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. ” 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.  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 of the United States. The military calls this their 3 distinct leadership roles: – Direct Leadership – Leaders influence through face-to-face contact and are responsible for ensuring that assigned tasks are completed and that those under their command receive the proper training, advice, and support needed. These leaders typically include Captains, Squad Leaders, etc. – Organizational Leadership – Leaders influence through levels of subordinates and are responsible for establishing team objectives. These leaders typically include Colonels, Lieutenants, etc.
) – Strategic Leadership – Leaders at this level are primarily concerned with formulating the strategy behind its military’s offensive or defensive operations. Thusly, leaders are responsible for entire organizations. (Typically, non-commissioned officers. ) Sacred Trust The US Army believes that command is about “Sacred Trust”.
Nowhere else do superiors have to answer for how their subordinates live and act beyond duty hours. Of course, this isn’t entirely true. There are many examples of leaders outside of the military that are responsible for how their subordinates act outside of the work place. For example, coaches of sports teams, police chiefs and captains, to name a few. However, these examples have leadership models which closely resemble that of the military which is why leaders in these fields have the added burden of having to account for their subordinates actions outside of the workplace. Leadership Requirements ModelThe military also employs a Leadership Requirements Model which includes core competencies such as leading others, extending influence beyond the chain of command, leading by example, preparing one’s self, developing leaders, and getting results.
The leadership model’s basic components center around what a leader is and what a leader does. These principles empower the leader to build highly performing organizations. One of the critical components that I believe differentiates the Military Leadership theory from other models is the subordinate’s understanding and agreement to their specific role within the model which is key to it’s success.
For example, within the military it is understood that being a subordinate implies supporting the chain of command and making sure that the team supports the larger organization and it’s purpose. This is critical to the model’s success. This is not to say that there is no communication or feedback from the field level personnel back up the chain of command however, implied orders received from a Direct leader is viewed the same as if it came from The President of the United States himself.Within that single piece of understanding, each subordinate (regardless of rank) sees himself or herself as a leader and is bound by all of the previously discussed leadership requirements. Leadership in Context Many researchers have discussed Military Leadership as it relates to the context of a given nation at that time. For example, Dr. Tim A. Mau and Alexander Wooley wrote, “Effective leadership potentially will be defined differently in each of the broadly defined contexts of peacetime, peacekeeping, and warfighting.
” However, much of the military’s leadership models rely on upholding their primary beliefs regardless of context.A Private within the US Army is expected to carry out a command given by his superior during peacetime with the same ferocity as during warfighting. That chain of command, and each participant’s respect to their role within that chain, is consistent regardless of context. Conclusion Among the various leadership theories the Military Leadership Theory sets itself apart in many ways which we’ve discussed earlier. Most importantly, each participants understanding and agreement to their role within the chain of command. Each individual, regardless of rank or level within the chain of command, is empowered as a leader for a given task.
This empowerment and respect for the chain of command itself is what enables the military to operate so efficiently under what is often extremely stressful situations. Each leader and their subordinate has shared values and/or philosophies which are constantly practices which further strengthens the trust among levels within the hierarchy and ultimately helps to increase the level of efficiency within the organization. REFERENCES FM 6-22Army Leadership (Competent, Confident, and Agile)October 2006 An Integrative Model for Assessing Military Leadership by Dr.
Tim A. Mau and Alexander Wooley (http://www. ournal.
dnd. ca/vo7/no2/wooley-eng. asp) Emotional Intelligence and the Army Leadership Requirements Model by Lieutenant Colonel Gerald F. Sewell, US Army, Retired (http://usacac. army. mil/CAC2/MilitaryReview/Archives/English/MilitaryReview_20091231_art014.
pdf) ———————–  FM 6-22, Army Leadership, October 2006, Glossary pg. 3  FM 6-22, Army Leadership, October 200g, 2-6  FM 6-22, Army Leadership, October 2006, 3-6  FM 6-22, Army Leadership, October 2006, 2-11  FM 6-22, Army Leadership, October 2006, 3-61  An Integrated Model of Assessing Military Leadership (2004)