The Armys Approach to Situational Leadership

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The Army ‘s attack to situational leading is based on the fact that leaders must take in all state of affairss and ajust to environments that are ever altering. In order to fix leaders for these challenges, the Army uses the construct of situational leading as a platform. It teaches leaders the impotance of situational leading, squad kineticss and peer leading ( Applied Team Leadership, 2009 ) . The Army stresses that leading is non about puting stiff, inflexible outlooks and ordering orders. Good leaders match a manner of leading that matches the current state of affairs, and those that they lead. This paper examines the Army ‘s appoaches situational leading. It reviews the basic construct of situational leading, looks at how the Army defines leading and examines the different positions and theories the Army believes to be critical to success. The paper discusses leading traits and behaviours, and how they are the edifice blocks for the Army ‘s Leadership Requirement Model. It examines how the Army applies its leading theoretical account utilizing the elements of leading, both transactional and transformational. And eventually, it discusses adaptative leading, its features, and how the Army physiques adaptative leaders. .

Table of Contentss


The Basic Concept of Situational Leadership aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦.2

The Army and Leadershipaˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦3

The Army Relationship Requirement Modelaˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦4

Transactional Leadershipaˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦..5

Transformational Leadershipaˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦ … 6

Which Style is Best? aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦6

Applied Adaptive Leadershipaˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦..7

Conclusionaˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦ … 8

Leadership remains the most baffling of the artsaˆ¦as long as we do non cognize precisely what makes work forces acquire up out of a hole in the land and travel frontward in the face of decease at a word from another adult male, so leading will stay one of the highest and most elusive of qualities. It will stay an art.

— James L Stokesbury

The art of leading the Stokesbury alludes to is a capable studied more earnestly in military schools than in civilian establishments. Given the life-or-death nature of our concern and the importance of the military to a state ‘s endurance, this should surprise no 1. What is surprising, nevertheless, is that most professional military instruction schools rely about entirely on the civilian-orientated Hersey and Blanchard Situational Leadership theoretical account to assist learn military leading and direction. ( Waddell, 1994 )

The Army believes that leading is a complex human behaviour, and there is no 1 individual manner to see it. In order to be an effectual leader, one must analyze more than one theoretical account or theory of leading. This is why the military leader must do usage of the surveies and histories of military units and figures, and non reiterate the errors of the yesteryear. ( Yukl, 1986 ) While many bookmans, sociologist, and historiographers have analyzed the methods of leading, there remains no individual manner to make a great leader. Young Army leaders go toing professional development plans need to understand the strengths and failings of different manners and theories.

Military leaders are different than leaders in other types of organisations because they are appointed and non emergent. ( Yeakey, 2002, ) To go genuinely effectual leaders, the Army officer must be more than a “ one fast one ” pony who can use merely one leading theoretical account. Army leaders lead more intensively than most of their opposite numbers in civilian life do, in state of affairss where the deficiency of effectual leading will hold ruinous consequences ( Foundations of Leadership, 2008 )

The Army Leadership Requirement Model centres on what a leader is and what a leader must make. Because of the emphasis of combat, the military leader must construct trust and assurance with subsidiaries. To make this, the Army has developed a standard set of properties and nucleus leader competences designed to help in development of leaders who can win in a broad assortment of hard state of affairss.

US Army Field Manual ( FM ) 22-100, Army Leadership, besides added transactional and transformational leading manners in the 1980 ‘s. Today, the manual has been updated and these two proven manners continue to help Army leaders in determining behaviour, emotions, and the organisational clime. ( Yeakey, 2002 ) Transformational leading is at the nucleus of what constitutes adaptative leading, harmonizing to U.S. Army philosophy Field Manual ( Bass, Jung, Avolio, & A ; Berson, 2003 ) . This leading attack allows the modern Army leader the ability to accommodate to an of all time altering environment.

Adaptive leading is an attack by the Army, designed to give the leader an border in the Contemporary Operating Environment ( COE ) . However being adaptative is more than responding to a state of affairs. Army leaders anticipate and employ their manner of leading based on that state of affairs. They are able to presume hazard, make good informed determinations, and adjust consequently.

The Basic Concept of Situation Leadership

Harmonizing to modern theories of situational leading developed by P. Hersey, K.H. Blanchard, and D.E. Johnson in their siminal work, Management of Organizational Behavior: Leading Human Resources, there is no 1 best manner to act upon people. In Army footings, their theory holds that the leading manner you select and use will depend in the environment and the preparedness or ability of the single soldier ( Applied Team Leadership, 2009 ) .

Situational leading is based on an interplay among ( 1 ) the sum of counsel and way ( task behaviour ) a leader gives, ( 2 ) the sum of sociomotional support ( relationship behaviour ) a leader provides, and ( 3 ) the public presentation preparedness degree that the followings exibit in executing a specific undertaking, map or aim ( Hersey et al. , 2008 )

Task Behavior

Is defined as the extent to which the leader engages in spelling out the responsibilities and responsibilites of an single or group ( Hersey et al. , 2008 ) . Examples of undertaking behaviour may include developing a list of things to carry through, constitution of precedences. It might even include following up and measuring the advancement made by persons or squads.

Relationship Behavior

Is defined as the extent to which the leader engages in two-way or multiway communicating ( Hersey et al. , 2008 ) . Relaionship behavior includes hearing, instruction, or reding. The more you adapt your behaviour to the state of affairs, the more effectual your efforts to act upon will be.

No 1 manner is effectual in all state of affairss. Each manner is appropriate and effectual depending on the state of affairs ( Hersey et al. , 2008 ) .

Peoples ‘s degree of preparedness tends to be different, depending on their undertaking. Readiness has nil to make with values, life experience, or traits ; it has everything to make about 1s willingness and ability. Willingness is the combination of assurance, committedness, and motive. Ability is the cognition, experience, and demonstrated accomplishment that the follower brings to the undertaking and is based on an existent show of abilities. Leaderships should non choose a leading manner by presuming that the follower should cognize ( Yeakey, 2002 ) .

The Army and Leadership

An Army leader is anyone who by virtuousness of false function or assigned duty inspires and

influences people to carry through organisational ends. Army leaders motivate people both inside andoutside the concatenation of bid to prosecute actions, focal point thought, and form determinations for the greater good of the organisation. ( FM 6-22, Army Leadership, 2006 )

For decennaries, bookmans, concern leaders, and organisational research workers have continually refined the definition of leadership-based on their findings and expereince, and the latest real-world theoretical accounts and state of affairss. The assortment of their theories about leading stems from leading ‘s multidimesional nature ( Foundations of Leadership, 2008 ) .

The Army is ever looking for ways to better itself. Weather developing new tactics for contending the war on terrorist act, or bettering its ability to supply attention for hurt warriors, bettering the force is ever at the forfront of the Army. This end to better can besides be seen in Army leading. Greater efficiency and effectivness in its leaders led the Army to reassess its application of leading rules.

The Army drew on several leading theories from concern and academe to develop its ain leading frame work and definition of of what leading entails ( Foundations of Leadership, 2008 ) . By analyzing different positions and theories, Army leaders are better equiped to cover with the complex nature of leading in the modern-day operating environment.

The Army Leadership Requirement Model

The Army devotes important resources to analyzing and advancing in-depth discussionof many leading theories. Its purpose is to assist develop leaders who can win in a broad assortment of disputing state of affairss ( Foundations of Leadership, 2008 ) . The demand theoretical accounts basic componets centre on what a leader is ( attributes – Beryllium and KNOW ) and what a leader does ( competencies – DO ) . An Army leader ‘s character, presence, and intellect enable them to get the hang the nucleus competences through didicated womb-to-tomb acquisition. The balanced application of the critical leading demand theoretical account empowers the leader to construct high acting and cohesive organisations. It besides creates positive organisational climes, leting for persons and squad acquisition, and empathy for all.

Three major factors determine character: values, empathy, and Warrior Ethos. Some charactoristics are present at the beginning of a leader ‘s calling, while others are developed over clip.

Physical presence determines how others others perceive you. The factors of physcial presence are bearing, phyical fittingness, and resiliency.

Intellectual capacity helps to gestate solutions and aquire cognition to make the occupation. A leader ‘s conceptual abilities apply legerity, judgement, invention, interpersonal tact, and sphere cognition. Domain cognition encompasses tactical and proficient cognition every bit good as cultural consciousness.

Leader competences develop from baleanced combination on institutional schooling, self development, realistic preparation, and professional experience. Building competency follows a systematic and gradual attack, from get the hanging single competences, to using them in concert and orienting them to the state of affairs at manus. Leading people by giving them a complex undertaking helps develop the assurance and will take on increasingly more hard challenges.

Competences provide a clear and concise manner of conveying outlooks for Army leaders. Current and future leaders want to cognize what to make to win in their leading duties. The nucleus leader competences apply across all degrees of the organisation, across leader places, and throughout callings. Competences are demonstrated through behaviours that can be readily observed and assessed by a spectrum of leaders and followings: higher-ups, subsidiaries, equals and wise mans. This makes for a good footing for leader development and focused multi-source appraisal and feedback.

Transactual Leadership

Transactual leading is based on a dealing or exchange of something of value the leader possess or controls that the follower wants in return for his/her services ( Homrig, 2001 ) . The transactual relationship between leader and follower follows an attack where there is either a wages or inducement for accomplishment ; the leader uses penalty or disciplinary action as a response to unacceptable public presentation ; or the leader actively monitors the advancement of work, and uses disciplinary action to guarantee the coveted criterion is met.

While the transactual manner of leading may non be the most popular, or prefered method, it can non be denied that it produces consequences. Young recruits who entry the Army live under the transactual manner of leading. These immature work forces and adult females are placed in a environment designed to interrupt unwanted wonts, and construct new 1s. In order to actuate, and construct cohesive squads out of persons, Drill sergeants who have really limited clip, follow the transactual manner of leading utilizing wagess, or penalty to run into acceptable criterions.

Army leaders frequently times, because of their state of affairs use the tranactional manner of leading. This is normally merely for short periods of clip where there is no clip to respond to other than a direct attack. Examples of these types of state of affairss may include safety state of affairss, or when a unit comes under direct fire from the enemy. Choosing to utilize transactual leading involves more than the readiness degree of subsidiaries. The manner will alter as the state of affairs alterations. The end of the Army leading today is to make bonds between soldiers with stregnth to actuate even when the leader is non present. To construct the sort of enduring bonds that enhance unit coherence, moral, and public presentation, Army leaders must look to a higher order of leading: transformational leading ( Foundations of Leadership, 2008 )

Transformational Leadership

With the debut of transformational leading theory into the literature, greater attending has now been paid to understanding how certain leaders are better equipped to promote a follower ‘s motive and public presentation to the high degrees of achievement ( Bass, 1985 ) . Tranformational leading is based on the premise that people will follow a leader who inspires or motivates them.

This method to actuate and animate is frequently used to develop a compelling vision by selling it and concentrating on developing relationships with followings as a instructor, wise man, and manager might. The transformatioanl leader therefore spends a great trade of clip edifice trust and demonstrates a high degree of personal integrety to prosecute his/her followings. His or her ultimate end is to transform followings while accomplishing consequences.

In military battles, leading, moral, coherence, and committedness have long been identified as critical ingredients to unit public presentation ( Bass, 1998 ) Military units showing a high degree of esprit de corps and moral have often produced the best consequences ( Shamir, Zakay, Breinen, & A ; Popper, 1998 ) . Transformational leaders have developed a set of internal values. They have gained a high degree of committedness that transends down to their followings. Transformational leaders have the ability to to run in a mode that best fits the state of affairs. The military professional must weigh the pros an cons of these leader/follower relionships to judge which is best when. This is by no agencies an easy undertaking and normally consequences in a great trade of idea, for being a leader is work ( Homrig, 2001 ) .

Which Style is Best?

Each manner has its advantages and its restrictions. The Army Teachs that when taking an appropraite manner, one must see the sum of clip available to carry through the aim, your abilities and those of the subsidiaries, and the current state of affairs.

Bernard Bass, co-author of “ Adding to contingent-reward behaviour: The augmenting consequence of magnetic leading ” says “ The best leading is both transformational and transactional. Transformational leading augments the effectivity of transactional leading ; it does non replace transactional leading ( Waltman, Bass, & A ; Yammarino, 1990 ) . Peoples in general expression to leaders for counsel and way ; nevertheless they want to be encouraged to to negociate challenges. The successful leader will animate and actuate groups or squads in the organisation to make synergism among them to undertake that disputing state of affairs or obstruction. Transformational leaders will ultimatly construct long term pride, competency, and committedness within the organisation that goes beyond what can be achieved by utilizing transactual leading. Transformational leading is at the nucleus of what constitutes adaptative leading, harmonizing to U.S. Army philosophy Field Manual 22-100 ( Bass et al. , 2003 ) .

Applied Adaptive Leadership

Dr. Leonard Wong, a 20 twelvemonth Army veteran, and writer of Developing Adaptive Leaderships: The Crucible Experience of Operation Iraqi Freedom, cites leading research worker Warren Bennis, who defines adaptative leading:

The critical quality of a leader that determines how a leader will do in a crucible experience is adaptative capacity. Adaptive capacity allows leaders to react rapidly and intelligently to changeless alteration. It is the ability to place and sieze chances. It allows leaders to move and so measure consequences alternatively of trying to roll up and analyse all the informations before moving ( Wong, 2004 )

Harmonizing to Wong, adaptative leaders need to be mentally flexable and nimble. They must possess strong conceptual and proficient accomplishments. Adaptive leaders are strong under force per unit area, and can run will little or no supervising. Flexible, adaptative leading is of import for leaders to accommodate to different state of affairss. Hersey & A ; Blanchard point out that more deputation and less monitoring is needed for subsidiaries who are confident and competent than 1s who are non. Change is the lone invariable. Adaptive leaders know the strengths of ego and subsidiaries, understand the mission, and can rapidly name the state of affairs. They manage and adapt while taking and actuating the squad.

There are no leader establishments within the Army that warrant leaders become “ adaptative ” . The charactoristics of adaptative leading indicate that preparation and eduacation are the foundation. The ability to critically believe, acknowledge state of affairss, adapt, and act, requires clip and attempt.

The Army believes that you can larn to be an adaptative leader. As leaders experience different challenging state of affairss, they develop new accomplishments needed to travel on to new degrees of achievment. Harmonizing to Wong, adaptative Army leaders aptly deal with three facets of the modern-day operational environement: ambiguity, complexness, and alteration ( Wong, 2004 ) .


Army leaders are taught the importance to wholly understanding the senior officiers ‘intent ” . Leaderships deal with unpredictabiltiy on a twenty-four hours to twenty-four hours footing, and while the planning is critical to mission accomplisment, do non go consumed with the program. Leaderships need see the overall purpose, and construct program that work for the squad.


Adaptive leaders must larn to cover with complexness. Wong interviewed one yooung officer in Iraq,

I ca n’t state you what I ‘m making tomorrow. I can state you what I ‘m suppose to be making tomorrow. Thingss change so often, and you merely anticipate that. You know that every twenty-four hours you live a twenty-four hours at a clip. Thingss you plan alter, based on intel studies, based on different alterations in the mission.


This is the lone invariable. The adaptative leader must expect and get the hang passages. Changing conditions can alter the precedences of the mision, and supply new challenges. Leaderships need to happen a balance, adapt to the state of affairs, and execute while actuating and inspriring the squad.


James Stokes describes leading as an art. The United States Army agrees, and therfore embrased the widely popular situational leading as the foundation for its leading preparation theoretical account. It shows Army leaders that there ‘s no 1 best manner to act upon people, and that merely through the survey of different theories, manners and behaviours, will you get the hang that art. The Army, through its leading demand theoretical account, has developed a model that I believe is utile in helping immature leaders with their leading. Adaptive leading is critical for Army leaders as they operate on today ‘s modern technically advanced battleground. Because of the complexness of and ambiguity of the environement that they face, flexible leading is required more than of all time.