Mr. Sensitive

May 16, 2010

Leadership Challenge For Gen. Jenny

Filed under: Girls,Imperial Army — lbej @ 11:39

I hate the word leadership, because it’s one of the words that gets overused in the corporate environment from which I recently escaped.  Everyone is nominally supposed to demonstrate leadership, even though the practical reality is that the majority of employees must  follow orders if a large enterprise is to effect coordinated action.  That doesn’t mean be sullen or rigid; orders might be to be engaging and personable, but they are orders nonetheless and must be followed or the enterprise will fail.  The enterprise will also fail if the orders are misguided, but that is a separate problem and, frankly, not a problem that the front line troops need to consider.  As a commander one must be careful that the troops don’t confuse leadership with critical thinking, the latter being something an infantryman or call center employee must absolutely not do in the midst of an operation.   Thus we have the concept of “leading by example,” which in practice means to show others how to follow orders.  Middle management/platoon leaders must lead in this way.  Senior management/division or corps commanders must provide practical leadership and strategic vision.  If Jenny is to succeed as my chief of staff she will need to begin to think strategically.  The appointment may be premature, but I’m confident she can mature into the role.


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