Army Leadership

Subject: Political
Type: Exploratory Essay
Pages: 4
Word count: 1135
Topics: Army, Military Science, Political Science


Leadership skills focus on leadership behaviors as well as attributes which are necessary towards successful realization of organizational goals. An army’s important goal is towards retaining its soldiers since it’s critical to the nation’s security. Without an emphasis on appropriate leadership in the army, it can contribute to a drop in retention rates. The leadership within the army is, therefore, manifested in various approaches, which range from the good, bad, and the ugly. 

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Army leadership-The good

First, the notable aspect I associate the army leadership is its focus to influence its people. This is through the process of providing direction, purpose, and motivation during the process of operations so as to accomplish a mission, as well as result in organization improvement. The existence of a clear chain of command as evidenced by the different ranks promotes ease of service delivery. This is because, the approach enhances clear communication process, thus, minimizing instances of conflicts. Moreover, I recognize that army leadership focuses on working together in order to better themselves as well as their subordinates (Hesselbein & Shinseki, 2004). The other notable aspect I relate to Army leadership is that it is governed by strong values such as loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, integrity, honor, and personal courage. These values play a significant role in being a foundation of training soldiers be better leaders. As a result, it is often notable that army leadership has value-based characteristics (Manas, 2012). This impacts towards army leadership manifesting leadership attributes such as self-discipline, self-confidence, initiative, and cultural awareness. Thus, army leadership demonstrates the ability to learn, think, reflect, as well as apply what they learn. 

The component of to ‘do’ in Army’s leadership model I find has a great impact on developing good Army leadership. This is particularly because it comprises of three leadership actions which comprise of influencing, operating, and improving. Its incorporation among the soldiers results in the development of leaders who exhibit appropriate leadership skills. Moreover, it influences soldiers’ actions such as communication, decision-making, and motivation (Shinseki, 2012). These form a representation of how the Army makes an evaluation if its leaders are successful in having an influence in the workplace. In this case, therefore, I recognize that Army leaders tend to manifest effectiveness in actions such as planning, execution, and assessing tasks while in missions. This leads to their improvement in team building, resulting in their creation of an environment where there is an increased success, both to the Army leaders as well as the subordinates. As a result, a majority of the military commanders are hailed as being heroes which makes them to be well-recognized for their upstanding service.

Army leadership-The Bad

I find that Army leadership is not always perfect in its leadership approaches. This is particularly due to its model of ‘be, know, and do’ leadership approach which often tends to adopt authoritarian leadership style. Rather than this, army leadership should change and instead adopt ‘be, learn, and do’ leadership approach. My perspective on this is mainly because, if a leader thinks that they ‘know’, there is a likelihood for them to be ineffective since learning is often a continuous process (Motowidlo & Borman, 2008). 

Moreover, I also find that the focus of the army leadership towards only a successful mission accomplishment is not an appropriate leadership. Instead, the focus should also be towards an emphasis on essential skills as opposed to only successful mission accomplishments. In this case, therefore, as evidenced in the U.S military commanders, the training process is focused towards hardening them. As a result, the subordinates are often verbally abused by their leaders, and in many instances, they are meted with profanity-fused outbursts whenever they fail at any given task. This has a negative impact on the morale of the soldiers as their effort is never recognized but rebuked by their leaders for any failure (Freibel & Raith, 2004)

Furthermore, I find that the need to only follow orders without questioning is not appropriate leadership approach. The dictatorial style of leadership within the Army tends to further oppress the subordinates. This has a negative impact on the workplace environment as the ideas of the juniors is not welcomed (Manas, 2012. Therefore, regardless where a decision made lacks proper judgment, it is implemented, and thus, can potentially have negative effects to the society or can place the lives the involved soldiers at risk. This is especially where the army leaders make poor decisions in the event of war, with the subordinates only having an option to comply with the command and proceed as ordered without questioning. The dictatorial leadership approach in the Army further generates a poor working environment in the military. As a result, the soldiers are not provided with adequate resources which can promote their service delivery. Instead, the soldiers have to work under difficult conditions without necessary resources to facilitate their work since the leaders do not place a priority towards realizing a good working climate (Shinseki, 2012).  

Army leadership-The ugly

The experiences of toxic leadership are one of the issues I perceive as an ugly aspect of army leadership. This particularly comprises of those bosses who tend to make employees miserable in the process of their service delivery. At the workplace, many cases have been evidenced whereby the Army leaders are cruel and oppressive. Through their adoption of such behavior, majority of the subordinates are mistreated and they have no one to report to concerning such issues but only to suffer in silence. This type of destructive leadership within the army do potentially have life-threatening consequences since it often leads to mental health problems among the soldiers (Hesselbein & Shinseki, 2004). As a result of such leadership, some soldiers have committed, or have attempted suicide because of being subjected to stressful leadership. Also, the health, as well as the marriage of such subordinates has been negatively affected due to daily instances of being yelled at by their leaders.

Over the recent times, cases of embarrassing issues have shaken the army leaders. This is especially whereby most of them have found themselves in trouble for activities such as gambling and drinking. I find that this pictures army leadership as to lack ethical responsibility in the process of their service delivery (Manas, 2012). The existence of such misconduct lowers the dignity of the army leadership.

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The development and enhancement of key leadership skills is of critical importance to the Army leadership. This is particularly because it has an impact towards retention rates quality soldiers who have a significant role in maintaining the security of a nation. Moreover, the existence of effective leadership can greatly contribute in motivating the morale of the subordinates. There is, therefore, a need to adjust Army leadership-training program, in order to promote a collaborative workforce and develop motivated staff.

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  1. Freibel, G., & Raith, M. (2004) Abuse of authority and hierarchical communication. RAND Journal of Economics, 35(2), 224-245.
  2. Hesselbein, F., & Shinseki, E. K. (2004). Be-know-do: Leadership the Army way : adapted from the official Army Leadership Manual. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  3. Manas, P. (2012). Army leadership. New York: Manas Publications.
  4. Motowidlo, S. J., & Borman, W. C. (2008). Relationships between military morale, motivation, satisfaction, and unit effectiveness, Journal of Applied Psychology, 4(3),63, 47.
  5. Shinseki, E. (2012). U.S. Army white paper: Concepts for the objective force. Washington DC: Department of the Army.
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