Leadership in the Army Essay

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The Army offers unparalleled opportunities for leadership development, and not just at the theoretical level but also at the practical and applied stages. Nowhere is leadership more important than in the military, which is why the principles taught in this course will continue to resonate with me as I progress in my career. While every lesson has something to offer, the modules on leadership theories and on ethics have proved especially helpful for me to gain insight into different styles and approaches. For example, Big Man theory, trait theory, and situational leadership theories all apply to the Army. Because I have a better understanding of the diversity of leadership styles, my attitudes about leadership have changed since taking this course. Some leaders are more effective as transactional managers, focused on specific tasks and goals, but lack the big picture vision that sets apart servant leaders and visionary leaders. I appreciate that the Army recognizes different theories of leadership, all of which should ultimately be evidence-based, with outcomes proving the efficacy of different styles or approaches. In fact, the Army does allow individual leaders to cultivate specific skills and traits to promote the greater good of the organization—and the country—as a whole.

Other topics I benefitted from the most include those on followership, which is a concept I had never before considered, conflict resolution strategies, and the relationship between power and ethics in leadership.
Followership is an interesting concept in leadership because it switches the emphasis from the leader to the team. In a hierarchical organization like the Army, followership is actually of the upmost importance. Servant leadership is a concept akin to followership, highlighting the relationship between leaders and their followers, and how both are integral to promoting the mission and values of the organization. As Buckner (2014) points out, the Army does not depend on only cultivating a servant leadership approach and certainly does not align itself with models like transformational leadership, which could potentially undermine chain of command. However, the Army always needs situational leaders: those who have a high degree of situational awareness and the ability to respond to change with decisive action. This course has revealed the complexities of Army leadership, in that we need to inspire followership based on principles, values, and intrinsic motivation while also respecting organizational culture and chain of command.

The relationship between power and ethics is also critical to….....

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Buckner, N.E. (2014). Mastering the art of military leadership. NCO Journal. http://ncojournal.dodlive.mil/2014/01/23/mastering-the-art-of-military-leadership/


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