From Figure 1-1:  Attributes required of a leader in the Army field guide include: 

  1. "Character - Army Values, Empathy, Warrior Ethos, Service Ethos, Discipline,"
  2. "Presence - Military bearing, Professional bearing, Fitness, Confidence, Resilience,"
  3. "Intellect - Mental agility, Judgement, Innovation, Interpersonal tact, Expertise,"

Competencies required of a leader in the Army field manual include:

  1. "Leads - Leads others, builds trust, Extends influence, Leads by example, Communicates,"
  2. "Develops - Creates a positive environment, Prepares self, Develops others, Stewards the profession,"
  3. "Achieves - Gets results; Integrates tasks, roles, resources , and priorities; Improves performance; gives feedback; executes (takes action on plans); adjusts. (changes plans as needed)"

From the U.S. Army Field Manual 6-22 Leader

Development, [pdf], (June 30, 2015), shared for

educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. 

​A model or table or graph helps make complex topics more manageable. One skill can be considered at a time or a group of skills can be considered in relation to another group. Lists of criteria to consider can help track progress and plan future goals or note areas where skills are lacking and additional training or team members may be needed to fill the gap.

     The Army field manual includes a few example evaluation forms that are fairly specific to military needs. The requirements suggested in Figure 1-1 for leadership may be helpful in general for anyone interested in evaluating and improving their own or their team's effectiveness as leaders and teammates.

A checklist can be used to track progress or note areas of strength or weakness:

1.      Attribute - Character
2.      Army Values
3.      Empathy
4.      Warrior Ethos
5.      Service Ethos
6.      Discipline

7.      Attribute - Presence
8.     Military bearing
9.     Professional bearing
10.   Fitness
11.   Confidence
12.   Resilience

13.   Attribute - Intellect
14.   Mental agility
15.   Judgement
16.  Innovation
17.   Interpersonal tact
18.   Expertise

19.   Competency - Leads
20.   Leads others
21.   Builds trust
22.   Extends influence
23.   Leads by example
24.   Communicates

25.   Competency - Develops
26.   Creates a positive environment
27.   Prepares self
28.   Develops others
29.   Stewards the profession

30.   Competency - Achieves
31.   Gets results
32.   Integrates tasks, roles, resources, and priorities
33.   Improves performance
34.   Gives feedback
35.   Executes (takes action on plans)
36.   Adjusts (changes plans as needed)


20 Science Questions

Disclaimer: this information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. 

that U.S. presidential candidates were asked in 2016

If someone is going the wrong way and you think you know a safer way, then it seems ethically wrong to me to not try to help warn of the danger and point out the safer path.

I value help and try to take advice when it seems like a good idea and that I am capable of achieving.                                                               

Disclaimer: this information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. 

How can we tell if a leader is fit for duty? The 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that a President may be removed from office due to their being "unable to discharge the powers and duties"  of the office, however a specific description or requirements for being fit enough to fulfill the duties and discharge the powers of the President's office is not included.

  • A psychiatrist reviewed a variety of sources and found guidance in a field manual written for a division of the U.S. military. Read more: "Is Trump mentally fit to be president?  Let's consult the U.S. Army's field manual on leadership,"  by Prudence L. Gourguechon,   (L.A.Times, June 16, 2017).
  • The U.S. Army’s “Field Manual 6-22 Leader Development" is approved for public release with unlimited distribution. It is 188 pages and includes guidance for training exercises to help improve skills the army considers helpful for leaders and indicators for assessing leadership potential and current skills.
  • Learning tasks and areas to develop included in the manual are available in a list on this site: 25th Amendment and Fit for Duty
  • Areas to develop include leading others, building trust, extending influence beyond the immediate chain of command, leading by example, communicating well, creating a positive environment and cheerful mood among the team, preparing oneself, developing others, stewarding the profession, and getting results.  


Traits or skills the Army considers requirements for effective leadership are grouped into attributes and competencies in a model, Figure 1-1.

     Attributes to develop in a leader include character, presence, and intellect and competencies include leads, develops, and achieves.

The U.S. Army field manual (FM 6-22) on Leader Development includes material and jargon that wouldn't directly apply to workers in a business setting however much of the guidance may be helpful for anyone interested in assessing and developing their own and their team's skills in leadership and effectiveness at working together.  Table 1-2 includes criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of a team:

​​​​To lead, one must first learn how to follow -- how to follow the common sense advice from parents and teachers and other leaders,  but then as we mature as adults in charge of our own actions, we also have to learn when to ignore the group and follow our own common sense -- what is working today, here and now, in this current environment for us as an individual or for us as a group?

     The common sense tactics that we are used to using  traditionally, may not work as effectively in the modern situation. Denying that change has occurred can be a natural instinct. The familiar routine seems safer to our instincts but in a changed environment it may no longer be the safest strategy and may have become a dangerous one.

      Recognizing that change has occurred and adapting to the new circumstances is part of being an effective leader. Adjusting a plan as needed is included in the competency skill termed Achieves

     The emotional support a child receives from parents or other caregivers or role models can have a lasting effect on how the child relates to others and their tendency to trust or be fearful of others as an adult. It can affect a child's ability to work well with others and with society versus acting out.

An excerpt from "The Politics of Attachment; towards a secure society":

  • "He [David Utting] highlights the thesis that the quality of attachments formed by children and adolescents is the key to healthy social behaviour. Securely attached children are more likely to be socially active, sought out by other children, peer leaders and sympathetic to peer distress (Waters et al 1979). Such attachments may be formed not just with family members but with other significant figures including teachers and friends, and also, by extension, with social institutions, notably schools, whose ethos has the capacity to foster a respect for others (Rutter et al 1979)." 
  • -The Politics of Attachment; towards a secure society. (eds) Sebastian Kraemer and Jane Roberts. London: Free Association Books, 1996 [pdf]

Attachment style is a term used in the area of early child development to describe the types of emotional connection commonly seen between children and their caregivers. Three basic styles have been observed which include secure, avoidant, and anxious. [The styles are described in an interview. video]

     The secure style may seem ideal as it supports the child's creativity and autonomy but in a dangerous environment a more fear based child-rearing style may have had some benefits in producing adults with more caution or ability to follow their group's leader without question.

     In the business setting the attachment style of  individuals and of the management style can affect the mood and effectiveness of the group. Customers can lose trust in a business when they perceive a negative work environment. 

  • Marcel Paulssen, Attachment Styles in Business to Business Relationships, Humboldt-University of Berlin, Germany [pdf]
  • Badger and Winters, Quantifying the Effect of Objectifying Women in Advertising, []

Attachment styles from early childhood and how secure we feel in general seems to affect how trusting we tend to be with others or with willingness to try a new product. Our early childhood experiences may also impact our political choices more than we realize. The topic of building trust by recognizing those early childhood values is included in the book Moral Politics, which was discussed in more detail on the previous page of this site, Fit for Duty.

  •  Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think, 3rd Ed." by George Lakoff (2016, *previous editions 1996, 1st, 2002,2nd) U.Chicago Press

"Core values" is used in the attachment theory work from the area of early childhood development rather than "moral values," but both refer to the  idea that we have underlying beliefs, learned in childhood, that guide our choices without our always being consciously aware that a choice was being made.

     Or we might be aware that there is a choice between "good" and "bad" but our definition of which choice is good and which is bad might not match someone else's because the underlying core values on which each person is basing their choices don't match. This point is stressed in the book Moral Politics. Conservatives and liberals may both feel moral about making a "good" choice but they may not realize that the other person might think the choice is "bad" or even "evil."

     Both the education from our early childhood experiences and our genetic potential may be involved however. Differences have been found between the brain structure of conservatives and liberals. MRI scans found the size of several areas of the brain that are involved in emotional processing and decision making to be different.

     Conservatives have been found to respond more strongly to issues involving emotions of fear and disgust which are also emotions more associated with the amygdala in neuroscience. An increased sense of insiders and outsiders has also been found more prevalent in conservatives than liberals and which may also be more associated with activity of the amygdala.


The liberal brain may be more open to new experiences and more able to see a need for change to occur, while the conservative brain may feel safer with the routine. Viewing each other as specialized in different ways and therefore having value in different ways might help us work together more effectively as a team.

     My own early childhood likely left me with a mixture of styles. Inconsistency was sometimes an issue which work in the area of attachment styles suggests can be more emotionally difficult for the child than learning how to survive in a negative environment that is consistently negative - except in the case of severe abuse.

  1. Secure attachment typically occurs when the caregiver is available when the child is fearful but who isn't overly protective or controlling when the child is happily playing or exploring.
  2. Avoidant attachment may occur when a main caregiver doesn't respond to the child's verbal cues or body language - smiles are ignored instead of being returned.
  3. Anxious attachment may occur when a main caregiver allows little freedom for the child to explore without being stopped or cautioned in some way.

As we mature over the decades our social skills and ability to understand and work with others tends to improve. Attachment styles and our core values can be changed with therapy and practice but it isn't easy. Recognizing that core values can affect our decisions may be an easier place to start.

     The list of requirements for a leader in the U.S. Army can also be an easy place to start because in a way it is a list of values as well as skills. It is unlikely that people become proficient at something unless they also value the activity or attitude.

     When we practice an "attitude of gratitude" we can become both more aware of our strengths and reduce weakness by reducing negative affects of stress.  The fitness demands of a leader are somewhat realistic because physical health and healthy habits can help overcome the negative affects of stress. However some disability might be able to be overcome with the aid of technology or extra staffing support.

     My own skill set has strengths but it also has gaps which I recognized but I was concerned that better nutrition care and more effective health care are necessary for the overall health of the nation and stability of the economy. "Insurance" doesn't buy health. It can help pay for medical care but it can't "insure" that the care will be effective. Diagnosing and treating underlying causes needs to be more of a focus than our current for-profit system is providing. A not-for-profit preventative care model could help prevent chronic illness and birth defects and save quality of life and reduce overall health care costs. 
     I had hoped to travel and meet others who might want to help, but my physical health (#10) was not adequate for traveling or for endurance activities, or excessive heat and sunshine, or for eating much variety of food. So whether I have good social skills (#17) and the ability to build trust (#21) is important but physically being able to travel places is also important for a leader.

So my slogans over the years have reflected that my goals were focused more on sharing information than promoting myself as an ideal leader:

  • Free Information Day
  • Take It or Leave It Campaign
  • A vote for me is a bad idea, but a vote for magnesium is a good idea. 

For clarity, an explanation of each:

  • Free Information Day = this is free info that I'm making available with no strings attached beyond the general copyright included on a website.
  • Take It or Leave It Campaign = 2012, this is free info that I'm making available with no strings attached beyond the general copyright included on a website and which I'm not overtly promoting in anyway besides posting it on a website.
  • A vote for me is a bad idea, but a vote for magnesium is a good idea.  =  this might seem passive-aggressive but it is simply stating two facts - I, as a candidate, am not ideal. Magnesium and more effective health care as a platform however, in my opinion, is essential for a healthy future for humans and our planet. Our health care choices and agricultural and industrial choices are affecting the longterm viability of our environment and human fertility.  
  • --And the second point seemed important enough to deliver no matter my fitness, I can pass a baton from a metaphorical)wheelchair or type a memo.