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LEADERSHIP ~ Getting Others to Follow

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  • LEADERSHIP ~ Getting Others to Follow

    There may be (and likely are?) other threads on this topic/subject. If so, and others want to engage the "necro" trace, please do and post links here. I for one haven't time and energy in that direction; hence a supposed "Fresh Start" with this one.

    Admittedly a 'throw out' topic/thread, but one that seems a logical summary of why many of us are here. Throughout History, Leaders are the ones whom have made and shaped how WE Humans have gotten to where we are AT. Leaders in Human Enterprise~Commerce, Invention, Sociology, Politics, Warfare, etc. ...

    I invite all reading here to join in and provide material for consideration.

    This is a "top of the head/brain" topic ~ thread and for a lead off, some basic questions/concepts to consider ...

    1) What is Leadership? - - -
    2) How Does Leadership Work ? - - -
    3)What are your personal experiences and background in Leadership ??? - - -

    As much subjective as objective sought here ...

    Answers to any and all three questions~topics and/or others related welcome here.
    No Judgement intended as much as a desire for diverse perspectives, and learnings ....
    Whiskey for my men, and beer for my horses.
    TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
    Bock's First Law of History: The Past shapes the Present, which forms the Future. *

  • #2
    America no longer teaches leadership in the military. It trains and produces "middle managers".
    Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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    • #3
      Sorry I haven't had time to get back to this thread. I'm recalling my time during the 1960s when as a high school student I was also in the Civil Air Patrol(CAP) and had a copy of manuals to study dealing with leadership and general moral/ethical character. CAP is a volunteer organization and though we cadets wear uniform similar to the USAF and engaged in military custom and drill, one of my first lessons was in use of persuasive leadership since hamfisted "drill instructor" mode could encourage cadets whom bristled at harsh treatment to just stop attending meetings. An early lesson in application of incentive versus coercion since it was hard enough to get members in the squadron and command wouldn't be pleased if I caused such to decline via driving them away.
      Whiskey for my men, and beer for my horses.
      TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
      Bock's First Law of History: The Past shapes the Present, which forms the Future. *

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      • #4
        When I entered the military in '61 I appreciated the "drill sergeant" approach because the orders were always clear, even if they made no sense for any reason. What I hated most when the officers became "managers" was trying to figure out what they wanted done, which is not the responsibility of the subordinate but of the person issuing the orders.

        The 70's after 'Nam was probably the pinnacle of the management theory of the Army, and the worst time to be there, since getting a concrete decision became nearly impossible. It was command by consensus and committee, the very opposite of effective military leadership, made infinitely worse by the bad racial tensions within the Army at that time. Commanders were literally afraid of offending black soldiers, and therefore avoided giving them any orders at all whenever possible.
        Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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        • #5
          If we are talking about direct commander/supervisor/boss then the most important qualities are being fair, looking after your guys, and knowing what you are doing. The latter can be further expanded to the use of knowledge, experience and know-how of those you lead; again tying into the concept of fairness.

          Wisdom is personal

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          • #6
            Interestingly, the ancient linguistic root of the word "to lead" means "to go forth, die."
            Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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            • #7
              1), 2) Leadership has different value depending on the theoretical approach:

              great-man or trait approach values the history-maker, person with extraordinary influence;
              situational approach recognizes because of times and social forces call certain people into prominence;
              contingency theory merges the previous two approach into a decisionmaker to maintain control of a process (with the mark of a leader of influence or control);
              transactional approach focuses more on staying value-neutral, promoting influence as an orienting value, perpetuating a confusion between means and ends;
              and, you have in the military as leadership in combat.

              3) Ran an agent net in a war zone, led a clandestine/covert special operations detachment during the Cold War, commanded a special security detachment, platoon leader, company commander, and a battalion commander in combat.
              Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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              • #8
                "men will follow this officer - but only out of curiosity" allegedly an assessment made of a rather green WW1 British subaltern.
                Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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                • #9
                  My favorite aphorism is "Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom". From experience, that does not necessarily mean the leader must have the wisdom, but to discern it among his staff, subordinate commanders, or other sources.
                  Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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                  • #10
                    One rather crude index I've used over the years ... "Would you fall on a grenade to save that person~leader?"
                    Assumption here is that they/him~her have characteristics rare enough to be unique and not rubber-stamped; i.e. worth preserving.

                    I'm talking about the person~personality here, not the "status" of the office/position held.

                    Over the years~decades I've had association with assorted leaders, private and public, many of whom amazed me they had gotten as far as they did, and left me wondering why they hadn't "fallen" by the wayside long ago. Not saying I'd engage in leadercide, except in very extreme circumstances (maybe) , but have known a few whom per "Darwin's Laws" should never have gotten as far as they had/did.
                    Whiskey for my men, and beer for my horses.
                    TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
                    Bock's First Law of History: The Past shapes the Present, which forms the Future. *

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      What's your background in leadership?
                      Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

                      Comment

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