During my career in the Army, I worked with many different types of leaders. Some were great, most were okay and others were downright incompetent! Through the years, I found that there are five types of Army leaders.
# 1 By the Book
This type of leader focuses exclusively on the regulations. They want to make sure that everything done under their command is 100% by the book 100% of the time. Whenever there is an issue, they quote what the regulation says. To some people, this might sound like a good idea. Unfortunately, anytime you involve humans into the equation, things rarely will go ‘by the book.’ Most of a leader’s important decisions are not in a book. Whenever the book doesn’t tell the leader what to do, they normally lack the judgement to make a good decision.
# 2 The Micro Manager
This is the boss that is a perfectionist and doesn’t think anyone can do as good of a job at something as they can. As a result, they often micro-manage their subordinates and step out of their lane. Instead of “leading” an organization they stay busy doing the work that they should be delegating. Also, many micro-manager bosses don’t know what their real job as a leader is, so they stay busy trying to do other people’s jobs. These types of bosses are very common in the Army.
# 3 The Dictator
The dictator is the person who has let their duty position go to their head. They think that because they are in charge, they have to walk around balking out orders and bossing people around. These leaders lead with brute force and ignorance and rarely do anything to inspire their followers. Their mindset is “I am in charge and you will do what I say.” These leader very seldom advance their career very far.
# 4 The Weenie
This is another type of Army leadership style. These are the leaders who are scared to make a decision or accept responsibility for anything. They constantly have to go to their boss for a decision. They spend all their time trying to stay out of trouble. They are scared to make decisions because they don’t want to make the wrong decision or look bad.
# 5 The Mavericks
This is a rare type of leader, but generally the most effective. The mavericks are the ones that are doers. They are hard workers. They inspire their followers to greatness. They can succeed at any job. They take pride in everything they do and are constantly in the top 5%. They think progress and high standards. These leaders normally get promoted well above their peers and advance to the senior ranks in the Army.
What type of Army leader are you? What can you do to improve your effectiveness as an Army leader? What are your strengths and weaknesses? I highly encourage you to evaluate what type of Army leader you are and look for ways to constantly improve.
What do you think about the 5 types of Army leaders? Feel free to give your opinions, and if you have any questions, ask. Thanks.