A Message to Garcia is serves as an inspiration for many reasons. Not only is it a prime example of the “no questions asked” attitude, it also makes you question yourself as a leader. Many will say that this essay is about the subordinate, but to me it envelopes the relationship of the team as a whole to accomplish the mission. Though there are many different leadership styles and principles but in my opinion the most prominent in this essay are communication, trust, and obedience.
The main task in the essay is to get a message delivered to Garcia from President Mckinley. This takes place during the war where quick communication is imperative. However, traditional means, such as mail or telegraph, have gone out the window due to Garcia’s whereabouts being somewhere in the jungles of Cuba. Upon hearing the mission at hand, Rowan was the man for the job. President Mckinley sent for him, gave him the letter, and gave him clear instructions of what needed to be done. With that, Rowan was gone. This is a great example of clear and concise communication. Rowan understood the importance of the mission and set out to do it.
Another key element in the essay is trust. As a leader you have to have trust and confidence in your training, resources, and most importantly your subordinates. How did the president know Rowan was even competent enough to complete the task? The fact is, he didn’t, he trusted the unnamed individual who gave up Rowan for the mission. This person’s trust in Rowan’s abilities was enough for the president. It’s obvious that Rowan has proven himself to be trustworthy and efficient. It also goes to show Rowan’s trust in his leader’s authority.
Lastly, it comes down to obedience. Rowan’s instant willing obedience is what sets him apart from all others. Not once did he question the contents of the letter or even simply inquire as to where Garcia was even located. That in itself, is a remarkable trait to have in one’s character. Not many would act without hesitation and would lose focus on such a task. That is one of the reasons obedience plays a vital role mission accomplishment.
In the end the message is never revealed, nor exactly how Rowan delivered the message. Simply put, those facts are irrelevant. My takeaway from the essay is the leadership and action put through a unit to complete the task at hand. As a leader, you need to be able to communicate with your subordinates and trust them to carry out the order. Just as Rowan was trusted to carry the message to Garcia.
Courtney from Study Moose
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