Important Role of Leadership Quality and Professionalism

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Dedication, strength, honor, and integrity, are just a few of the descriptive words that can be used to define a leadership role. Accountability, knowledge, as well as integrity are words used to help describe professionalism. Notice how the words used to describe these roles are very similar and carry similar importance. In this essay leadership and professionalism will be discussed. Not in a general sense but more specifically how these roles play a huge part in the Army. This essay will help emphasize how important it is that we as Soldiers use leadership and professionalism in everything we do.

Leadership is a quality that not all of us wear externally, so to speak. Leadership is something that is in all of us, some of us just have to work harder to bring out. To those who think to themselves, “I could never be in charge of others.” “I am no better than anyone else.” “What gives me the authority to tell others what to do?” It is that way of thinking that slowly diminishes the leadership quality that you do possess. As a Soldier it is your job to have the confidence to stand up amongst your peers and lead them. Leadership in the Army could literally be a matter of life or death.

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“An Army of sheep lead by a lion will always defeat an Army of lions led by a sheep”. This is an old African proverb that Alexander the Great was said to of stated in a slightly different way. His version had very much the same meaning. “An army of sheep lead by a lion is better than an army of lions by a sheep.” No matter how you choose to say this it carries the same substantial significance. Lions are strong powerful creatures, we as an individuals have the ability to showcase that same power in us. If all of us are standing behind a leader with the mindset of a sheep, unsure and timid, we are bound to fail. As Soldiers we have the responsibility to stand in front of our Country and lead the sheep amongst us. Leadership is not just a word used to describe someone in power. Leadership is a crucial part of the backbone of who we are as Soldiers.

Professionalism is another very important aspect of who we are as a member of the Army. When you think of a professional what comes to mind? Is it someone in a suit and tie walking into a business meeting? Maybe it is someone who owns their own business and who’s bank account never goes below six figures. Yes in most cases someone of this importance tends to be a professional. However, there are many more professionals amongst us in very different circumstances.

To be a professional is to have abundance of knowledge in something. To have professionalism is to be courteous, understanding, respectful, and show integrity. Someone can be a professional yet not have professionalism. Just as one can have the quality of professionalism yet not be considered a professional in any one particular thing. As a member of the Army we are granted the ability to be a professional as well as hold professionalism in our job. Our MOS status defines us by a professional. We work in that field and perfect our knowledge in our choice of study. When we get dressed every morning and put our uniform on we are not displaying our profession but our professionalism. The way we carry ourselves in this uniform is important. The way we treat others in this uniform helps keep the quality of professionalism alive amongst us.

Leadership and professionalism are at the forefront of what we as Army Soldiers should at all times be displaying. Having a handful of strong outspoken leaders in any one particular unit is necessary and important. Having a unit full of respectful, honest, and dedicated leaders who proudly and humbly show professionalism is vital. As a Soldier you understand the importance of all this, it has been instilled in us since basic. When you start to question your ability to lead or level of professionalism, recite the Creed of the Noncommissioned Officer.

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