden redefines success and urges us all to pursue the best in ourselves. In this inspiring talk he shares the advice he gave his players at UCLA, quotes poetry and remembers his father's wisdom.

    • Chade-Meng Tan: Everyday compassion at Google, a talk from TED.com - if TED site is blocked, you may be able to watch it on YouTube or one of the other sites
      • Google's "Jolly Good Fellow," Chade-Meng Tan, talks about how the company practices compassion in its everyday business -- and its bold side projects.
      • talk includes getting to "Level 5" Leadership (with humility and ambition) as it addresses the affective, cognitive, and motivational components of compassion - including development of emotional intelligence and self-knowledge

    • Tribes
      • Seth Godin: The tribes we lead, a talk from TED.com - if TED site is blocked, you may be able to watch it on YouTube or one of the other sites
        • Seth Godin argues the Internet has ended mass marketing and revived a human social unit from the distant past: tribes. Founded on shared ideas and values, tribes give ordinary people the power to lead and make big change. He urges us to do so.

      • David Logan on tribal leadership, a talk at TEDxUSC - if TED site is blocked, you may be able to watch it on YouTube or one of the other sites
        • At TEDxUSC, David Logan talks about the five kinds of tribes that humans naturally form -- in schools, workplaces, even the driver's license bureau. By understanding our shared tribal tendencies, we can help lead each other to become better individuals.
        • goes thru the five stages/levels of tribes (usually 20-150 people) – “as people see the world, so they behave” – greatest challenge is moving from stage three to four
          • Stage One – “Life Sucks” – gangs, prisons -- about 2 percent of folks
          • Stage Two -- “My Life Sucks” – about 25 percent of folks
          • Stage Three – “I’m great (and you’re not)” – about 48 percent of folks
          • Stage Four – “We’re great.” - tribe is aware of its own existence and set of values (often including fun/creativity) – about 22 percent of folks
          • Stage Five – “Life is Great.” – about 2 percent of folks - the ones that change the world
        • Leaders are fluent in all five stages.
        • Tribes can only hear one stage above and below where they are.
        • Leaders nudge people/tribes to the next level/stage.
        • Don’t just extend your reach, extend the reach of tribe members (ex., introduce two members to each other, instead of just to you)

      • David Logan - Make a Genius Tribe, a TEDxSinCity [Las Vegas] talk
        • A follow up to his TEDxUSC talk, addressing how you create a tribe that can change the world.
          • Build triads
          • Batman effect
          • Rewrite the future

    • John Maeda: How art, technology and design inform creative leaders, a talk from TED.com - if TED site is blocked, you may be able to watch it on YouTube or one of the other sites
      • John Maeda, President of the Rhode Island School of Design, delivers a funny and charming talk that spans a lifetime of work in art, design and technology, concluding with a picture of creative leadership in the future.

    • Fields Wicker-Miurin: Learning from leadership's "missing manual", a talk from TED.com - if TED site is blocked, you may be able to watch it on YouTube or one of the other sites
      • Leadership doesn't have a user's manual, but Fields Wicker-Miurin says stories of remarkable, local leaders are the next best thing. At a TED salon in London, she shares three.



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