AUSA Paper: Developing Principled Leaders Takes Time

AUSA Paper: Developing Principled Leaders Takes Time

A new paper by the Association of the U.S. Army calls for a renewed focus on leader development strategies that place less burden on “self-development” and more emphasis on shared responsibility.

Army professionals are shaped by the “three Cs”—character, competence and commitment—but this approach falls short, authors Maj. Chaveso Cook and Capt. Alison Aman write.

“The problem with these assumptions is that they place an inappropriately excessive burden on service members for their own self-development,” the paper says.

While Army doctrine offers some guidance, it doesn’t have a “comprehensive strategy and framework for professional development,” Cook and Aman write.

The Army is the smallest it’s been in 20 years, and while this may limit its manpower and resources, the authors caution readers not to neglect essential priorities when prioritizing those that are urgent. 

According to the paper, professional development should be deliberate and continuous, and a mutual responsibility among leaders and soldiers alike. This involves time and attention to train and challenge all team members.

While no plan is perfect, the paper says, a professional development strategy should have clearly defined goals, communication and commitment.

The paper, titled “A Strategy for the Development of Principled Professionals,” is part of AUSA’s Landpower Essay Series. Read the full essay here.