A leader is a person with remarkable leading skills, and other people trust them and tend to consider their opinion. Some people have leadership inclinations by default, and some build their character to become effective leaders. Character is a combination of naturally given skills with acquired attitudes and moral values. Leaders of character work on the improvement of leading qualities and beliefs. To be a leader of character in the army is to have moral and ethical attributes that consider the values of soldiers and affect the behavior of others. A leader proves their character through the right actions, smart decisions, and empathy to their subordinates. Moreover, the leader of character must be a splendid example of good attitudes and inspire others to improve themselves.
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To be a leader of character requires to respect and demonstrate critical values, such as loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage. Thus, a leader must firmly believe in the Army’s constitutions, always do their best, treat people respectfully, put the nation and the Army before themselves, and make morally right decisions. The leader of character builds their habits to correspond with these critical attributes. Army leader must hold themselves and their subordinates to the highest standards possible.
World War II GEN Jonathan Wainwright is an example of a leader of character. He encouraged and directed the defenses of wounded and injured soldiers despite the lack of resources. He demonstrated a fearless attitude, put his subordinates before his own needs, and even surrendered to the enemy for the sake of the nation’s victory.
Although words servant and leadership are usually perceived as different, and even unrelated, terms, servant leadership is a vital part of the army’s managing practices. Servant leadership is the attitude that is based on ethical and respectful values, and it aims to build a better relationship between soldiers. It creates a caring environment and considers the interests of all members to improve their life. It is not the same as the usual leadership concept as its central point is to care and serve subordinates instead of only ruling them. Apart from possessing skills to encourage people, a servant leader must have a high level of empathy and patience for others. Servant leadership does not practice strict rules or a high level of discipline to reach goals. It moves to success by listening to all of the organization’s members and values their well-being before the general purpose.
A leader must have qualities and characteristics to manage subordinates according to the values of servant leadership. There are ten principles for such a leader: listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, commitment to growth, and community building. Servant leadership is a useful approach in military forces as it aims to improve the quality of soldiers’ lives, who, in turn, will perform with the highest effectiveness possible to reach all of the goals the army sets for them.
The example of servant leadership is the story of Sgt. Andre Lobban of “Palehorse” Troop, 4th Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, whose skills dedicated to creating a caring environment inside the community inspired his subordinates to improve themselves, fight their fear, and live according to the Army Values. Replacing the usual leadership patterns with the servant model increases the willingness among citizens to join the Army.