September 01, 2016 GPSolo | Feature

Military Leadership: Team Development Through Mentoring and Coaching

Will A. Gunn

One of a leader’s key tasks is developing the people on his or her team. Some observers suggest that a leader who fails to groom his or her successor is a failed leader. For example, John C. Maxwell writes in his 1995 book Developing the Leaders Around You that “if you really want to be a successful leader, you must develop other leaders around you. You must establish a team.” Jack Welsh, former CEO of General Electric (GE), was widely considered a great leader not only because he increased GE’s profits but also because he ran a hugely successful leadership development program that grew leaders for GE and for many other companies. While developing leaders is important to corporations, it is critically important to military organizations in which the possibility always exists that lower-ranking individuals will be forced to step in for their superiors with little or no warning.

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