Today, leadership in the military is of the utmost importance because leaders should be able to unite their subordinates and head them toward the fulfillment of military tasks. In this respect, the specificity of the military service influences consistently the leadership style and leader’s responsibility. In fact, the role of leader’s responsibility in senior enlisted leadership in the military is quite different from the role of leaders in the civil service or organization. Military leaders are responsible for the life of their subordinates and it is their leadership style, skills and abilities that define, to a significant extent, not only the success of military operations but also the survival of the staff. In such a context, the training of the military leaders is an essential condition of their effective leadership and success because it is through training military leaders can develop essential leadership skills and abilities, including competence, confidence and ability to be agile.
Professional competence of military leaders as an integral part of their responsibility
1. The development of professional skills as an essential condition of the successful military leadership
Contemporary military leaders cannot be incompetent because the high professional competence is a part of their professional responsibility. What is meant here is the fact that military leaders should develop professional leadership skills and be competent in their field to able to perform their professional duties and lead their subordinates to the successful accomplishment of military tasks. At the same time, the professional competence of leaders makes them responsible for the life of their subordinates. Incompetent military leaders cannot maintain the high survival rates within their military units.
2. The leadership skills as a part of professional competence of military leaders
At the same time, military leaders are and have always been professionally trained to be leaders. Therefore, professional competence is their responsibility as a part of their professional training (Benfari, 1999). In other words, the professional working in the military setting, who does not have leadership skills, cannot be responsible and, thus, he or she is incompetent. Obviously, the leadership skills are a part of professional responsibility of military leaders.
Military leader’s confidence in relationships with their subordinates
1. Leaders as models of behavior for their subordinates
The responsibility of leaders influences their role and behavior in the military unit they head. In fact, leaders should be responsible for their own actions and behavior because they serve as models for their subordinates. Subordinates follow the lead of their leaders. Therefore, military leaders should provide subordinates with positive models of behavior (Brown, 2003). In addition, the behavior of military leaders contributes to the moral development of their subordinates, who learn positive models of behavior form their leaders. As a result, military leaders have no margin for error because they need to lead their subordinates to responsible behavior that meets all the requirements imposed on the military.
2. Leaders’ responsibility and interpersonal relationships within companies
At the same time, leaders’ responsibility includes the development of positive interpersonal relationships within military units between leaders and their subordinates. Leaders have to develop interpersonal relationships with their subordinates (Russell, 2003). Therefore, it is their responsibility to make interpersonal relationships with subordinates positive that will contribute to the improvement of the unit performance. Moreover, leaders are responsible for the prevention and resolution of conflicts to contribute to the improvement of the interpersonal relationship within their units. Obviously, conflicts within military units are absolutely unacceptable because they prevent the military from the fulfillment of their tasks and, what is more, conflicts put under a threat the survival of each soldier and the entire unit at large. In such a situation, the development of positive interpersonal relationships, being a part of military leaders’ responsibility, contributes consistently to the improvement of the effectiveness of military units and to the higher survival rates of subordinates under the command of a confident leader, who understands the significance of interpersonal relationships with his or her subordinates. In fact, military leaders should be confident in their subordinates as well as subordinates should be confident in their leaders.
Thus, the responsibility of leaders in the military services is an integral part of their professional development. Modern military leaders should be competent and have well-developed leadership skills and abilities. In addition, they have to be confident in their soldiers that can be reached through the development of positive interpersonal relationships with subordinates and high professionalism of leaders.
Benfari, R. C. (1999). Understanding and changing your management style. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Brown, D. C. (2003). Leading complex change. New York: Touchstone.
Dessler, G. (2004). Management: principles and practices for tomorrows’ leaders (3rd ed.). New Jersey: Upper Saddle River.
Russell, G. (2003). Introduction to Philosophy. New York: Random House.