Strong people that can play a role of a leader have always been necessary for humanity. The concept of leadership goes back to ancient times, when the process of creating groups and countries was just at the beginning. At first small gatherings of people have become communities where the strongest performed a function of a leader. Later the idea of authority became synonymous with having more power than others. Nowadays the leader has to be not necessarily the strongest in a physical sense. He or she has to be the one who can motivate the team around one goal and achieve success. There is a number of works that are written on this topic and on the Internet, there are millions of sites that give tips on how to become a strong and authentic leader. However, from a professional perspective the concept of leadership is complex and has a number of different factors that create a reliable manager or a commander.
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First of all, it is necessary to define what being a leader means to me. It is evident that a leader is the most active, creative and extraordinary personality in a group. Moreover, this person has to possess specific characteristics, including charisma, undeniable authority and the leading influence in the group. Furthermore, other qualities include the ability to organize the activities of the group and make decisions. The skill of communication is also vital since it helps to regulate of relationships in the group and unite people in order to achieve a group goal. In addition, the most obvious characteristic of a leader is the presence of at least one follower.
In the military the leadership role is of the most importance since in the army there are different groups with certain goals. In this field that role usually includes leading team members and organizing their activities that ensure the effective solution of specific tasks in the interests of achieving a group goal. In order to accomplish military purposes or to solve an important problem, any group needs leadership; therefore it requires an authoritative person among its members.
It is a very responsible matter, and although guiding others often means having influence and recognition, not everyone can take this role. The reason for this is the fact that the leader is responsible for his or her actions more than any person. Ultimately not only a personal success, but also the achievements of the whole team depend on decisions that were made by authorities. The path to being an authentic leader is always thorny, full of trials and sometimes even disappointments. However, it is essential to work on such qualities as self-confidence and the ability to organize. A true leader, especially in the army, is one who perceivers to the end and has faith in a team. Moreover, in difficult situations he or she should not allow emotions to take hold and influence actions and the decision-making process.
Considering the role of a leader in the modern army, it should be taken into account that aside from implementing certain views and positions of their supporters, a commander should also be able to unite the group and maintaining its cohesion. Moreover, activities of a group should be moved in the right direction. Such a task also requires high intelligence, determination, the ability to reflect on one’s own actions, stress tolerance, emotional balance, the ability to control oneself, empathy and sociability. The structure of the army itself is a perfect institution for developing the skills of strategic and situational leadership.
However, not even someone who is competent in this field is able to overcome several critical moments. In addition, there is an apparent problem of abusive practices in the military. Researchers note that “toxic leader’s behavior likely stems from feelings of inferiority, which, when combined with narcissism, creates a potentially disastrous mix” (Reed, 2015, p. 144). Therefore it is important to work on mental health of potential commanders. Moreover, it is also vital to reflect on thoughts and actions where a person was under severe stress, for example, on the battlefield. Another situation that can occur even in the civilian world is when the views of subordinates are turned against a leader, which can also create emotional pressure.
For this reason, the leader must be a person respected both in the team and outside it. From this statement it can be assumed that a commander should necessary posses a certain official position, However, researchers indicate that, for example, in “medical leadership most often implies that physicians take leading positions, but considering that leadership is a process of influence in a relationship, the physician does perhaps not need to be a manager to ensure medical leadership (Andersson, 2015, p. 93). Therefore, in some cases a position is not often necessary since the qualities are of more importance.
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Considering all that was said above, it is possible to indicate the main qualities that contribute to being a good leader in a professional setting. Rather than simply having power over other, the concept of a successful leadership can be considered a combination of different characteristics. First of all, it is the ability to gather a team and guide it towards a certain goal. Moreover, a commander must be a professional and possess not only the natural qualities of the organizer, but also have appropriate training. At the same time, not every professional can be a leader.
In addition, a proper commander should be able to predict the outcomes of a group activity and make decisions based on that. The ability to seek solutions to problems regardless of stress level is also critical, especially in cases where the first plan of action did not work out and there is a need to come up with another decision. From that statement comes another essential quality, which is learning from own mistakes and errors of others, and drawing the right conclusions from them. Furthermore, a good leader should be able to establish relationships in the group, carefully analyze the situations that arise. Even in the most difficult cases, the consequences of decisions, experiments and actions should be anticipated.
In conclusion, it would appear that the concept of leadership consists of many different factors that contribute to successful outcomes of a team’s activities. It includes a possession of professional skills, a proper training and personal qualities. The commander, however, should not only be able to organize and lead people, but also be able to listen to them, choose rational options that guarantee a successful result. A good leader is someone who understands his subordinates, inspires and influences them, and also constantly improves and learns.
Andersson, T. (2015). The medical leadership challenge in healthcare is an identity challenge. Leadership in Health Services.
Reed, G. E. (2015). Tarnished: toxic leadership in the US military. U of Nebraska Press.