Impact of Leadership

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Impact of leadership on US Army

Abstract
The United States Army, since its inception in June of 1775, has benefited from leaders understanding styles, skills, traits and management of Soldiers. Leaders of the Army, past and present, have used different leadership methods in order to garner greater results from its Soldiers and employees while overcoming many challenges. The history of leadership has developed over years through the attributes and characteristics of great leaders in the military and civilian sectors. Communication is a great part of leadership skills. Transactional and transformational are two styles of leadership used over the years by the Army. Leadership traits include the following: adaptability to different situations, alert to social environment, assertiveness, communicating, decisive decision making, desire to influence others to be successful, willing to assume responsibility for ones actions and self-confidence. A better understanding of these styles and traits will give leaders an opportunity to succeed.

Introduction
The United States Army, since its inception in June of 1775, has benefited from leaders understanding styles, traits and management of Soldiers. Leaders of the Army, past and present, have used different leadership methods in order to garner greater results from its Soldiers and employees while overcoming many challenges. The accepted definition of Army Leadership is the process of influencing people by providing purpose, direction, and motivation while operating to accomplish the mission and improving the organization. The purpose of this history paper is to explain how leadership styles and skills coupled with traits of leadership have impacted the United States Army throughout time. An example of a stellar leader from one’s past and her overall impact on subordinates will also be discussed. Background

The history of leadership has developed over years through the attributes and characteristics of great leaders in the military and civilian sectors. There has been a large emphasis placed on leadership styles in various situations that has occurred over the years throughout organizations. Organizations have started to consider how to support the complex relationships between individuals in various work environments. The importance of leadership in today’s Army can make the difference in a successful unit and one on the verge of its demise. Typically the manner in which one handle’s leadership situations dictates successes or failures in organizations. Peter Northouse states, “Situational leadership stresses that leadership is composed of both a directive and supportive dimension and that each has to be applied appropriately in a given situation” (2010, p 89). Leadership styles and their meanings can and will vary depending on one person’s perceptions, beliefs, values and company culture. Directive, supporting and transformational styles are options leaders have when deciding on situational approaches to their situation. In one’s opinion, when developing leadership styles it must first be determined what is best for the leader, subordinate and the organization combined. Additionally, it is wise to develop more than one leadership style. Depending on the result that needs to be achieved the leader’s style may need to fluctuate. This opinion is validated according to research done in 1953 by leadership theorists of Ohio State University. The results of this research discovered, there is no one best style and leaders must adjust their leadership style to the situation as well as to the people being led (Johannsen, 2009). In order for organizations, no matter the sector, to be successful it must first understand that leadership and its styles are to be considered as learned behaviors and not just a position. Leaders are no longer considered leaders because they are born that way. Great leaders can be made to understand that they possess the skills...
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