March 12, 2015 – Qualities such as the ability to communicate with others, a charismatic nature, confidence, creative ability, resourcefulness, organizational skills, the ability to delegate tasks to others and an openness to change and innovation can make individuals in the military into strong leaders, but leadership skills often don’t develop overnight. They need to be cultivated throughout a soldier’s life, often through training and practical experience. The development of these skills can allow leaders to successfully run businesses and take on top-level positions in the military, educational and private sectors.
A number of colleges offer military students the chance to further develop their leadership skills through degree programs. At educational institutions such as Norwich University, the birthplace of the ROTC, students can take classes geared toward leadership in different realms, including military leadership, and earning an online masters in organizational leadership. Many of these degree programs offer psychology, communications and business-focused concentrations.
Seminars and Workshops
Taking part in organization seminars and workshops lets military personnel to apply their leadership skills on a more practical level and learn from other leaders in different sectors. Leadership seminars and workshops often focus on specific areas, such as workplace communication, community organizing, message delivery, team building or conflict resolution. Participants should choose seminars and workshops based on the leadership skills they want to learn more about and work on and their preference for lectures, group discussions or other types of activities.
By taking on a leadership position on their bases, at their school campuses or in their workplaces or communities, soldiers can apply their leadership skills in more practical ways. They may have to apply for or work their way up to higher-level leadership positions gradually, starting with taking on smaller roles as speakers, committee chairs or supervisors. Applying the leadership skills they have learned can allow them to better understand how to improve upon their communication, motivational, goal-planning, organizational and other important leadership skills.
Many emerging leaders in the military develop their leadership skills from working with individuals with established reputations as leaders. Through these types of mentor relationships, individuals often learn important skills and characteristics, such as integrity, honesty, teamwork, courage and a strong work ethic, needed to be leaders in their fields of interest. Working alongside strong leaders provides them with practice knowledge and can also give them an edge professionally, if their mentors are grooming them to move on to high-level positions or take over their positions.
Leadership skills are often developed through a range of experience and training, over a number of years. For a soldier or officer, developing leadership skills, even if they don’t wish to move up in rank, can be essential because they need to be able to communicate with and work with others and face challenges as they arise. People looking to develop their leadership skills often benefit from a combination of education and application, in classroom and real-world environments.
Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She also enjoys being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise as well as researching new topics to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.