“Soldiers learn to be good leaders from good leaders” Essay
“Soldiers learn to be good leaders from good leaders”
It will be at best a very highly debatable issue (Frances Hesselbein, 2004; Jason A. Santamaria, 2003), the importance of military leadership over civilian leadership, as just fitting and right. Over 228 years of US Military fighting history and existence, only in the past 8 years, already two military volumes of the US Army on Military Leadership had been printed, as we have seen above: the year 1999 FM 22-10 and the year 2006 FM 6-22, representing the US’ foremost military leadership literature.
Why and how the US became a military power may also be attributed to those two manuals which encapsulated especially the US Marines’ superior rigorous and highly-proven training methods over 228 years to produce the US Military’s effective and successful military leaders/officers and soldiers (women from all ranks included).
Without deliberately and unnecessarily comparing and contrasting (though debatable) military leadership and civilian leadership, it just cannot be helped; however, to sufficiently point out only two major differences between them. Obviously, first, the highest stakes are over human life-and-death situations and possible widespread public infrastructure damage by which military leaders could legitimately under military leadership give the orders for the go-ahead, as in “to seek and destroy (with impunity and without prejudice! )”.
Such situation cannot be compared with any other civilian leader, except for the lone duly-elected civilian President also deciding as Commander-in-Chief of the nation under a democratic country where civilian authority is supreme over the military. In other words, hands down, each individual military leader or officer is tasked to the extremes: physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, psychologically, socially, and so on–more than any of his civilian counterpart under any same given conditions (Frances Hesselbein, 2004; Jason A. Santamaria, 2003).
Second, it could be generally inferred that it would be much easier to make the transition by a military leader to become a civilian leader (to be discussed later); than for a civilian leader to become a military one—simply because of more demanding requirements of the civilian individual (or leader) by the military life (Frances Hesselbein, 2004; Jason A. Santamaria, 2003). Civilian leadership may be further subdivided into spiritual leadership in origin or in nature (Greenleaf, 2002), political leadership (Gardner, 1990; Warren Bennis, 1995; Yukl, 2001), and business leadership (Covey, 1900, , 1992, , 2006; Jason A.
Santamaria, 2003; Yukl, 2001). For leaders who are successful in their own fields, yet surprisingly, they still feel themselves very melancholy and unexplainably “unfulfilled”, the most plausible search for their fulfillment, obviously with very strong spiritual undertones, may come from imbibing that concept of servant-leadership, a term coined by Robert K. Greenleaf who wrote Servant Leadership: A Journey into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness, 25th Anniversary Edition as a hardcover (Covey, 2006; Greenleaf, 2002).
Naturally, proponents, advocates, practitioners, and “fanatics” of this “Greenleaf culture” or those practicing spiritual leadership should be, just to give examples, are the so-called Roman Catholic religious orders with lifetime vocations of daily self-denial comprising the monks, missionaries, contemplatives, and so on. Tao Te Ching, ca. 6th century BCE as described in chapter 17, on “servant-leadership” remains to be a timeless ideal (Greenleaf, 2002). Following closely at his heels, Jesus Christ ca. 33 AD sought to teach his disciples that in order to be first they must “wash each other’s feet”.
In other words, taken directly from the Online 1611 King James Version (K. J. V. , 2007) from the gospel evangelists’ accounts, the disciples must seek to serve each other in order to be true leaders from Chapter 13 of the Gospel of John (K. J. V. , 2007). And again, Jesus said that “many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first” meaning that true leadership, according to Jesus, was leadership based on servanthood from Chapter 19 according to the Gospel of Matthew (Covey, 1900, , 1992, , 2006; Gardner, 1990; K. J. V. , 2007).
Thus, now many years later if analyzed, notice Bonaparte’s speaking to man’s soul to electrify man (Army, 1999) for man to join his Army, with the certainty that that man will get killed–can be found in the servant-leader concept during World War II as exquisitely applied by the German people and the German Army in their allegiance to their Fuehrer (Adolf Hitler) of the Fatherland (nation Germany) and by the Japanese people and the Japanese Army in their allegiance to their considered demi-god Emperor (Emperor Hirohito) of their beloved nation Japan.
It really is noteworthy that Larry C. Spears, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Robert K. Greenleaf Center for Servant-Leadership since 1990, summarized Greenleaf’s works by listing down the servant-leaders’ ten (10) characteristics which because of the concept/principle of the servant-leaders’ deep spiritual underpinnings, all the other mentioned habits or values of civilian leadership literature can be included in any one of these ten items. The following list can be considered a veritable “How To’s in Leadership”:
Hence, those other leadership habits or values, also cited accordingly alongside each of these characteristics mentioned are from Stephen R. Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Covey, 1900), Principle-Centered Leadership (Covey, 1992), and The 8th Habit from Effectiveness to Greatness (Covey, 2006); John W. Gardner’s On Leadership (Gardner, 1990); Warren Bennis and Joan Goldsmith’s Learning to Lead (Warren Bennis, 1995); and from Gary Yukl’s Leadership in Organizations (Yukl, 2001). 1. Listening (Greenleaf, 2002):
While other leaders are expected to be excellent communicators and decision-makers, servant-leaders, rather than to be listened to, are now more than ever, expected to listen intently to the others (Greenleaf, 2002). Habit 6, Synergize (of 7 or of 8), that the would-be-leader, believing that the whole is bigger than the sum of the parts, through mutual trust in attentively listening to the other person they could both arrive at the best solution because they listened to one another, better than either’s (Covey, 1900). Same as Characteristic 7, They Are Synergistic (Covey, 1992). 2. Empathy (Greenleaf, 2002):
Servant-leaders try very hard to understand and empathize with others, accepting them as they are, and as they come and go (Greenleaf, 2002). Habit 5, Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood, that the would-be-leader must try his best first to identify with the other person before he himself expects to be understood by that person (Covey, 1900). 3. Healing (Greenleaf, 2002): An on-going phenomenon between serving and being served is not only the potential but the actuality that both serving and being served are “healed” or “made whole” again by their shared experiences (Greenleaf, 2002).
Habit 4 (of 7 or of 8), Think Win/Win, that the would-be-leader makes sure that his counterpart and he are both benefited by any arrangement or agreement they have arrived at (Covey, 1900). Habit 7 (of 7 or of 8), Sharpening the Saw, that the would-be-leader voluntarily and regularly maintains a balanced personal renewal of his physical, mental, social/emotional, and spiritual dimensions (Covey, 1900) and very similar, if not the same as Characteristic 5, They Lead Balanced Lives (Covey, 1992) and Characteristic 8, They Exercise For Self-Renewal (Covey, 1992). Bennis was able to grasp this truth, in that.