Leadership Issues

Topics: Leadership, United States Army, Situational leadership theory Pages: 7 (2511 words) Published: April 26, 2006
Abstract
Almost all leadership theories are based on the relative importance assigned to the leader versus the follower in mission accomplishment. Those who believe that leaders are sufficiently enlightened or heroic examples of bold leaders such as Napoleon, Alexander, and Frederick the Great favor the authoritarian model of leadership. "Leadership remains the most baffling of arts as long as they do not know exactly what makes leaders get up out of a hole in the ground and go forward in the face of death at a word from another leader, and then leadership will remain one of the highest and most elusive of qualities. It will remain an art" (James L. Stokesbury). At the turn of the century, social scientists became interested in the worker as a means to improve production. Soldiers represent what's best about the United States Army. Day in and day out, in the dark and in the mud and in faraway places, they execute tough missions whenever and wherever the Nation calls. They deserve the very best leaders of character and competence who act to achieve excellence. Army leadership begins with what the leader must BE the values and attributes that shape a leader's character. Leader's skills are things one must KNOW how to do, competence in everything from the technical side of a job to the people skills a leader requires. A leader cannot be effective, or cannot be a leader, until they apply what they know, until they act and DO what they must. Here are the Army values that guide leaders, and the rest of the Army Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless, Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage. They form the acronym LDRSHIP.

Evolution of Leadership Theory
Reviewing the evolution of leadership theory in this century is important to understanding today's theories and styles. Almost all leadership theory is based on the relative importance assigned to the leader versus the follower in mission accomplishment. Those who believe that leaders are sufficiently enlightened or heroic examples of bold leaders such as Napoleon, Alexander, and Frederick the Great favor the authoritarian model of leadership. Those who have greater confidence in the follower's maturity, capability, and insights favor the democratic model. A perspective of leadership with regard to the respective roles played by the leader and follower has changed noticeably in this century. In the nineteenth century, the industrial revolution pulled many Americans out of rural areas into the city where industry was producing record wealth at the expense of the worker. Working conditions were awful as management ruled, ruthlessly enjoying immeasurable power to hire, fire, and dictate working conditions for the worker. The twentieth century began with a focus almost entirely on a leader dominant theory of leadership that assumed a low opinion of the follower's motivation, maturity, and abilities. In the early part of the twentieth century, child labor laws and unions helped improve working conditions of America workers but also worsen the troublesome relationship between management and labor, leader and follower. The military longed for a defender for authoritarian leaders and also maintained a mostly authoritarian leadership style. At the turn of the century social scientists began to be interested in the worker as a means to improve production, in Management of Organizational Behavior utilizing human resources (APJ 1994). "Leadership remains the most baffling of arts as long as we do not know exactly what makes men get up out of a hole in the ground and go forward in the face of death at a word from another man, and then leadership will remain one of the highest and most elusive of qualities. It will remain an art" (James L. Stokesbury). BE, KNOW, DO

Army leader what one must BE, KNOW, and DO as an Army leader (FM 22-100). Leadership starts at the top. In order to lead others, one must first make sure their own house is in order. The first line of The Creed of the...

References: Be, Know, Do by Army Leadership, Leader to Leader, No. 26 Fall 2002 http://www.l2li.net/leaderbooks/L2L/fall2002/army.html, (LtoL 2002)
Field Manual 22-100 Headquarters Department of the Army, Washington, DC, 31 August 1999
Published Aerospace Power Journal APJ Fall 1994 http://www.airpower.maxwell.af.mil/airchronicles/apj/apj94/waddell.html, (APJ 1994)
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