Leadership Strategy at the Marine Corps
Leadership has been defined as a process of influence where by a person uses others to accomplish and direct activities within an organization, in such a way that it becomes more cohesive and coherent (Wart, 2005). Leadership can also be described as a process whereby one person influences a group of people to achieve a common objective or goal. Wart, (2005), further argues that a good manager may be associated with good aspects of coordinating, controlling and directing of assignments, but fall short of motivational and encouragement skills towards employees.
I work in the Marine Corps Department whose mission is to enhance quality of life in the Territory of the United States of America by working in conjunction with the public and within the framework of the U.S Constitution to preserve peace, reduce fear, provide a safe environment and enforce laws. Evaluation is of leadership at the Marine Corps department is based upon a leaders ability to have a positive effect on the administration. An effective leader in the Marine Corps department is evaluated against three key leadership skills namely: technical skills which require a Marine Corp officer to have the ability to perform the basic marine functions; human relation skills or communication skills are used at all levels of the marine department, which require a corp to have the ability to positively interrelate with other officers and the community; and the conceptual skills which are very critical to any officer, in that all officers should have the ability to understand information regarding Marine Corps.
Burns (1978) speaks highly of ambition as a pillar in the success of a leader, irrespective of the team or size of the organization that one has take charge. It is clear that the army has a vision; this in itself is meaningless if the team leader lacked ambition. I figure a scenario where in a few months under my leadership, I will report the highest growth in satisfaction of my team members.
Self confidence plays a key role in ensuring I learn very fast the areas in which I have difficulties
Heller and Till (1982) describes self confidence as a fundament element that enhances one to gain knowledge and skills that are vital in making key decisions as a leader. My team members are greatly moved by the level of confidence shown when giving directions or whenever they seek any form of assistance from me. This was further replicated with my seniors they liked the way I explained my ideas and none of them would deny me support whenever I called for it.
It is very important for a leader to be a person whose level intelligence is unquestionable. It is the way one makes decisions when faced with different problems that his/ her level of intelligence is assessed. As a leader, am bound to be faced with cases that call for different responses. There is no any set of solutions to problems in life, and so is in leadership (Remland, 1981). It is upon the leader to critically consider the situation at hand, internalize it and then issue a carefully reflected upon statement in response to the problem.
Honesty and integrity traits are very important for any leader who expects to win trust and support of the followers. It is common for followers to try their best to assess their leader’s level of honesty integrity. The easiest way they use to establish this is by assessing the leader’s ability to keep his/ her word. It is very important for a leader to ensure that before making any promise to team members, he/she should establish the ability to live up to his word (Kirkpatrick & Locke, 1991). This is an aspect of leadership that earned me support not only from my team members but also the support of my seniors. They knew they could always count on me to deliver on what I promised.
It should however be noted that these strategies alone are not sufficient to make one proclaim himself a good leader (Trevino & Brown, 2003). I came to learn that indeed there is more than these attributes in the making of a good leader.
In addition to the characteristics of leadership, knowledge and abilities proved to be useful to establish leadership at the army. This would always depend on the situation at hand. In order to effectively apply skills, I have learnt a number of new ideas.
Defining and establishing a sense of mission proved quite useful. I set goals, priorities, and standards for my team. I communicate these objectives to all of my team members and ensure that each one of them clearly understands them. One thing that gives more encouragement as a leader is the realization of the talent that I have in my camp. I accept leadership as a responsibility and not a rank. I know that it was not because I was the best that I was the leader; it was solely because among the men talented members of the team, one had to be there to give direction. This gives me the free will to work with the talented and capable members of my team without having any fear of being replaced by them.
Another strategy is that, effective leadership should not be confused in any way with being clever but rather an attempt to being consistent (Peter, 2009). This comes with the realization that no matter how much I read about leadership, at the end of the day, what is most fundamental is the ability to establish direction and influence my team members to align themselves in that direction.