The U.S. Army Leadership Field Manual

The U.S. Army Leadership Field Manual


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How the world's most dynamic organization prepares its leaders for battle, with valuable insights for today's business arena

For mor than 50 years, The U.S. Army Leadership Field Manual has provided leadership training for every officer training program in the U.S. Army. This trade edition brings the manual's value-based leadership principles and practices to today's business world. The result is a compelling examination of how to be an effective leader when the survival of your team literally hangs on your decisions. More than 60 gripping vignettes and stories illustrate historical and contemporary examples of army leaders who made a difference.

The U.S. Army Leadership Field Manual also provides:

  • A leadership approach based on the army's core principles of "Be, Know, Do"
  • Hands-on lessons to enhance training, mentoring, and decision-making skills
  • Chapters that focus on the different roles and requirements for leadership

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780071436991
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing
Publication date: 02/20/2004
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 611,697
Product dimensions: 7.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

The Center for Army Leadership is responsible for officer training in the U.S. Army and is located at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

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The U.S. Army Leadership Field Manual


By McGraw-Hill

The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Copyright © 2004The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-07-143699-1



The Army Leadership Framework

Just as the diamond requires three properties for its formation—carbon, heat, and pressure—successful leaders require the interaction of three properties—character, knowledge, and application. Like carbon to the diamond, character is the basic quality of the leader. But as carbon alone does not create a diamond, neither can character alone create a leader. The diamond needs heat. Man needs knowledge, study, and preparation. The third property, pressure—acting in conjunction with carbon and heat—forms the diamond. Similarly, one's character, attended by knowledge, blooms through application to produce a leader.

General Edward C. Meyer Former Army Chief of Staff

1-1. The Army's ultimate responsibility is to win the nation's wars. For you as an Army leader, leadership in combat is your primary mission and most important challenge. To meet this challenge, you must develop character and competence while achieving excellence. This manual is about leadership. It focuses on character, competence, and excellence. It's about accomplishing the mission and taking care of people. It's about living up to your ultimate responsibility, leading your soldiers in combat and winning our nation's wars.

1-2. Figure 1-1 shows the Army leadership framework. The top of the figure shows the four categories of things leaders must BE, KNOW, and DO. The bottom of the figure lists dimensions of Army leadership, grouped under these four categories. The dimensions consist of Army values and subcategories under attributes, skills, and actions.

1-3. Leadership starts at the top, with the character of the leader, with your character. In order to lead others, you must first make sure your own house is in order. For example, the first line of The Creed of the Noncommissioned Officer states, "No one is more professional than I." But it takes a remarkable person to move from memorizing a creed to actually living that creed; a true leader is that remarkable person.

1-4. Army leadership begins with what the leader must BE, the values and attributes that shape a leader's character. It may be helpful to think of these as internal qualities: you possess them all the time, alone and with others. They define who you are; they give you a solid footing. These values and attributes are the same for all leaders, regardless of position, although you certainly refine your understanding of them as you become more experienced and assume positions of greater responsibility. For example, a sergeant major with combat experience has a deeper understanding of selfless service and personal courage than a new soldier does.

1-5. Your skills are those things you KNOW how to do, your competence in everything from the technical side of your job to the people skills a leader requires. The skill categories of the Army leadership framework apply to all leaders. However, as you assume positions of greater responsibility, you must master additional skills in each category. Army leadership positions fall into three levels: direct, organizational, and strategic. These levels are described later in this chapter. Chapters 4, 6, and 7 describe the skills leaders at each level require.

1-6. But character and knowledge—while absolutely necessary—are not enough. You cannot be effective, you cannot be a leader, until you apply what you know, until you act and DO what you must. As with skills, you will learn more leadership actions as you serve in different positions. Because actions are the essence of leadership, the discussion begins with them.

Leadership Defined


1-7. Influencing means getting people to do what you want them to do. It is the means or method to achieve two ends: operating and improving. But there's more to influencing than simply passing along orders. The example you set is just as important as the words you speak. And you set an example—good or bad—with every action you take and word you utter, on or off duty. Through your words and example, you must communicate purpose, direction, and motivation.


1-8. Purpose gives people a reason to do things. This does not mean that as a leader you must explain every decision to the satisfaction of your subordinates. It does mean you must earn their trust: they must know from experience that you care about them and would not ask them to do something—particularly something danger-ous—unless there was a good reason, unless the task was essential to mission accomplishment.

1-9. Look, for example, at a battalion maintenance section. Its motor sergeant always takes the time—and has the patience—to explain to the mechanics what is required of them. Nothing fancy; the motor sergeant usually just calls them together for a few minutes to talk about the workload and the time crunch. The soldiers may get tired of hearing "And, of course, unless we get the work finished, this unit doesn't roll and the mission doesn't get done," but they know it's true. And every time he passes information this way, the motor sergeant sends this signal to the soldiers: that he cares about their time and work and what they think, that they are members of a team, not cogs in the "green machine."

1-10. Then one day the unit is alerted for an emergency deployment. Things are happening at breakneck speed; there is no time to pause, and everything and everyone is under stress. The motor sergeant cannot stop to explain things, pat people on the back, or talk them up. But the soldiers will work themselves to exhaustion, if need be, because the motor sergeant has earned their trust. They know and appreciate their leader's normal way of operating, and they will assume there is a good reason the leader is doing things differently this time. And should the deployment lead to a combat mission, the team will be better prepared to accomplish their mission under fire. Trust is a basic bond of leadership, and it must be developed over time.


1-11. When providing direction, you communicate the way you want the mission accomplished. You prioritize tasks, assign responsibility for completing them (delegating authority when necessary), and make sure your people understand the standard. In short, you figure out how to get the work done right with the available people, time, and other resources; then you communicate that information to your subordinates: "We'll do these things first. You people work here; you people work there." As you think the job through, you can better aim your effort and resources at the right targets.

1-12. People want direction. They want to be given challenging tasks, training in how to accomplish them, and the resources necessary to do them well. Then they want to be left alone to do the job.


1-13. Motivation gives subordinates the will to do everything they can to accomplish a mission. It results in their acting on their own initiative when they see something needs to be done.

1-14. To motivate your people, give them missions that challenge them. After all, they did not join the Army to be bored. Get to know your people and their capabilities; that way you can tell just how far to push each one. Give them as much responsibility as they can handle; then let them do the work without looking over their shoulders and nagging them. When they succeed, praise them. When they fall short, give them credit for what they have done and coach or c

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Table of Contents


Introduction for the Business Reader          



Part One The Leader, Leadership, and the Human Dimension          

Chapter 1. The Army Leadership Framework          

Chapter 2. The Leader and Leadership: What the Leader Must BE, KNOW, and

Chapter 3. The Human Dimension          

Part Two. Direct Leadership: For First-line, Face-to-Face Leaders          

Chapter 4. Direct Leadership Skills          

Chapter 5. Direct Leadership Actions          

Part Three. Organizational and Strategic Leadership          

Chapter 6. Organizational Leadership          

Chapter 7. Strategic Leadership          

Appendix A. Performance Indicators          

Appendix B. Character Development          

Source Notes          


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