Executive Education

Lead your Team Like a General


Throughout the world, military has been at the forefront of effective leadership models. They should be, they are in situations that often have zero room for error. While the stakes for business leaders are not typically life and death, we can learn a lot from how the military develops its leaders.

The U.S. Army is no exception to building great leaders. They have broken leadership down into three core competencies. These competencies are the guiding principles of effective leaders

  • Leading
  • Developing
  • Achieving

Let’s dive into these further.


Leading your team with the proper authority, commitment, influence, and trust can mean the difference between success and failure. A big part of leading is your influence. Influence is gained by building trust and authority.

Use these 4 tips to lead your team

  • Lead others with clear direction and enforced standards while balancing the care of the team against goal requirements
  • Extend your influence to operate with all levels and areas of the organization. Learn how to influence in areas where you don’t have authority
  • You are the example for your team, good or bad. Your team will use your example to guide them in decision making.
  • Communicate clearly with your team. In order for them to be successful, they need to understand the expectation through clear messages both spoken and written.

Developing yourself


Developing is all about improving not only your team but yourself. Leaders need to find time to not only focus on their team’s development but development for themselves as well. By focusing on developing ourselves and our teams we create an opportunity to leave the organization better than we found it. We can also expect others to do the same.

Great leaders strive to leave an organization better than they found it and expect others to do the same.

Developing yourself and team can be achieved through these 3 tips:

  • Develop a climate and culture that is consistent and focused on the success of your team and the organization.
  • Assess the needs of your team and provide opportunities to support their personal and professional growth through mentoring and coaching.
  • Seek opportunities for you to learn and grow. After all, the team needs a #leader that is always ready to step up to the next unexpected challenge


As you discuss achieving you will focus on setting goals and building a road map. Building a clear approach and defining goals you can lead your team to success. Projects should be consistently measured for successful completion.

Achieving success can be done using the following tips:

  • Provide clear direction and guidance of priorities. Show your team what needs to be done and how.
  • Develop and execute plans that are focused on accomplishing the goal. Anticipate needs and manage the resources to get it done.
  • Accomplish tasks and projects consistently and ethically. Understand the strengths and weaknesses of each project and how to improve performance over time.
  • Achieving is about setting goals in the short term to ensure long term success.

Provide clear direction and guidance of priorities

By leading your team like a general you can inspire and grow your team to consistently achieve success.

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Adam Sinkus
Adam Sinkus, Chief Operations Officer at Elevare and My Roofing SEO. Adam Sinkus is an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine.