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Scholars identify different types of leadership; three main ones include transactional, transformational, and servant. Transactional leadership underlines the importance of unity of a leader and the followers who are led by the same goal, whereas transformational leadership “motivates followers to perform beyond expectations” (Rosenbach, Taylor, & Youndt, 2018, p. 3). In the case of servant leadership, a leader acts according to the needs of the followers, serving as their mentor who makes them “wiser, freer, more autonomous” (Rachmawati & Lantu, 2014, p. 388).
Effective leadership, as the most critical function of a leader, has to consist of the competent incorporation of all three types because each of them might apply to a particular situation. For example, a military organization’s staff might face a problem concerning discipline, which will need a resolution based on methods other than the military ones. A flexible leader, the one who displays different types of leadership, will be able to solve any problem by applying specific techniques.
Servant leadership is a relatively new concept and has not been widely applied. It has been introduced to the sphere only in the late 1970s by Robert Greenleaf, who identified it as a method “through serves first, not lead” (Rachmawati & Lantu, 2014, p. 388). Thus, a servant leader chooses a behavior that makes a team change, encouraging the members to become more organized, responsible, and intelligent and ultimately to be servant leaders as well. Since this type of leadership is not addressed in army doctrine, it is vital to utilize outside sources, progressive research on the issue, and validations of its effectiveness.
For example, soldiers or non-commissioned officers might study the concept as a modification of the traditional types of leadership, identifying its advantages when applied to the army’s sphere. Indeed, servant leadership encourages the development of such values like trust and respect of others’ opinions, thus enforcing soldiers to act independently and responsibly in any circumstances.
Fundamentals of Management
When teaching leadership, it is essential to prevent the development of counter-productiveness in potential leaders. A counterproductive leader embraces such behavioral patterns as “procrastinating, … insisting on always being right, … not celebrating … others’ accomplishments” that lead to ineffective performance (Rosenbach et al., 2018, p. 126). Preventive interventions should be applied according to the effective techniques of management. They should be aimed at the elimination of any adverse outcomes of a leader’s actions when he or she is given a certain degree of influence on the team members.
From this perspective, it is essential to identify the core of the problem and apply the training to eliminate it. The basis for counterproductive leadership lies in a conflict between “knowing and executing” (Rosenbach et al., 2018, p. 126). Thus, it would be effective, for example, to develop a system of training and practical application of knowledge, including those in stressful and challenging circumstances.
The leaders in the army have to obtain a high level of organizational management skills. One of the spheres where these skills are the most applicable is the Physical Readiness Training (PRT) (East, 2013). The successful implementation of PRT depends on a leader’s appropriate use of knowledge. A well-organized leadership is capable of motivating soldiers for training and underlying its crucial role in the functioning of the army as a powerful field. Being focused on “health-related fitness” and strength, PRT underlines the importance of power cultivated in physical development that ultimately leads to mental strength and steadiness (East, 2013, p.202).
Thus, a correctly organized process of physical training entails the growth of characteristics vital for successful performance in the army. For example, the physical readiness of a soldier guarantees that he or she would be prepared for any problematic situation. The readiness of soldiers forms the basis for the success of a whole organization’s performance and ensures effective leadership.
Training management comprises a considerable part of the effective performance of an organization. A competent leader is capable of organizing the process of training in the most favorable way. However, the challenge to successful training is that “training alone is not sufficient” enough “because not all knowledge obtained from the training is properly transferred and applied” in practice (Azmawani, Ng, Sambasivan, & Wong, 2013, p. 472).
It means that the effective performance of an organization is only possible when the actual application of knowledge leads to a successful result regardless of whether the skills were trained or not. For example, it would be effective to provide practical training of managerial skills among employees in real-life situations that happen in a working environment rather than modifying them in class. Only practical application of knowledge and skills during training would give a satisfactory result and guarantee the useful application of training management.
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
The biggest challenge I might face upon completion of the course is the practical application of the knowledge about leadership in the work with followers. Regarding the discussed issues, it is difficult to manage all the aspects of effective leadership, develop and apply the necessary skills to a specific field of activity, and maintain the work of a whole team. More importantly, it is challenging to deliver the expected result bearing the responsibility for the dependent individuals.
Thus it is essential to gain the theoretical and practical knowledge to be able to use it in work. In general, leadership is the activity and trait that should be developed in organizational managers for the effective performance of a company as a whole. For example, a leader in a military organization has to embody all the aspects of leadership to be able to incorporate the fundamental knowledge and features to lead the team to a successful result.
Azmawani, A. R., Ng, S. I., Sambasivan, M., & Wong, F. (2013). Training and organizational effectiveness: moderating role of knowledge management process. European Journal of Training and Development, 37(5), 472-488. Web.
East, W. B. (2013). A historical review and analysis of army physical readiness training and assessment. Fort Leavenworth, KS: Combat Studies Institute Press.
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Rachmawati, A. W., & Lantu, D. C. (2014). Servant leadership theory development & measurement. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 115, 387-393. Web.
Rosenbach, W. E.,Taylor, R. L., & Youndt, M. A. (Eds.). (2018). Contemporary issues in leadership (7th ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.