The Army FM 6-22 (which used to be FM 22-100 in my day) defines a leader as:
…anyone who by virtue of assumed role or assigned responsibility inspires and influences people to accomplish organizational goals. Army leaders motivate people both inside and outside the chain of command to pursue actions, focus thinking, and shape decisions for the greater good of the organization.
The Army bases its leadership principles on what is called the BE, KNOW, DO model.
BE: Character describes a person’s inner strength, the BE of BE, KNOW, DO. Your character helps you know what is right; more than that, it links that knowledge to action. Character gives you the courage to do what is right regardless of the circumstances or the consequences.
KNOW: A leader must have a certain level of knowledge to be competent. That knowledge is spread across four skill domains. You must develop interpersonal skills, knowledge of your people and how to work with them. You must have conceptual skills, the ability to understand and apply the doctrine and other ideas required to do your job. You must learn technical skills, how to use your equipment. Finally, warrior leaders must master tactical skills, the ability to make the right decisions concerning employment of units in combat. Tactical skills include mastery of the art of tactics appropriate to the leader’s level of responsibility and unit type.
DO: The DO of Army leadership doctrine, are the actions a leader takes. Leader actions include-
- Influencing: making decisions, communicating those decisions, and motivating people.
- Operating: the things you do to accomplish your organization’s immediate mission.
- Improving: the things you do to increase the organization’s capability to accomplish current or future missions.