Effort that could be more useful in accomplishing the mission at hand. This is why, a proper balance of the two leadership styles is the most effective way for mission accomplishment and more importantly, lead our Marines. If a leader rules with an iron fist, he puts the majority of his effort in his grasp. Eventually, a hold will slip or lose strength and when that happens. There is nothing to maintain control. In the Autocratic style, the leader makes decisions without consulting with others. Due to our trained aggressive nature, as warriors, several unit leaders have chosen this style of leadership.
It has been found that this method of leadership causes the most level of discontent. It is simply a “Its my way or the highway’, as my former platoon sergeant once said to me. Staff Sergeant Rocker, viewed that if his Marines feared him they would do anything and everything he called upon. This process led to several Marines choosing to leave the ranks Of the Marine Corps. This process stifles our Marines to grow and present better ways of accomplishing the mission. As a result, these Marines choose to depart the Marine Corps. Would recommend, to any unit leader to do everything they could, to limit this type of mind set.
In many ways, our subordinates will obey orders out of fear. The leader in such cases is using SSH methods that will work only as long as the follower sees no other choice. Fear is not the tool of effective leaders (and certainly not ethical leaders). At best, fear-based approaches gain weak commitment and need constant attention. Take for example, the different types of dictatorship or totalitarian government in history. The Germans of World War II, former Soviet Russia, and the failed regime of Iraq; all are perfect examples of this faulty method of leading.
These leaders cared more for control and power; than a need to see their cultures thrive. A boat with no sail, floating on the ocean, would still chive some type of assistance from the wind. However, we all know it is much or effective if a sail and rudder were used to control the vessel. The Delegating or Laissez-Fair style has similar characteristics. A leader will let the junior leaders decide how tasks are to be accomplished. This can be problematic when there are a wide range of opinions, and no clear way of reaching a final decision.
In spite of this, delegating authority to our subordinates does serve a purpose. Putting the challenge of decision making on a subordinate, allows him or her to gain experience in problem solving. As a result, it develops their leadership traits and confidence. Furthermore, it permits commanders to focus on bigger issues that influence the mission or unit. Unfortunately, some commanders will allow the junior leadership to control too much. The end result being young Marines get confused and overwhelmed about what needs to be accomplished.
Sadly, it can also cause a lack of discipline in a unit, just like a ship without a sail and rudder. Most often, the delegating style of leadership, works for units in which the individuals are very experienced and skilled self- starters. 2 In Lenin et all’s experiments, he discovered that the most effective style was Democratic (or Participative). Excessive autocratic styles led to revolution, whilst under a Delegating approach, a marine becomes lazy with his or her work and may not put in the energy that they would normally when being actively led.
Our Marines are more committed to actions where they are involved in the relevant decision-making. Once views and suggestions are put forth; the final decision will lie with the senior man. A Democratic or Participative style allows our junior Marines to think for themselves. Simultaneously calling for a higher level of oversight to prevent disorientation and ineffectiveness. Even though there is structure, a Democratic style still allows junior leaders to think and act for themselves when the situation presents itself.
Meaning the leader will not always be around; responsibility needs to be at the lower levels to some degree. This level of follower ship is typical of educated people who understand the reasons why things happen. They may also have emotional commitment, but it typically comes on after a rational thought process has occurred. A democratic style, leads to good teamwork and creative collaboration, this is precisely what the Marine Corps needs. Eleven years now, have seen leaders adopt and implement arioso types of leadership, ranging from one end of the spectrum to the other end.
Every time a grouping of the styles were brought about, unit cohesion and effectiveness was nothing short of amazing. Man has always sought of ways to better his life by adding the best of what was in front of him and combining them. Authoritative and Delegating styles do serve a purpose in the Marine Corps. However, both have too many variables and defects to be effective enough to stand out on their own. Incorporating them, gives us an enhanced process to lead, train and care for Marines. So that one day they may stand in our place, and “carry on”. 3