Military Leadership Characteristics

United States military lined up outside
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It is the job of the military to ensure the sovereignty of a nation. To carry out this responsibility and to ensure the safety of the country's citizens that it is defending, the military needs to have good leaders. Certain traits are common for leaders across any field. However, given the type of duties that military leaders have to execute, they are expected to have greater competencies in certain leadership characteristics than in others.

1 Courage

Military leaders typically need to have courage to overcome fear of bodily harm while carrying out their duty for the nation. They must also have the courage to stand for the decisions they make and to face the consequences of their choices..

2 Selflessness

Military leaders need to show an exemplary sense of selflessness. They have to sacrifice personal gain and comfort for the sake of the people they fight for and the men they lead.

3 Good Planner

Planning is required in every field of work. A military leader must be exceptionally skilled at mission planning, as it is not just money and technology, but lives, at stake in military missions.

4 Quick Thinker

Military leaders face situations that may be a matter of life and death. Effective military leaders must be quick thinkers. They find quick solutions to problems of strategic importance.

5 People Skills

Military leaders must lead the service members under their comman. For this, "people skills" are critical. The Army regulation, as ordered by Peter J. Schoomaker, 35th Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, recognizes effective communication as one of the core leader competencies of the U.S. Army personnel. Not only must good military leaders be good communicators, but they must also be patient and active listeners. They must be approachable and must be able to reach out to others, as well.

6 Cool Temperament

Situations that a military leader faces are often grave. Effective military leaders must be able maintain a cool temperament even in the tightest of the situations. They must be patient, understand the situation at hand and then make the decision most suitable to meet the challenge.

7 Lead by Example

Military personnel are required to have a commendable strength of character. Military leaders can instill in service members the values and ethics expected of them, by adhering to their principles at all times.

8 Other Characteristics

Will, determination, discipline and intelligence are some of the other characteristics that a military leader should possess. Besides having these mental and behavioral attributes, military leaders must also be interested in political developments around the world. They should have an inquisitive minds that absorb information quickly. This will help them react quickly and to make the best decisions in most adverse situations.