Leading and Controlling Americas Finest with PTSD
Statement of the problem
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, 10 to 18 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans may have post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. The sleeplessness, anger, anxiety and sense of isolation that can accompany the disorder pose tremendous challenges for veterans and their families, and there's an enduring stigma around mental health care that still discourages many from seeking help. (Erin P. Finley 2011). Solving the problem of how to better serve Soldiers with PTSD and ensuring fair and equal treatment from Soldiers and leaders without the disorder is vital to the Army's organizational structure. PTSD is not just limited to subordinate Soldiers; Leaders at all level have developed this disorder.
Soldiers are worried that being diagnosed with PTSD will have an effect on their security clearance. Many Soldiers expressed an unwillingness to participate in behavioral or psychological health programs based on the perception that a "Yes" answer to the mental health question (Q21) on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management Standard Form 86 Questionnaire for National Security Positions would lead to denial, suspension or possible loss of a security clearance. ( Tamara Haire 2009). Leaders must be properly trained to recognize signs of PTSD in Soldiers. All levels of leaders must have a clear understanding of the management function controlling and leading in order to lead Americas finest.
Statement of major relevant principles to be applied
Fayol's 14 principles of management are listed on page 44 of Bateman and Snell's Management leading & competitive world. I have selected seven management principles that I feel are relevant.
-Authority: “Delegate authority along with responsibility”. PTSD can manifest itself in many
ways. As a manager it is important to become familiar with the most common symptoms: Depression, Cynicism and distrust of authority/government, Anger, alienation etc. (Re-posted from the Kitsap Sun 2011) This way, you are better prepared to lead Soldiers with this disorder. You will also be able to strategically delegate authority among the leaders and soldier diagnosed.
-Discipline: “Make expectations clear and punish violations”. The fact that some units are more resilient than others is clearly attributable to leadership. PTSD is an emotional response to situational or environmental stressors that requires leaders who understand the influence of emotions on human response and can use emotional competence to create environments that enhance resilience. Current military doctrine does not adequately emphasize integration of emotional intelligence in leadership development. (Ramona M. Fiorey 2010)
-Centralization: “Determine the relative importance of superior and subordinate roles”. Using the different methods of leadership and controlling, a clear understanding of role should be established between management and employee. Although I only talk about two of the management functions, all functions are needed to accurately define roles and responsibility in the work environment. Understanding the roles leaves little to no confusion which might irritate a leader or subordinate that has been diagnosed with PTSD.
-Scalar chain: “Keep communication within the chain of command”. All levels of management must be informed of all situations surrounding the work place. Lack of communication can make the work environment unstable thus making it a difficult place for personnel diagnosed with PTSD to function at optimum levels. This can ultimately jeopardize production and quality of work.
-Equity: “Fair discipline and order enhance employee commitment”. Some may argue that “What we have is a military that's not set up to care for these soldiers with PTSD”. Tod Ensign is an attorney and the director of Citizen...
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