Developed as a joint effort by the US Naval War College (NWC) Operational and Strategic Leadership College (COSL) department and the Naval Leadership and Ethics Center (NLEC), the Intermediate Leadership Course (ILC ) is designed to replace the former Navy Department Chief. Leadership courses.
The course was developed to directly reflect the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Lines of Effort (LOE) found in the CNO design for maintaining maritime superiority as well as supporting NWC’s mission to educate leaders . The course is designed to prepare mid-level naval officers for department head or key community positions of similar responsibility by fostering professional growth in ethics, self-awareness, leadership and decision making.
Initial reactions from the first class of students have been positive.
“Great discussion on ethics,” said Alexander Homme, an ILC participant and student judge advocate general (JAG). “In university and law school, I never received enough ethics training and found the course useful and relevant. We had a good debate after class about whether or not the JAG Corps is the conscience of the Navy; and the discussion of ethics and reading in class got us all thinking about the subject.
After taking over a year to develop the ILC course, NLEC and COSL took the time to not only develop the course, but also test it on students to ensure it had the right changes to make the positive difference to support CNO priorities, particularly LOE Gold which is focused on developing leaders and strengthening our Navy team. The course grew out of the CNO Developed Leadership Development Continuum Council (members represent all of the various Navy committees) who saw the need for a more robust course to ensure a clearer leadership development continuum .
“ILC is targeted for the middle ranks, or ‘critical middle’, which is so important to an organization’s culture,” said Captain Peter Mantz, NLEC commander. “Most importantly, we challenge students through reflection, facilitate rich discussions and case studies to stretch them. These command leaders cannot expect to develop their teams until they develop themselves. Our hope is that they leave this course with a renewed sense of purpose as key leaders within their organization and a sense of ownership over their professional development. »
Student-led discussions are used extensively with ILC, allowing selected leaders to share their experiences and then discuss the pros and cons among themselves.
“I enjoyed the small group conversations we had on topics such as the philosophies behind leadership and ethical dilemmas,” said Kathryn Para, ILC participant and JAG student.
The need for the course was confirmed as several students commented on the importance of learning self-awareness and resolving the ethical dilemmas that middle leaders face in the Fleet.
“Ethics, leadership and general conversations were the biggest strengths of the course,” said Nicole Staring, ILC participant and JAG student. “I really enjoyed the conversations and I feel like I learned a lot about my colleagues through the conversations. I was forced to take into account a lot of different opinions and types of leadership and I think it is the best way to learn your own style of leadership.