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Military leadership involves the process of developing strategies that aim at influencing others. In military, Field Manual (FM) 6-22 is comprised of all the doctrines and principles for leadership. Normally, leadership involves provision of purpose, motivation and direction to others by a higher authority. A leader who is normally at a higher rank has the responsibility to ensure that his subordinates lawfully abide to the requirements of the military. Moreover, he is assigned with the responsibility to ensure that the mission of the military is achieved. Similarly, he has to ensure that the welfare of the soldiers is well tended and everyone is satisfied.
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Within the military there is a chain of command. This is a common technique within the military and involves sequence of commanders in the organization. Authority is directed with the purpose of achieving the assigned mission per unit. In their line of duty, they have to take care of the personnel as well as the property which is under their charge. A military leader has three major duties. They include: specified, implied and direct duties. He has to abide to the codes of military ethics that requires the following: one has to be loyal to the nation which he or she is serving and the unit. He should carry out his or her duty effectively and avoid selfishness while in service. This involves prioritizing the needs of the nation as well as achievement of the set goals. In order to perform effectively in various leadership capacities, soldiers are expected to possess the following attributes: first, they must be courageous as this helps in overcoming fear of being harmed while on duty. They have to be physically and morally courageous. Second, they have to be open, frank as well as show sincerity while dealing with other soldiers both seniors and juniors. Third, they must be competent. This helps in the portrayal of professionalism while dealing with other societal members. Fourth, they must be committed and dedicated to perform what is expected. They must serve to their level best to both the military unit and their country.
Leaders in the military are in most cases nominated according to the competence and qualification of someone. In assumption of new leadership position, they are required to take the following actions: they have to determine what the unit expects of them, what other expect of him or her, evaluate the performance of the subordinates in terms of their strength and weaknesses as well as determine how and where he can get support to accomplish the set mission.
Any military unit is required to be effective. Some of the indicators of the efficiency of a unit include: the morale of the soldiers that is depicted by the state of mind, level of discipline that is showed by the ability of soldiers to respond promptly to order as well as initiate action. Moreover, soldiers must be able to carryout their duties with minimum supervision (Anderson, 1936). Another indicator includes the spirit of corps that is depicted by the level of enthusiasm, pride as well as the loyalty to their leaders and unit. Some of the notable leadership factors include the led that is composed of the soldiers, the leader himself, the situation under which leadership responsibilities are being delegated as well as nature of communication that exists between the leader and his subordinates.
A military leader has to strictly abide to the set principles that are made of general rules. This guides both the actions and conduct of leaders. These principles have to be observed while a leader is making various ethical decisions. These include the following: the set legal standards, national values, military values both traditional and actual and pressure from various institutions.
Decisions making affecting the military is a critical task. Therefore, a leader cannot make decisions alone but has to follow a given procedure that includes the following: identification of the problem, gathering of the relevant information concerning the problem, develops a list of courses of action, evaluate the actions to be implemented through analysis and comparison (Anderson, 1936). After this is done, a decision is made from the selected course of action, planning and the final step involves implementation of the plan.
Military leaders have to exercise high degree of professionalism. This is vital because: a military leader is usually a public servant hence is responsible and answerable to the public. He has to defend the nation of any form of aggression. Moreover, any military organization is always responsible for the welfare of the soldiers including their life. A military leader has to adopt the most convenient style of leadership. These include: participation, delegation as well as directing (Anderson, 1936). Delegation is the most suitable style of leadership that ensure that democratic processes are put in place and allows everyone’s views to be considered. It is important to note that leadership depends on those being led. Therefore, the leader has to respect his juniors in order to make the working environment more conducive. A leader should avoid violating the dignity of others, mass punishment of the offenders or either ridicules his subordinates, wasting time, blaming others for the failure to meet his expectations and favoritism (Edward, 2005). A good leader should understand the needs of his soldiers and meet their essentials. He has to command responsibilities, authority as well as provision of policies with equity. In addition, he should understand the chain of command to make the flow of work more effective.
A military leader should supervise and evaluate his subordinates according to their performance. He should be able to seek responsibility as well as take the necessary responsibility for the actions taken. This implies that if he opts to take an action without any order, then, the blame should lay squarely on him. The main role of the leaders is to ensure that plans and the set policies are properly implemented. This includes ensuring that his subordinates follow instructions and inspect their activities regularly for the purpose of ensuing that tasks are accomplished as required. This helps to avoid de-organization and the perception that the leader does not care for whatever happens within a given military unit.