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7 Army Leadership Traits

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A lot of time, effort and money have gone into the study of Leadership. So it’s no surprise that leadership is a much sought after quality that most of the organizations look for in the candidates who apply for jobs. Just like any other organization, the Indian Armed Forces also seek leadership qualities in the candidates. But why is it so important? Why is so much of emphasis been given to make each and every employee a leader and why is it that only a handful emerges as leaders? Who exactly is a leader?


A leader is someone who will direct the team members towards a certain goal and at the same time work with the team members to realise and achieve that goal. A leader is an individual who understands the importance of working together with people.



Coming to our Armed Forces where a clear distinctive hierarchy exists, the role of a leader is very important. The troops, the soldiers all depend on their officers (the leaders) to show and guide them through difficult situations. The responsibility of the troops lies solely on their leader. It’s no wonder that leadership is an important sought after quality and is one of the 15 OLQs.

Following are some of the army leadership traits:

  1. Confidence: The army leaders are confident individuals. They know what to do, how to do it and when to do it. The confidence of the leader in turn motivates and reassures the team members. An effective leader cannot lack confidence, for it would not evoke trust of the subordinates in him/her. Failure isn’t an option for army leaders.
  2. Communication: An effective leader communicates with his/her subordinates. Imagine a leader who doesn’t provide you with feedbacks and who doesn’t inquire about the status of your task. Such a leader wouldn’t be considered an effective one at all. Communication in the form of feedback and advice as well as listening to the issues and suggestions subordinates is important.
  3. Determination and Motivation: Imagine a leader who isn’t driven towards his work, or a leader who isn’t much bothered to fulfil and achieve the goals. Such a leader wouldn’t be a great example for his subordinates would he? An army leader will always be determined to complete the tasks that have been assigned to them and their team. They are always high on energy which acts as a great motivator the troops and the other team members. The army leaders are always motivated, irrespective of the severe climatic conditions or the dangerous situations. They are themselves motivated and motivate the troops as well. They focus on the greater good rather than focussing on themselves.
  4. Optimism: We all are aware of the tough conditions in which our Armed Forces soldiers serve our nation. In such situations which can get easily depressing, the optimism of their leader is very important. I’m sure we all will agree when I say that having a boss who’ll guide you is better than having a boss who’ll drag you into the mud.
  5. Supportive and Encouraging: Never have I come across any Armed Forces personnel who doesn’t support, guide and encourage his/her subordinates and even the colleagues for that matter. A true army leader will always be supportive and encourage the team members to think innovatively, to take risks, to tell the truth.7 Army Leadership Traits
  6. Quick decision-making ability and Reasoning ability: The nature of the job of the Armed Forces personnel includes uncertainty. One moment everything might seem alright and the next moment the situation might change completely. Due to such unpredictable and uncertain nature of the job, quick decision-making ability is an essential trait that must be present in the officers. In the heat of the moment, a decision may backfire. To avoid such unfortunate situations, the leaders must possess sound reasoning ability. Upon receiving all the information required to make a decision, a leader will never waste time and just go for it.
  7. Integrity: A leader will have impact on his subordinates only if he has integrity. Being candid, honest, fair and forthright is crucial. An effective leader will always treat people around him the way he wants to be treated.

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Simran Singh
I've spent most of my life in Delhi though I belong to Punjab. Currently, I'm pursuing my Masters in Organisational Behaviour (Psychology). I'm an army brat and aspire to be an Army Officer myself.
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