SIG Sauer Academy

Leadership as a Core Competency from the McChrystal Group

In a recent blog post entitled “Leadership as a Core Competency” author Joe Wollfel a Sr. Consultant with the McChrystal Group and former Navy SEAL, discusses successful traits for a practitioner leader.

The power of practical leadership lies in the integration of high-performing individuals’ skills and ideas, not the mastery of the individual leader in his or her field or function: the leader’s function is leadership.

It contains excellent pointers for someone in charge of a group of high-performers. Such conditions are often found in SOF units with highly competent and experienced NCOs being led by a generalist officer. As these officers are often still early in their careers and serious go-getters themselves, there is a tendency to compete with the troops. Years ago, I served with one such performance obsessed young officer. “Bob” was in constant competition with his team, whether at the shooting range or at the gym, he wanted to outdo everybody. I remember speaking with him about his overtly competitive behavior. It wasn’t exactly making him very popular with the men so I tried to explain to him that he needed to learn as much as he could about his charges, their strengths and weaknesses so that when he needed them, he’d know how to make best use of their skills. He never got it and ended up getting out of the Air Force. It’s too bad. He had a lot to offer but he wasn’t willing to learn how to lead.

So, it was refreshing to read this article by Wollfel. Take a few minutes to read it and see how you can apply these principles to your leadership experience.


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