Academic Essay - Military Leadership Theory

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Academic Essay - Military Leadership Theory

ABSTRACT

While researching the Military Leadership theory I was able to discover many interesting philosophies and ideals that transfer seamlessly to the business world. It is my belief that many of today’s organizations derive their structure to the military’s hierarchical structure and leadership model. This is evident by almost every organization’s “top down” management structure regardless of its size. As I will discuss, the military typically has a primary leader or decision maker and communicates commands down to the field personnel through various levels within the organization. This model is almost identical to what we see if most, if not all, of today’s business organizations throughout the world.

Leadership Defined

The US Army defines leadership as “The process of influencing people by providing purpose, direction, and motivation, while operating to accomplish the mission and improve the organization.”[1] The definition alone can sound rather generic and not very revealing in to how the military’s theory of leadership may vary from others. In many cases, it the Military Theory of leadership appears to be quite similar to many organizations. For example, the US Army is a hierarchical structure with commands coming from the top, communicated through the various channels within the organization until a local manager delivers the command directly to the field employee.

The military uses the shorthand expression “BE-KNOW-DO” to concentrate on key factors of leadership. What leaders DO emerges from who they are (BE) and what they KNOW.[2] As mentioned previously, the US Army and other services are organized in to hierarchies of authority so that they are able to function effectively on the battlefield. The US Army’s hierarchy begins with the individual soldier and extends through the ranks to the civilian leadership including the Secretary of The Army, Secretary of Defense, and The President...
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