Small Wars Journal

military leadership

Leadership Behavior: Boss Versus Leader

The purpose of this paper is to describe behavior differences between managing like a boss and managing like a leader. The terms boss and leader can be used interchangeably, but if you analyze what makes a boss and a leader, you will start noticing important differences. In today’s world, being a leader rather than a boss is more effective, and if understood and implemented will improve individual performance, build effective teams, and promote success for the organization.

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A Strategic Imperative: Empowerment

The purpose of this article is to describe the importance of empowering subordinates. It was my experience as a senior leader in the military, that success in an organization is dependent on empowerment of subordinates. The more you invest in your people the more effective you were as a leader. Unfortunately, I also observed that empowerment of subordinates is not followed consistently in military organizations. The mistake leaders make is that they talk about empowerment, but then attach a bunch of restrictions rendering it ineffective.

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Achieving Effective Leadership

The purpose of this article is to discuss effective leadership, present the importance of truth telling, and to contend that moral courage is the most critical trait for a leader. In this article I will offer a model and demonstrate that to be an effective leader, a leader must be a difference-maker. Being a difference-maker means doing the right thing and having the courage to say hard things to people that do not want to hear them.

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What I Have Learned With Bullets

I was cleaning out my accumulated files and I came across a series of notes regarding officers and leadership accumulated through the years. Having commanded four rifle companies, three Airborne/Ranger battalions and two Airborne/Ranger brigades, several in combat between 1965 and 1993, I saw a lot, did a lot and tried to remember. This article is for those who wish the knowledge, hopefully without the pain.

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A Leader’s Playbook

The military is a noble profession filled with competent and committed officers and Noncommissioned Officers. It was my honor to serve as both an enlisted man and an officer. The intent of this playbook is to discuss a list of categories I found important as a leader. It is important to note that I have made every mistake a leader can make, but more importantly, I admit it, and have learned from my mistakes.

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Six Leadership Fallacies

One of the hardest things a leader will ever have to do is accurately assess the performance and potential of his or her workers. Often, leaders have so much on their plate that really observing their people is a challenge, and it doesn’t help that there are false signals out there that can fool even the wisest of supervisors.

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