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                  Transformational leadership leads through example. The style encourages sharing of ideas and empowers subordinates to be part of the solution. Leaders who use this style inspire subordinates to be part of a change in the unit. The style, however, does not work well in situations with limited information as in the initial development of decision-making.
Servant leaders develop their subordinates
by putting the needs of the Soldiers before
the leaders. The leadership style requires trust between subordinates and leaders. The style is best established over time as trust builds over time.
The autocratic leadership style requires leaders to be decision-makers with a clear mission and intent. The style utilizes minimal input from subordinates, although the opinions of subordinates are heard and respected. Leaders who use this method often make the correct decisions during situations.
Followership is best used with subordinates who understand implied tasks and go beyond the initial instructions given, anticipating a leader’s needs. The relationship management between leaders and subordinates is strong, allowing the subordinates to approach leaders with problems and solutions to issues.
Although a variety of leadership styles exist, I believe that servant leadership is the most effective. Although all styles work within BCT, servant leadership empowers subordinates, creates mutual trust within a company, and models effective
behavior for Trainees to learn and develop for
their military career. Robert Greenleaf first coined servant Leadership in 1970. He believed that before anyone could lead, they must first be a servant.This leadership style emerges from “characteristics of empathy, listening, stewardship, and commitment to personal growth toward others.” Essential to the attributes and competencies of an Army leader as proposed by the Leadership Requirements Model are the characteristics of servant leadership.
EMPATHY AND LISTENING
The definition of empathy provided in FM 6-22 is sound, if not simplistic: “Identifying
and understanding what others think, feel, and believe.” Early in my command, remembering the servant leadership traits was most challenging when working with Trainees who refuse to train and have disciplinary infractions, in short – the troublemakers. A typical BCT company is full of individuals from various parts of the United States and worldwide. While this brings about diversity within our military, it can sometimes create
issues as Trainees are introduced to people from places they have never heard about or seen. These differences can create clashes within the company as Trainees learn cohesion and teamwork with their battle buddies. Sergeant Major of the Army Grinston said, “Commanders at all levels must take care of Soldiers, even when things go wrong.” To build strong, cohesive teams and develop
the Army’s next generation, leaders have to take ownership of their units and all those within the unit, even during difficult times.
Years ago, I was privy to be in my battalion commander’s office when a Soldier was facing Uniformed Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) action. I remember having mixed feelings about the event but not truly feel strongly about it, knowing I was merely a spectator, standing in the room only because my commander thought all lieutenants should see behind the scenes and witness a UCMJ hearing. It was not my signature on the paperwork initiating a separation. Essentially, it was not me who was firing this U.S. Army Soldier who had given years of his life to serving his country.
Two months into command, when I initiated separation on the first Trainee, not only did I recall the time I stood in that battalion commander’s
Servant Leadership
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