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Leadership vs. Friendship: A JLBC Cadet Corps Case Study

Title: Leadership vs. Friendship: A JLBC Cadet Corps Case Study


This case study will explore the challenging dynamics between leadership and friendship within a fictional Junior Leaders Battalion Cadet (JLBC) unit. The central character is Cadet Platoon Leader Jane Smith, who leads a group of 30 cadets during their two-week annual training exercise. Among the cadets is Jane's close friend, Cadet Mark Johnson. As the training exercise progresses, Mark's performance starts to decline, and Jane faces the difficult decision of whether to address his shortcomings or preserve their friendship.


Jane Smith has been a dedicated and competent platoon leader, earning the respect of her fellow cadets. She is known for her strong leadership skills, fairness, and ability to maintain discipline within her platoon. During the annual training exercise, Jane notices that her friend Mark needs to perform at his usual level. He is often late for formations, neglects his responsibilities, and fails to motivate his team during physical training exercises.

Mark's lack of commitment begins to affect the platoon's morale, as they witness him receiving preferential treatment from Jane, who is hesitant to discipline him due to their friendship. This favoritism is causing resentment among the other cadets, and they are starting to question Jane's ability to lead effectively.

Discussion Questions:


  1. Why is it essential for a leader to maintain fairness and consistency in their leadership approach?

  2. How can showing favoritism towards a friend affect the morale and performance of a team or unit?

  3. What strategies can a leader use to separate personal feelings from professional responsibilities?


  1. How can Jane address Mark's performance issues while still maintaining their friendship?

  2. What might be the consequences of Jane's reluctance to discipline Mark on her leadership reputation?

  3. How can Jane involve her platoon's leadership team in addressing the situation without undermining her authority?


  1. What core leadership principles are being challenged in this case study, and how can Jane resolve these conflicts?

  2. How can Jane address the potential negative impact of Mark's behavior on the platoon's morale and cohesion?

  3. How can Jane create an environment that fosters strong personal relationships and effective leadership within her platoon?

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