Direct & Indirect Leadership

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Direct vs. Indirect Leadership

The term leadership is a word taken from the common vocabulary and incorporated into the technical vocabulary, of a scientific discipline without being precisely redefined. As a consequence, it carries extraneous connotations that create ambiguity of meaning (Janda, 1960).

Leadership has been described as the “process of social influence, in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task”. Social influence occurs when an individual's thoughts, feelings or actions are affected by other people, i.e... conformity, peer pressure and socialization. (Wikipedia).

The military definition of Leadership is influencing people—by providing purpose, direction, and motivation—while operating to accomplish the mission and improving the organization. Getting people to do what you want them to do. It is the means or method to achieve two ends: operating and improving. But there’s more to influencing than simply passing along orders. The example you set is just as important as the words you speak. And you set an example—good or bad—with every action you take and word you utter, on or off duty. Through your words and example, you must communicate purpose, direction, and motivation (FM 22-100 Chapter 1The Leadership Framework).

Military leadership could be different from the rest of the world. Most corporations, companies and jobs are not bound by and oath, some may be. But what they do have in common, you don’t get to pick your leadership style.

In the army you were sworn by an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States, against all enemies foreign and domestic so help you God and obey the orders of those appointed over you. In others words you didn’t have a choice, to pick what style of leadership you wanted. Most military leadership is a form of direct leadership. Generals communicate with field Commanders through...
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