JLBC: Leadership


JLBC: Leadership

Nielsen also writes that in accepting a commission, “the officer accepts the weighty responsibility for the welfare of the soldiers under his or her command.”44 While NCOs are at the forefront of caring for individual cadets; officers focus their caring responsibilities at the organizational, environmental, and systemic levels. This is not to say that officers do not also care for individual cadets. When they make plans and decisions, they are careful to envision their impact on individuals. They practice the empathy needed to see something from another person’s point of view, and they identify and enter into another person’s feelings and emotions. Officers draw heavily on NCO advice to understand these impacts and build this empathy. In the end, an officer makes their most significant contribution to caring for cadets by providing them the training, resources, time, and support needed to accomplish their mission. To do so, they routinely practice servant leadership techniques.

Servant leadership is a leadership approach in which the leader meets the subordinate’s legitimate needs—which might include such concerns as training, encouragement, resources, or help with personal issues—to allow the assistant to better focus on and accomplish the organizational mission. While the traditional authoritarian leader asks, “What can the organization do for me?” the servant leader asks, “What can I do for the organization?” David Brooks provides a modernized version of Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik’s “two Adams,” highlighting these different outlooks. Adam I, according to Brooks, is motivated by a practical, economic logic that pursues self-interest. Conversely, Adam II relies on moral reasoning to conclude.



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