Military leaders are challenged daily with the charge of affecting positive change in their organizations. Throughout this essay, several ways in which traditional leadership theories, as well as how various leadership styles are used to satisfy this demand will be explored. Also explored will be the use of transactional and transformational leadership styles associated with military leaders as well as the roles that military leadership plays in an organization’s vision, mission, and strategy.
Leadership Theory Applied to Military Leaders
Looking throughout history, if one were to look at the great military leaders, many would most likely associate the Great Man theory with the legendary exploits of leaders like Grant, Lee, and Eisenhower. Many would argue that some people are just born with natural leadership ability as in the Great Man theory, which later evolved into trait theory. While it may seem like some are just born with greater leadership potential than others perhaps it is more likely that some poses a greater level ability to assess a situation as well as a higher level of extroversion than others.
It is more likely that great military and civilian leaders alike apply an approach that is more likened to Hershey-Blanchard’s situational leadership model. Situational leadership theory states that instead of using just one style, successful leaders should change their leadership styles based on the maturity of the people they 're leading and the details of the task (Blanchard, et al. 1993). Since the situational approach is “ based on the premise that leaders will match their directive and supportive styles to meet followers’ level of development” (Weis...
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...le in which all personnel are required to comply with the rules and regulations of those appointed over them. From the beginning, new recruits are subjected to this type of leadership style to the point that it becomes a new way of life. New members are told exactly what to wear, when to eat, when to sleep, when to speak, how to fold their clothes, and make their bed to exacting standards. If those standards are not met, there are consequences. To those on the outside this may seem a bit extreme, however the underlying function of this method is to set a foundation of attention to detail and a culture of excellence as well as that there are consequences for failing to follow orders. Failure to follow orders or perform one’s duties flawlessly in combat could result in loss of life, hence the importance of it remaining an undertone throughout one’s military career.
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