US ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE
Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC)
Intermediate Level Education – Common Core (ILE-CC)
C170 Argumentative Essay
Does the US Army Futures Command enable the Army to defeat its adversaries?
CH (MAJ) Justin DuBose
US Army Reserves
16 June 2022
Since the earliest recorded accounts of warfare, the battlefield and battlefield weaponry has consistently and constantly undergone change. While Roman Soldiers fought with spears and shields, by the 16th century guns were being used in battles fought on the European continent. Consider the changes in just the most recent century of warfare: Soldiers in World War I were still utilizing brutal and labor-intensive trench warfare tactics, while in the battle landscape of the past 20 years unmanned aerial vehicles roam the skies and drop precision bombs from invisible perches above the clouds. In this rapidly changing landscape, how can the United States Army continue to outpace its military competition around the globe? One suggested answer came in the formation of the US Army Futures Command located in Austin, TX. Becoming fully operational in 2019, the Army Futures Command was created to “accelerate modernization and stay ahead of near peer adversaries Russia and China” in the realm of defense capability and combat weaponry. While the goal of the US Army Futures Command is one worth pursuing, and of vital interest to the nation and its citizens, the real question to be considered is: Does the US Army Futures Command enable the Army to defeat its adversaries? This paper will consider this important question and offer evidence as to why the author believes that the Futures Command, as it currently exists, does not enable the Army to defeat its adversaries.
One must properly and concretely define terms to answer this question. What is meant by “defeat”? If defeat is to be understood in the classical sense where one enemy is soundly beaten by another to the point of unconditional surrender and full subjugation of their collective will, then it is presently impossible to conclude that the Futures Command enables the Army to accomplish that. Consider, for example, that the stated mission of the Futures Command is to “stay ahead of near peer adversaries”. Whatever “staying ahead” is, it does not have the same tone, confidence, and finality as “defeat”. If the Futures Command enables the Army to stay ahead of its adversaries, then it does not necessarily enable the Army to defeat them. Many arguments from history could be made to show that one force who “stayed ahead” of their adversaries were still defeated by them. Consider as evidence our own American Revolution. It could be argued that the British military was far ahead of the Continental Army in most every area (experience, numbers, funding, education, weapons, etc.) and yet was clearly defeated by them.
The term “adversary” must be clearly defined and understood as well. If the Futures Command is aiming to include only Russia and China in their scope (thereby excluding all other potential adversaries) perhaps that is measurable and attainable. However, modern battlefields are increasingly complex and distinctions between state and non-state, or public and private actors, only continue to blur. Authors David Barno and Nora Bensahel summarized this by saying of current and future warfare that “the barrier between Soldiers and civilians would fundamentally be erased, because the battle would be everywhere”. Barno and Bensahel candidly noted that the very concept of a battlefield or battlespace is outdated and without application in modern warfare because “society itself” is now the battlefield. With these conditions, defining the term “adversaries” can be a serious challenge. However, limiting adversaries to two major state actors can blind both military and civic authorities to the realities of combat, create a false sense of security, skew even the words we use to define our mission (like victory and defeat), and be a recipe for disaster.
The Army’s inherently slow speed of mass transition and questionable track record of new product development and rollout serve as additional evidence that the Futures Command cannot, on its own, enable the Army to defeat its adversaries. On the Futures Command website, their own references to their current and developing products read like a description of weapons used last century: missiles, artillery, armored multi-purpose vehicle, and tactical aircraft systems. It is not simply the nomenclature that presents an issue, but rather the underlying mindset and assumptions attached to those terms: a culture and mindset of war being fought between competing armies with weapons of warfare on a battlefield. However, the battlefields of the future – fought in society itself – relegate such weapons to museum relics and monuments of very expensive great ideas. General Valery Gerasimov, chief of the Russian General Staff authored what has come to be known as “Gerasimov’s Doctrine”. This doctrine is a revealing glimpse into the mind of Russia’s top military official and highlights how Russia thinks and conducts operations. In this doctrine, General Gerasimov noted that “war is now conducted by a roughly 4:1 ratio of non-military and military resources”. Thus, if a Command (such as the Futures Command) is to be adequately prepared to compete, much less defeat, their adversaries, they must consider resources beyond missiles and artillery. Furthermore, according to Gerasimov, they must consider those resources as significantly more valuable than military resources and invest aggressively in them and in subject matter experts who know how to operate them.
What do these non-military resources look like? Information itself has long been identified as a key sector of warfare. Accordingly, more of our adversaries see the “information war” as more urgent and effective than vehicles and aircraft. It comes as no surprise that in our current information age, one of the key observable trends throughout the globe is increased speed of human interaction and rapid socio-economic changes. This increased speed of human interaction has been brought on by technology, and, as that technology becomes more affordable and accessible, it is increasingly weaponized to influence the outcome of the information war. One major consequence of this change is that “nearly anyone with a smartphone or laptop can join that fight”. This has led to capable, sophisticated, and proactive cyber forces present across the globe in the form of state and non-state actors alike. How do these cyber forces seek to win the information war? Certainly not by expending precious resources on artillery and aircraft! No, their approach is more subtle and subversive. They are “setting up slush funds to influence opponents’ legislatures and governments, and buying controlling shares of stocks to convert an adversary’s major television and newspaper outlets into tools of media warfare”. Consequently, “The US Armed Forces – which remain the strongest and best resourced in the world – provide virtually no defense against the cyber vulnerabilities that affect every American business and household”.
The original question considered whether the US Army Futures Command could enable the US Army to defeat its adversaries. The opinion of the author is that the Futures Command, with its militaristic structure, scope, capability, and outlook, cannot fully or ably address the realities of modern or future warfare. Thus, it cannot enable the US Army to defeat its adversaries. In order for that answer to shift from the negative to the affirmative, the aforementioned realities must be addressed. Those in command must constantly consider and answer questions like: What is defeat? Who are our adversaries? What is the battlespace where victory will be won? How can we invest more aggressively and heavily in non-militaristic assets than in militaristic assets? How can we shape a culture whose mindset is reflected in the vocabulary and nomenclatures used across the command? With the modern complexities associated with warfare, the answer cannot be found in “staying ahead” of the curve. If victory is staying ahead, then defeat is not far ahead.
Barno, David & Bensahel, Nora. “A New Generation of Unrestricted Warfare.” Accessed June 16, 2022, https://www.warontherocks.com/2016/04/a-new-generation-of-unrestricted-warfare
Bartles, Charles K. “Getting Gerasimov Right.” Military Review January-February (2016): 30-37.
Judson, Jen. “Army Futures Command is ready for prime time.” Accessed June 16, 2022, http://defensenews.com/land/2019/07/17/army-futures-command-is-ready-for-prime-time/
Kersey, Ian. “Check out the TRADOC G-2’s new ‘The 2+3 Threat’ Video!” Accessed June 16, 2022, https://community.apan.org/wg/tradoc-g2/mad-scientist/b/weblog/posts/check-out-the-tradoc-g-2-s-new-the-2-3-threat-video
Kersey, Ian. “Check out U.S. Army Future Command’s Future Operational Environment (FOE) Video!” Accessed June 16, 2022, https://community.apan.org/wg/tradoc-g2/mad-scientist/b/weblog/posts/check-out-the-u-s-army-future-command-s-future-operational-environment-foe-video
US Army Futures Command. “2021 Year in Review”. Accessed June 16, 2022, http://armyfuturescommand.com/year-in-review
(NCU Dissertation) Perception of Motivating Language by Leaders in a Christian Denomination: Comparing Communication Effectiveness Through Digital and Traditional Channels (2022 01 27)
The PDF of my doctoral dissertation is attached below.
Technology is changing everything about the world in which we live and work, including leadership itself. This influence of technology on leadership is known as e-leadership (Savolainen, 2014). E-leadership is organizational leadership of highly technological structures stretched over different cultures and geographic regions (Avolio, 2014). While e-leadership is a growing and diverse field, one specific area of e-leadership involves leading virtual teams (Lilian, 2014). These widely dispersed organizational structures led to the advent and implementation of virtual teams (Lilian, 2014). With this growing organizational structure of dispersed virtual team members comes new, unique, and difficult leadership challenges which must be addressed by the e-leader (Hoch and Kozlowski, 2016). Liao defined virtual teams as “a collection of individuals who work on tasks that share varying degrees of interdependence and mutual accountability to accomplish a common goal” (2017, p. 651). While virtual teams are dynamic and take many forms, research has highlighted several common factors which impact how these teams should be led. A literature review of the research details numerous conclusions regarding the implementation and effectiveness of virtual teams. However, despite the recent findings, gaps still exist in the literature regarding e-leadership of widely dispersed and culturally diverse virtual teams (Alaiad, 2019; Gilson et al, 2015; Gross, 2018; Liao, 2017).
Statement of the Problem
Technology has become integrated into the workplace to such a degree that it has impacted every level of human relationship and interaction. Military, health care, transportation, government, small businesses, and major corporations have all become dependent on technology in their daily operations (Akçura & Avci, 2014). Despite the growing influence of technology in the workplace, little thought is often given to how these new technologies impact the human agents and human relationships within the organization (Turner, 2019). While technological advancements have created the ability for organizations to accomplish tasks more efficiently, they have also radically altered the human composition of the workplace. Team members who once shared office space and experienced regular, physical human interaction are now both culturally and geographically dispersed, and most interaction between members is virtual (Krumm et al., 2013; Avolio, 2014). These rapid changes have created new, unique, and difficult challenges for the modern organizational leader.
The general problem is that the increasing influence of technology in the workplace has the effect of altering human relationships and interactions in the workforce. The specific problem is the need to discover how twenty-eight District Superintendents of a Protestant, evangelical Christian denomination spread out across the United States can lead human agents effectively with increasing reliance on technology in executing the leadership role. Scholars have noted the need for additional research on leading virtual teams (Gilson et al., 2015; Mclarnon, 2019; Nordbäck & Espinosa, 2019; Gross, 2018; Alaiad, 2019) and on discovering ways e-leaders can positively develop and maintain relationship with individual virtual team members (Liao, 2017; Hill & Bartol, 2016).
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this quantitative, correlational research will be to test the theory of adaptive structuration theory that relates the impact of technological mediums to three key functions of leadership (accountability, communication, and trust-building) for twenty-eight District Superintendents of a Protestant, evangelical Christian denomination spread out across the United States.
The independent variable will be defined as the technological mediums utilized by the District Superintendents in executing their leadership roles. These variables include telephone, e-mail, texting, and video conferencing. The dependent variables will be defined as the three key leadership functions of accountability, communication, and trust-building.
This quantitative study contributes to the theory of adaptive structuration theory by exploring the relationship between the independent variables of technological mediums and the dependent variables of accountability, communication, and trust-building. These relationships will be explored by interviewing twenty-eight District Superintendents of a Protestant, evangelical denomination spread across the United States. Each of these District Superintendent’s leads a virtual team of varying sizes and levels of cultural diversity. These District Superintendents are identified as the participants in this correlational study. Data will be collected in the form of twelve survey questions with answers are recorded on an ordinal scale.
To adequately address the research problem and fulfill the research purpose, three research questions are posed and answered throughout this study. These questions are designed to contribute to the theory of adaptive structuration theory by allowing me to analyze organizational changes that result from implementing and utilizing innovative technologies in the workplace (Turner, 2019).
How does the utilization of technology impact the ability of the e-leader to hold virtual team members accountable to organizational standards?
Q2. How does the utilization of technological communication mediums (telephone calls, e-mail, texting, and video conferencing) impact the quality of communication between e-leader and virtual team members?
Q3. How does the utilization of technology impact trust-building between e-leader and virtual team members?
The null and alternative hypotheses associated with the research questions are:
H10. The utilization of technology has no relationship to the e-leader’s ability to hold virtual team members accountable to organizational standards.
H1a. There is a relationship between the utilization of technology and the e-leader’s ability to hold virtual team members accountable to organizational standards.
H20. The utilization of technological communication mediums (telephone calls, e-mail, texting, and video conferencing) has no relationship to the quality of communication between e-leader and virtual team members.
H2a. There is a relationship between the utilization of technological communication modes (telephone calls, e-mail, texting, and video conferencing) and the quality of communication between e-leader and virtual team members.
H30. The utilization of technology has no relationship to trust-building between e-leader and virtual team members.
H3a. There is a relationship between the utilization of technology and trust-building between e-leader and virtual team members.
Brief Review of the Literature
Liao defined virtual teams as “a collection of individuals who work on tasks that share varying degrees of interdependence and mutual accountability to accomplish a common goal” (2017, p. 651). While virtual teams are dynamic and take many forms, research has highlighted several commons factors which impact how these teams should be led. For example, Cheshin et al. (2013) found that most teams are partially, rather than exclusively, virtual. In studying the nature of dispersion amongst virtual teams, Krumm et al. (2013) identified cultural dispersion as the most common dimension of virtual teams. The organizational e-leader, then, is likely to lead a culturally diverse, partially virtual team.
In their study of virtual teams, Gilson et al. (2015) identified leadership as one of the most pressing themes in research on virtual teams and considered e-leadership of virtual teams an opportunity for future research. Hill & Bartol (2016) found that effective e-leadership of virtual teams empowers team members by providing collaboration between e-leader and team member as well as collaboration between fellow team members. Hill & Bartol (2016) also found that virtual collaboration contributes to team performance, and that team performance is also enhanced when e-leaders interact with individual team members. Writing about collaboration and communication between e-leader and virtual team members, Liao (2017) notes that current literature does not address the process by which the e-leader interacts with individual virtual team members in a way that builds and maintains relationships. Mclarnon (2019) noted that regular communication between e-leader and virtual team members improves performance. Similarly, Nordbäck & Espinosa (2019) noted that well-coordinated, shared leadership of virtual teams contributes to positive performance. Gross (2018) noted that different leadership styles contribute to different and unique elements of virtual team success, while also recommending additional research on leadership at the individual team member level. Additionally, Alaiad (2019) studied ten years of recent research about virtual teams, noting that much research on the subject is unintegrated and recommended that further research needs to be conducted outside the university setting. Ferrell (2016) noted that the subject of leadership is one of the few topics which maintains the same degree of relevance today as it did in ancient times. Ferrell (2016) also noted that the subject of leadership continues to receive extraordinary attention both in academia and society in general. More specifically, Gilson et al. (2015) noted that one of the greatest needs for research within the realm of leadership is e-leadership – where leadership and technology intersect.
This quantitative, correlational study will utilize surveys sent to twenty-eight survey respondents. The data from these surveys will then be synthesized and analyzed to draw quantitatively meaningful conclusions which provide answers to my three research questions. These surveys will be distributed online and the survey respondents will be provided a link which will take them to the appropriate web address for completing the survey. Once all surveys are submitted and data analysis is complete, each respondent will be provided with the results of the survey.
The population sample for this study are twenty-eight District Superintendents who each lead widely dispersed virtual teams within a defined geographic area. For the purposes of this study, these District Superintendents will be identified and referred to as the e-leaders. Due to the geographic and financial constraints present, each of these District Superintendents is forced to utilize technological communication mediums of telephone calls, texting, e-mails, and video conferencing with members of their virtual teams. They are forced to regularly exercise leadership over their team members without regular, physical, face-to-face interaction.
In this quantitative, correlational study the researcher will survey each of the twenty-eight District Superintendents. Each District Superintendent maintains an office with a small staff, including an Administrative Assistant. I will contact each District Superintendent’s Administrative Assistant and ensure that each District Superintendent receives and completes the survey. Each survey will consist of twelve questions on an ordinal scale to each of the twenty-eight participants. For each of the three research questions, there are four survey questions to gather information related to that research point. Data collected from the surveys will then undergo statistical analysis to determine the nature of the relationship between the dependent and independent variables.
This method of data collection by completing surveys was chosen because it provides ordinal data for quantitative statistical analysis which aligns with addressing the research problem and fulfilling the research purpose. The quantitative method is appropriate for this study because I am exploring the correlation between two variables and the responses of the participants regarding these relationships can be quantified (Creswell, 2013). Additionally, completing surveys is the most common data collection methodology employed in quantitative research and provides quantitative data to test the theory of adaptive structuration theory. (Creswell, 2013) ; (Turner, 2019).
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Demonstrate Leadership Theory for the NPO
OL 7104, Assignment 6
DuBose, Justin Z.
Dr. Gary McDaniel
3 November 2019
The Need for Volunteers
Research has demonstrated not only the necessity of volunteers in not-for-profit organizations, but also their underutilization (Vecina, 2013). Similarly, research has also concluded that not-for-profit organizations who invest more of their resources into their volunteers and their relationship and connectedness to the organization experience a greater degree of volunteer satisfaction (McAllum, 2014). Thus, the most important element to be understood and established is that this not-for-profit organization, like all others, is, in large part, dependent upon the need for volunteers in order to effectively carry out our mission in the community. However, it is equally important not only to understand the need for volunteers but also, and more importantly, the need for volunteers to be effectively engaged, motivated, and supported in their role.
Keeping volunteers motivated is one of the most challenging and important tasks of the volunteer relations manager. As a not-for-profit organization, much of what we do depends on our volunteer base, and keeping those volunteers engaged and motivated to perform their work is critical. Research on volunteer motivation has noted several important considerations for our organization, and especially for the volunteer relations manager tasked with recruiting and retaining volunteers. Building on existing literature on the subject of volunteer motivation can be helpful in providing a solid foundation that the volunteer relations manager can build upon on this organization.
Vecina (2013) concluded that levels of engagement and levels of commitment are different for all volunteers and in all organizations. Similarly, Puyvelde (2013) concluded that incentive structures which incorporate different types of objectives are good for recruitment and retention of volunteers. In other words, volunteers have different motivating forces which compel them to both engage and commit as volunteers with local organizations. The organizations studied by Puyvelde (2013) could be more effective, he concluded, if they identified multiple and varying objectives for their volunteers to work toward. This is important in understanding how to not only recruit a variety of volunteers, but also to motivate a variety of volunteers.
Vantilborgh (2018) concluded that volunteers will not continue to serve reliably when the contributions and inducements promised by the organization are not delivered as promised. Furthermore, when the contributions and inducements promised by the organization are not delivered in proportion to the service rendered by the volunteer, volunteer reliability will predictably decrease. Thus, it is important to implement a variety of incentives and ensuring the timely and successful delivery of incentives. Equally important to our understanding of volunteer motivation, however, is Bidee (2013) who noted that volunteers who are autonomously motivated require less management and oversight and generally produce better results than volunteers who require continuous motivation, management, and oversight. Thus, the identifying of volunteers who potentially fit this category can greatly aid the mission of the organization and further energize the volunteer base.
So, how do these findings help us shape a plan to motivate our volunteer base? Firstly, we must constantly evaluate and re-evaluate our incentives to volunteers – both tangible and intangible. On the intangible side of incentives, we must constantly re-evaluate our mission and to what degree it is compelling and inherently motivating. However, this will be explored further in the next section. On the tangible side of incentives, we must understand that volunteers are all motivated differently. In recognizing this, we have all volunteers take a self-assessment when they join the organization in order to determine how they express and understand gratitude. These assessments will separate volunteers into five categories and help understand how to express gratitude and appreciation for their efforts in order to keep them motivated during their time with the organization. Similarly, these categories will also determine how we lay out objectives for the volunteers to accomplish. For example, volunteers who fall into the category of “quality time” as an expression of gratitude and appreciation who have objectives which involve spending quality time with individuals in the community while ensuring motivation would also involve organizational leadership spending quality time with the volunteer.
Relating the Organizational Mission
One of the greatest tools for not-for-profit organizations in engaging volunteers in having a relatable and compelling organizational mission. Research has noted several important considerations for us in recruiting and retaining volunteers with our organizational mission and vision. McAllum (2014), for example, concluded that the nature of the agency (that is, the mission of the organization) as well as the relationships they form as volunteers (both within the organization as well as with the surrounding community) greatly shape the engagement and commitment of volunteers. Puyvelde (2013) also concluded that, for those volunteers already serving in not-for-profit organizations, the societal benefits of the organizational mission and vision of the organization as well as satisfaction of those being reached were the greatest motivators for the volunteers. Similarly, Henderson (2019) concluded that the volunteer fire fighters he interviewed in his research genuinely believed in their mission and this belief keeps them both engaged and committed to their departments. Additionally, Henderson (2019) noted that this organizational mission is the greatest factor in keeping these volunteer fire fighters engaged with the organization. Liu (2015) also noted the importance of “emotional brand management” with volunteers and the organizational mission and even noted that successful emotional brand management often contributes to increased organizational orientation and performance.
How can we use this research to help shape a plan to maintain a compelling organizational mission? Firstly, our organizational mission must be tied to a practical problem with data to highlight the problem as well as moving, compelling stories to show how our organization addresses this problem. This is not only a way to effectively communicate our organizational mission utilizing our volunteers, but it also serves as a recruiting tool for new volunteers. Those who are compelled by the organizational mission, and who have been personally impacted by the problems our organization addresses, already possess a degree of autonomous motivation. As stated in the previous section, this helps further motivate and empower our volunteer base.
Managing Volunteer Relationships
Another one of the greatest weapons for the not-for-profit organizations in recruiting and retaining volunteers is the proper management of relationships. While this section of this training manual can be an entirely standalone section, research has also tied the building of volunteer relationships to the organizational mission. McAllum (2014) recommended, for example, that not-for-profit organizations devote more time to intentionally communicating their mission and to utilize that mission and its communication to establish and cultivate relationships with and around their volunteer base. Nesbit (2018) took the importance of building relationships a step further. Nesbit (2018) concluded that organizations should focus on the “nurture” aspect of their organizational culture in order to achieve greater consistency in service delivery. Nesbit (2018) identified the foremost of these nurture aspects as organizational receptivity to new volunteers in order to foster a hospitable, relational climate. These “nurture” aspects are placed in contrast to the “nature” aspects of not-for-profit organizations. These aspects include physical location, resources given to recruitment of new volunteers, and organizational efforts given to retention of existing volunteers.
How can we build upon this research to help facilitate and build volunteer relationships throughout the organization? The most important step is to regularly ensure a hospitable, generous climate for volunteers. Nesbit’s (2018) research highlighted the importance of climate in recruiting and retaining volunteers even more so than intentional and strategic efforts at recruiting and retaining volunteers. The best barometers for estimating organizational climate toward volunteers are our volunteers themselves. Thus, a large part of our plan is to have our own volunteers take an annual climate survey to help us better understand whether or not we are ensuring a hospitable climate for our volunteers. These surveys will include recommendations for improvement from the volunteers. Secondly, we will organize quarterly socials in which intra-volunteer relationships can be facilitated to develop camaraderie and a sense of shared mission and vision. Thirdly, we will use our volunteers in both public and private settings to help communicate our message to the community. Organizational leaders and staff already communicate (and are expected to communicate) the mission and vision of the organization. However, we will utilize our volunteers for this purpose for the express purpose of them building and developing their own relationships with the surrounding community. This will not only empower them to function effectively in their roles, but also to build relationships and recruit additional volunteers.
Volunteers are one of the most important considerations for this organization in carrying out its mission. As the volunteer relations manager, your job is one of the most important in this organization. In acknowledging the important of this role, this manual was established to gu8die the important process and volunteer recruitment and retention. As research develops further, this manual will need to be developed further to ensure that our volunteers can be successful in their mission. When our volunteers are successful, our organization will be successful in carrying out its mission.
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Sherry, E. (2010). (Re)engaging Marginalized Groups Through Sport: The Homeless World Cup. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 45(1), 59-71. Retrieved on November 3, 2019.
Yukl, G. Leadership in Organizations, 5th ed.; Prentice-Hall: Upper Saddle River, NJ, USA, 2002.
Ascertain and Articulate the Ethical Viewpoints and Decisions of Others
OL 7102, Assignment 8
DuBose, Justin Z.
Dr. Robert Schultz
1 September 2019
Models for Ethical Decision-Making
Ethical decision-making is one of the most important skills for organizational leaders to possess, and one of the most important processes with which they can be familiar (Johnson, 2013). Johnson (2013) notes three ethical decision-making models for leaders: Kidder’s Ethical Checkpoints, the SAD Formula, and Nash’s 12 Questions. While these models are different, they contain important similarities that are important as they demonstrate the common factors of ethical decision-making. We will consider each of these models before examining the common factors they share.
Kidder’s Ethical Checkpoints consist of nine “checkpoints” for leaders to think through as they encounter and think through an ethical dilemma. He defines those checkpoints as: recognizing the problem, determining the actor, gathering relevant facts, testing for right-versus-wrong issues, testing for right-versus-right values, applying the ethical standards and perspectives, looking for a third way, making the decision, and revisiting and reflecting on the decision. These will be discussed in greater detail after considering the other two ethical decision-making models.
The SAD Formula is another methodology to consider and weigh ethical decisions by a leader. The aim of the SAD Formula is to align critical thinking with moral reasoning during the ethical decision-making process. The SAD Formula is broken down into three stages: situation definition, analysis of the situation, and the decision. The first stage, situation definition, is simply thinking through and defining the situation. This process leads to the distilling down of the situation into a concise question which defines the ethical dilemma and leads into the most detailed stage, the analysis of the situation. Analyzing the situation consists of several sub-stages. These sub-stages include the evaluation of values and principles, considering external factors, moral duties or loyalties present, considering moral theories. Once this analysis is complete, a decision is made based upon the analysis of each of these factors. The decision answers the question formulated during the situation definition phase and is answered by the analysis of the second phase.
Nash’s 12 Questions lists twelve questions for leaders to consider during the ethical decision-making process. The questions are:
These three models all aim at the same target of getting leaders to think carefully through the ethical decisions they have to make, the scope and impact of their decision, and the people involved in the process. Each of these models is designed to achieve the outcome of the best possible ethical decision for the leader, the organization as a whole, and the people within the organization. However, each of these models also seem to be highly abstract and weak on the important aspect of implementation. Each model is designed to get the leader to think but none seem to emphasize the doing aspect of ethical decision-making. This, of course, is the most important element of ethical decision-making and seems to be largely neglected by each model. Perhaps the assumption is that once the leader thinks successfully through the problems then the implementation will be built into the solution. However, the bridge from theoretical to practical is long and difficult.
Each of these models is also quite long and cumbersome. The SAD Formula is the most concise of the three models, but when the sub-stages are included, this three-step formula becomes as involved as nine checkpoints or twelve questions. Again, this is good at helping someone think through a serious problem, but what if there is not enough time to walk through each question or checkpoint? Some serious ethical decisions (such as those made in combat or emergency situations) require a quick decision by the leader, and to go through these models would present an ethical dilemma in itself due to the potential damage caused by failing to make a quick decision.
As an Army chaplain, much has been written about the issue of ethical decision-making, given the role of the chaplain within the larger context of the armed forces. The military is a profession of arms and, thus, those employed are servicemen and women who take up arms in service of their country. However, not all employed in this profession of arms are combatants. The role of the Chaplain is paradoxical in that, though they are employed by the military, they serve exclusively as non-combatants. Section 3-1f of AR 165-1 states that, “Chaplains will not bear arms in combat or in unit combat skills training. Chaplains function as protected personnel under the Geneva Convention and are noncombatants as a matter of Army policy (see FM 27–10)” (Headquarters, 2015). This policy is reinforced in section 1-25 of FM 1-05 when it says, “At no time shall chaplains compromise their noncombatant status provided to them by the Law of War” (Headquarters, 2012). At no point in their service to both God and country do they take up arms either with their fellow service members or against any enemy. Thus, chaplains are often at an interesting point of ethical decision-making serving as non-combatant in the midst of combat and alongside many combatants.
Michael Walzer, in his article “The Triumph of Just War Theory (and the Dangers of Success) addresses this issue of ethical-decision-making for the chaplain (Walzer, 2002). Just War Theory, he notes, has been examined and employed in every war since the founding of our nation, and continues to be so presently. Walzer notes the practical reason supporting this fact when he writes that the Just War Theory “made war possible in a world where war was, sometimes, necessary” (Walzer, 2002, pg. 930). The ugly reality and necessity of war will always clash with the ideals and virtues of peace and forgiveness, and thus the uniquely ethical and theological voice of the chaplain will always be relevant and necessary to Commander and Soldier.
Walzer further notes that in the profession of arms, the chaplain’s voice becomes most impactful in the area of ethical decision-making. Their role as an advisor to the Commander on such issues profoundly shapes the ethical standard set by the Commander, which directly impacts decision-making. In modern military doctrine, he points to the fact that the chaplain is tied to the organizational leader as the champion of an objective ethical standard which is to be maintained by those within the organization. Specifically, the chaplain is even directed to be the ethical standard-bearer for the organization and is responsible for building and maintaining an ethical climate.
Walzer concludes by noting that the realities of war will be forever present in a profession of arms and, since those realities exist, the demand for theological thinking and ethical decision-making will persist. As nations continue to war, they will continue to employ and train Soldiers to be their warriors. As these warriors valiantly perform their duties, it is imperative that the chaplain provide not only a clear theological voice for the individual, but an equally clear ethical voice and presence which impacts the Commander and the decision that he or she must make. Thus, the role of chaplain in clarifying ethical decision-making within the organization is and will continue to be imperative.
The ethical decision-making of the chaplain – specifically in their role as non-combatants in the profession of arms presents several consequences related to ethics. One consequence of the non-combatant role of the chaplain is that it places them in a unique role to advise on ethical and spiritual issues which affect psychological, emotional, and mental capabilities, and which can often be more important than physical issues. Every Soldier seeks to maximize their unique contribution to the mission, and the chaplain’s most valuable contribution is often as pastor and spiritual advisor. The importance of this distinct contribution is often overlooked. In dealing with “moral injury”, one author points out that “there may also be wounds affecting the ‘soul’ that are far more difﬁcult to heal—if at all” (Seddon, 2011). These “soul wounds” are in desperate and immediate need of care, and the presence and ministry of the Chaplain as a non-combatant preserves and maximizes this contribution. The ethical decision-making challenges related to such scenarios is often encountered when these problems are presented to leadership whose primary concern is almost always physical rather than emotional, spiritual, or psychological. The chaplain must seriously think through the decision-making process in presenting such a need to a Commander as not only are they often the only person considering such needs, but also the only one presenting such needs to individuals in positions of leadership, authority, or responsibility.
Similarly, another ethical consequence of chaplain as non-combatant provides a platform to contribute to the mission of the unit as a religious advisor. As a non-combatant, the chaplain can function as not only a religious advisor to the Commander, but it also legitimizes his role as religious liaison in the outside community. When required, the chaplain can interact with the local religious leaders and personnel on a level of trust which the non-combatant status upholds. This particular function far outdates the United States Army. “Biblical records show that the Israelites took their religious advisors into battle with them; the same was true for the Romans” (Otis, 2009). This contribution is so integral to the non-combatant role of the chaplain that it is codified in various Army Regulations. For example, Paragraph 9-10c and 9-11 in AR 165-1 specifically outlines one of the roles of the chaplain as the advisor to the Commander in such matters (Headquarters, 2015). This key role and unique contribution of the chaplain is effective because of their noncombatant status and, to remove such a status, would greatly diminish their value.
One poignant example which perfectly encapsulates these sentiments comes from a television episode where a chaplain saves the lives of two men by jumping onto a grenade that had been tossed into their bunker. While one man interprets those actions as foolish, the other replies, “He’s not a fool, he’s a Chaplain!” Such emotions and sentiments have been stirred as a direct result of this chaplain’s heroism and compassion, which are only magnified in light of his status as a non-combatant going to war with his Soldiers. While the status of chaplains as non-combatants upholds this glorious reputation and permits them to have an indelible impact on our Soldiers, it also often places them in the midst of ethical crises, confusion, and chaos which make the ethical decision-making process one which they must be both intimately familiar and comfortable.
Steps in Ethical Decision-Making
Both in the case of military chaplains specifically and organizational leaders generally, ethical decision-making is imperative and certain steps must be carefully considered and taken. Johnson (2013) noted several models for ethical decision-making, but the SAD Formula is the most concise and easy to implement without losing effectiveness. The entire formula consists of three steps: defining the situation, assessing the situation, and coming to a decision. These three steps can be expanded as needed in a variety of situations, but these basic steps must be taken in order to reach a good, thoughtful ethical decision.
The first step of defining the situation is obviously imperative as a clear decision cannot be reached without first defining the problem needing to be solved. Organizational leaders must take time – whether intuitively or more mechanically – to think through and define the problem. In many cases, what often appears to be the problem initially may be simply be a symptom of the underlying problem needing to be addressed. This diagnosis, however, will not be reached without the thoughtful and deliberate consideration of defining the problem. Once the problem is clearly and accurately defined, the hard work of analyzing the problem begins. This is likely the most important step as analyzing will lead to clarity in helping the leader reach the best possible solution to remove the problem.
Singh (2011) importantly noted that organizational leaders must not only talk about ethics, but they must model them and make them work for both the organization and its members. This process of analysis is crucial to help leaders best discover how to make ethics and ethical decisions work for those within their organization. Analysis may consist of several sub-stages (such as considering external factors and the morals/principles at play), or the process may be less strictly defined and structured (Johnson, 2013). Regardless of the means of analysis undertaken by the leader, this important step of analyzing the situation is crucial. Successful analysis may not only solve the immediate ethical situation, but it may also establish precedent for future ethical situations or uncover patterns which may need to be addressed by the leader. Regardless of the severity of the incident or the scope of the situation, ethical leaders must analyze their situation to achieve ethical outcomes.
Finally, a decision must be reached and implemented by the leader. Once the situation is clearly defined and properly and thoroughly analyzed, the decision may be evident or it may require deeper consideration by the leader. As mentioned earlier, however, the ethical decision-making process must not simply be a mental exercise for the leader. Rather, the focus must be on implementation of the decision by the leader. Therefore, in reaching a decision, leaders must always consider the implementation of their decision across the organization. Leaders must make sure that their decision is clear and that the means by which the decision is to be implemented at the individual level is also clear. If these simple steps are taken, leaders are more likely to achieve the desired ethical outcomes – both in their thinking process as well as in their implementation.
Johnson (2013) noted a particular case study which is both current as well as interesting to evaluate from a number of ethical perspectives. Johnson (2013) noted the case of United States Army Private Bradley Manning and his leaking of national security information to WikiLeaks. Manning’s stated goal, as Johnson (2013) noted, was to spark a debate about national security, particularly in regard to foreign policy in Iraq and Afghanistan. How do leaders from various ethical perspectives view and consider the actions of Private Bradley Manning?
Caldwell (2011) identifies ten ethical frameworks in which leaders typically operate: distributive justice, contributing liberty, self-interest, personal virtues, religious injunctions, governmental requirements, utilitarian benefits, universal rules, individual rights, and economic efficiency. Leaders in each of these frameworks have a different lens through which they might view the actions of Private Bradley Manning and reach a decision about how to deal with him in the aftermath of his actions. Leaders operating through a framework of distributive justice value preserving the rights of individuals and may side with Manning on account of his individual rights. Leaders operating through a framework of contributing liberty value what is best for society as a whole and could either side with Manning on account of transparency for the good of society or with the government on account of society being harmed by his actions. Leaders operating through a framework of self-interest value what is best for them and, if in positions of power in the government, would side against Manning due to the adverse impact of his actions against their interests. Leaders operating through a framework of personal virtues value what is best for a “good” society and could side ethically either with or against Manning depending upon what is seen as good. Leaders operating through a framework of religious injunctions value kindness and compassion and may either be compassionate toward Manning or toward American culture and society. Leaders operating through a framework of government requirements value laws and legal requirements and would clearly side with the government due to Manning’s breaking of laws. Leaders operating through a framework of utilitarian benefits value the greater good for society and would likely side with the government due to the harm caused by his actions to society. Leaders operating through a framework of universal values value the individual and the equal treatment of all people and could view Manning as either a hero or a villain depending on their perspective. Leaders operating through a framework of individual rights value the rights of the individual and would likely be sympathetic toward Manning and his rights as an American citizen. Lastly, leaders operating through a framework of economic efficiency value wealth creation for society and would likely be indifferent toward his actions from an ethical perspective.
Ethical decision-making by organizational leaders clearly carries massive implications. Leaders must carefully weigh their decisions, particularly in regard to the ethical standards and climate they set by their decisions. The weight of their decisions is so impactful and so far-reaching, that some researchers have even called for a global moral code to be established to be followed by all leaders (Jurkiewicz, 2012). Given the potential consequences of these ethical decisions, leaders must deliberately and thoughtfully think through their own ethical decision-making process and framework. However, while such processes are helpful to thinking through ethical decisions, careful thought must also be given to the implementation of ethical decisions. Members of the organization must not only know the standards for ethics, but also the practical ways in which they are to abide by the ethical code and decisions of their leaders.
Caldwell, C. (2011). Duties Owed to Organizational Citizens – Ethical Insights for Today’s Leader. Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 102, 343–356. Retrieved September 1, 2019.
Headquarters, Department of the Army. AR 165-1: Army Chaplain Corps Activities. Washington, D.C, 2015.
Headquarters, Department of the Army. FM 1-05: Religious Support. Washington, D.C, 2012.
Johnson, C. E. (2013). Meeting the ethical challenges of leadership: Casting light or shadow (5th ed.). Los Angeles, CA: SAGE
Jurkiewicz, C.L. (2012). Developing a Multicultural Organizational Code of Ethics Rooted in the Moral Obligations of Citizenry. Public Organizational Review, Vol 12, 243–249. Retrieved September 1, 2019.
Otis, P. (2009). An Overview of the U.S. Military Chaplaincy: A Ministry of Presence and Practice. Review of Faith & International Affairs 7(4). Retrieved September 1, 2019.
Seddon, R.L., Jones, E., & Greenberg, N. (2011). The Role of Chaplains in Maintaining the Psychological Health of Military Personnel: An Historical and Contemporary Perspective. Military Medicine, Vol. 176. Retrieved September 1, 2019.
Singh, K. (2011). Developing Ethics at the Workplace through Transformational Leadership: A Study of Business Organizations in India. Journal of Knowledge Globalization, 4(2), 31- 57. Retrieved September 1, 2019.
Walzer, M. (2002). The Triumph of Just War Theory (and the Dangers of Success). Social Research, 69(4), 925-944. Retrieved September 1, 2019.
Identify and Evaluate Leadership Theory
OL 7102, Assignment 6
DuBose, Justin Z.
Dr. Robert Schultz
25 August 2019
Dinh et al. (2014) noted that many leadership theories exist and more continue to emerge and develop. Some of the existing and emerging leadership theories, their theorist, and primary tenets are synthesized in table 1 below.
Leaders transform the expectation and reality of followers
Leaders who serve others make the most effectual leaders
Leaders possess a charisma which is visionary and inspiring
Leaders motivate followers through reward/punishment incentives
Offermann, Kennedy, & Wirtz
Leadership is a conceptualization of leadership traits and behaviors
Gerth & Mills
Leadership is a combination of an individual and their leadership in unique situations
Leadership is contingent upon relational and task-oriented situational demands
Great men bring about great changes in society
Trait Theory of Leadership
Kohs & Irle
Leadership is defined by inherent traits and personality characteristics
Thought processes of a leader must be understood in relation to their situation
Exchange Leadership Theory
A leader is only as effective as the behavior he/she changes in their followers
Bolden & Gosling
Leadership is impactful only a collective and not only and individual scale
Boal & Hooijberg
A “top-down” approach to leadership where an organization is aligned with strategic goals
Zaccaro, Rittman, & Marks
Leadership emerges in team performance and team building
Leadership surfaces in those with altruistic behaviors
Leadership includes self-concept and social identity frameworks
Leaders behave contrary to the well-being of followers and the organization
Avolio et al
Leadership encompasses virtual space and virtual workplaces and communication
Cogliser & Brigham
Leadership emerges in entrepreneurial vision and behaviors
Transformational, Servant, Authentic, & Aesthetic Leadership
Like Dinh et al. (2014), Johnson (2013) noted four normative leadership styles: transformational, servant, authentic, and aesthetic leadership. He noted that transformational leadership is characterized by idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and idealized consideration. He characterized servant leadership as valuing stewardship, a strong sense of obligation, partnership and purpose, and bringing emotional healing to followers. Authentic leaders have a moral and ethical foundation and set high ethical standards. They also align themselves with the values of the organization and empower others to lead and make tough leadership decisions. Finally, Johnson (2013) characterizes aesthetic leaders by noting their emphasis on emotions and scenery and their ability to improvise and be flexible in any situation. They have a deep connection to purpose and look to serve the greater needs around them. While Johnson (2013) noted the strengths of each of these four leadership styles, the style of servant leadership is the most realistic and most compelling for a number of reasons for me as a leader.
In 1977, Greenleaf developed the theory of servant leadership (Landis, 2014). Servant leadership states that leaders who serve others make the most effectual leaders (Landis, 2014). Servant leadership espouses the idea that leaders who genuinely care about the people they lead will generate the greatest level of motivation and dedication throughout all echelons of the organization. Beyer (2012) noted that behavior traits of servant leaders include helping following to succeed and grow, bring emotional healing, empowering followers, and creating value for those within the community and/or organization.
Servant leadership is both realistic and effectual because it establishes trust by genuinely caring for those within the organization. As concluded by Landis (2014), this trust will generate the greatest level of motivation in followers to excel as members of the organization. Due to the building of trust between leader and stakeholder, servant leadership also creates open and honest lines of communication. As employees are encouraged to communicate, their input is invited into the decision-making processes of the organization. Servant leaders will also relationally invest in their employees as a result of their genuine care for their well-being. Servant leaders who demonstrate a care for those within their organization will base such care upon ethical stances and values rooted in compassion and empathy. Washington (2014) concluded that servant leaders are integral in establishing ethical climates, and that establishing ethical climates drives those within the organization to increase their own ethical standards and behavior. Servant leaders establish an organizational climate where employees are not only motivated to perform and behave well, but also to continually increase the standard of their performance and behavior. Leaders are poised to not only tap into stakeholder motivation and personal values, but, more importantly, to increase and expand motivation and personal values by motivating them to take such values to higher levels (Washington, 2014). These reasons highlight for the author that servant leadership is not only the most effectual means of motivating employees to perform in a general sense, but specifically in the not-for-profit sector.
Portrait of Servant Leadership
A portrait and example of servant leadership in the not-for-profit sector with whom I have personal experience is Dr. Scott Borderud. Dr. Borderud is a leader within my organization who serves simultaneously at multiple echelons of leadership. Dr. Borderud serves as a local pastor of a church of approximately 500 congregants as well as the treasurer of our district (three states and approximately one-hundred churches). Previously, I served for three years under Dr. Borderud as an Associate Pastor before departing in 2013 to lead my own congregation.
Dr. Borderud immediately stuck out to me because of his unique leadership behavior and traits which positively impacted my life. Dr. Borderud was a graduate of the Naval Academy and spent time as both a Marine Infantry Officer as well as an Army Chaplain. Consequently, he was thoroughly trained and well-versed in a variety of leadership styles. He always spoke very directly and easily commanded the room in which he was present. However, despite this training and presence, his leadership behavior and traits were consistent with servant leadership.
Dr. Borderud is, in many ways, the embodiment of servant leadership. Washington, Sutton, and Sauser (2014) define servant leadership as a distinct leadership style in which the leader values the good of the follower above their own self-interest. He told me numerous times that while he valued my contributions to the team, that it would be self-serving of him not to acknowledge my strengths and the future potential available. He selflessly took time to develop my skills and talents and went out of his way to expose me to greater opportunities for service and leadership. One instance in which this was evident was when I confronted him about an opportunity to serve on my own as a pastor, and asked him again for guidance and wisdom. He then advocated for me to candidate for the position, which is a large part of the reason why I am in my present position. He selflessly placed my needs – and the needs of others – above his own for the betterment of the organization and the individuals comprising the organization.
Servant Leadership Questionnaire
Johnson (2013) provides a servant leadership questionnaire for consideration by leaders. According to his scale, Dr. Borderud scored a fifteen out of a possible sixteen in altruism and a nineteen out of a possible twenty in organizational development. His highest rated category was persuasive mapping where he scored a perfect twenty out of twenty, followed by organizational development where he scored nineteen out of a possible twenty. In the category of wisdom, he scored eighteen out of a possible twenty. His lowest rated category was emotional healing, where he scored twelve out of a possible twenty points.
Leaders like Dr. Borderud can learn a great deal from conducting these or similar assessments. Firstly, they are beneficial to increasing awareness of those areas in which a leader needs improvement. As all leaders are weak in certain areas, all leaders can benefit from such self-assessment. Secondly, these types of assessments may be given to subordinates for their own input. This helps leaders see and understand themselves from the perspective of those they lead. This is always beneficial to becoming a better leader. Finally, with these assessment tools, leaders can put in place a performance improvement plan (or similar tool) to lay out specific steps to take based upon feedback received from such assessments. Specifically with servant leadership, such steps align perfectly with the desire to better serve those you lead and, thus, lead them better and more persuasively. These reasons make such assessments invaluable to servant leaders.
Beyer, B. (2012). Blending constructs and concepts: Development of emerging theories of organizational leadership and their relationship to leadership practices for social justice. International Journal of Educational Leadership Preparation, 7(3). Retrieved August 25, 2019.
Dinh et al. (2014). Leadership theory and research in the new millennium: Current theoretical trends and changing perspectives. The Leadership Quarterly, Vol. 25, 36-62. Retrieved August 25, 2019.
Johnson, C. E. (2013). Meeting the ethical challenges of leadership: Casting light or shadow (5th ed.). Los Angeles, CA: SAGE
Landis, E. A., Hill, D., & Harvey, M. R. (2014). A synthesis of leadership theories and styles. Journal of Management Policy and Practice, 15(2). Retrieved August 25, 2019.
Washington, R. R., Sutton, C. D., & Sauser, J. I. (2014). How distinct is servant leadership theory? Empirical comparisons with competing theories. Journal of Leadership, Accountability and Ethics, 11(1). Retrieved August 25, 2019.
Construct a Personal Ethical Framework
OL 7102, Assignment 5
DuBose, Justin Z.
Dr. Robert Schultz
18 August 2019
Importance of Ethical Frameworks in Leadership
Leadership theories provide an insight into personality and character traits which make a leader effective. However, they do not provide any ethical framework in which a leader operates. Therefore, leadership theories need to be synthesized with ethical stances in order to establish ethical climates. Yazdani (2014) provides an overview of ethical stances which provides the data utilized in this section. Yazdani (2014) delineates ethical stances by looking at both the leading philosopher as well as the major ethical stance. These ethical stances extend from Confucius and his stance of virtue ethics to John Rawls and his stance of deontological ethics (Yazdani, 2014). In considering these various ethical stances, Yazdani (2014) applies these ethical stances to organizations, noting that leaders will exhibit some form of ethical stance through their leadership style. These ethical stances range from virtue ethics – certain virtues are valued and are to be lived out – to utilitarian ethics, which provide an ethical framework where the end justifies the means.
While leaders will possess different strengths and subscribe to different leadership theories, each will also establish an ethical climate for the organizations they lead. This can be either through conscious and intentional effort or through their behavior. Kouzes & Posner (2002) noted that leaders must first model the behavior which they expect of their stakeholders. What is presupposed within such an expectation is that leaders themselves know and model the principles they expect others within the organization to embody. Leaders must be aware of the ethical climate they establish and be conscious of the behavior and values they exhibit to stakeholders.
Allport’s Six Major Value Types (which framework for leaders)
Allport noted six major value types which, he suggested, provided value frameworks in which leaders operate (Johnson, 2013). These value types are categorized as theoretical, economic, aesthetic, social, political, and religious. He noted that theoretical values are characterized by intellectuals who are often rational and objective and seek to discover the truth. Economic values place usefulness as the greatest value and are primarily interested in production and accumulating wealth. Aesthetic values include harmony and form and base their judgments on values such as symmetry and harmony. Social values place love of others as their highest priority and are often typified by kindness and selflessness. Political value systems place power as the ultimate value. Accumulating power is the primary goal and they derive much enjoyment from their positions. Religious values include unity and relating themselves to the world around them. Leaders in various arenas will fit into different ethical frameworks. As a pastor and chaplain, my ethical framework is a hybrid of social and religious value types. Seeking to serve the Almighty and fellow man is the driving ethical force in my own life and provides my personal ethical foundation.
Leadership and Expanding Adaptive Capacity
Ethics is often a catalyst for increasing capacity within both individuals and organizations. Numerous studies have explored and examined the correlation between leadership and leadership styles and their effect on organizational capacity. Various theories have been proposed from case studies that have observed various leadership styles.
Doh & Quigley (2014) modeled a “stakeholder approach” which proposes that leaders can increase organizational capacity by investing in individuals within the organization psychologically and by contributing knowledge which will lead to positive outcomes. Similarly, one theory suggests that the “need for leadership succession planning” and the “limited training opportunities for managers” are at the forefront of leadership concerns for building organizational capacity (Austin, 2011). Based on this conclusion, Austin recommends a particular program for leaders to consider in increasing organizational capacity: the Managerial Leadership Training Program (MLTP). MLTP identifies four high-priority areas for skill development. These are leadership development, external relations, management capacities, and executive board relationship development (Austin, 2011).
Other theories and studies have highlighted the importance of self-assessment and evaluation as being critical to leadership development and its contribution to organizational capacity. Leaders who were courageous, for example, as defined by Henze, Norte, Sather, Walker, and Katz (2002) were those who “looked within themselves and honestly confronted their own biases and shortcomings”. Equally, one author notes that “embracing your strengths and appreciating others’ perceptions of you help you to be a better leader” (Jackson, 2011). In particular, two leadership style of transformational and transactional leadership have been examined in this regard. Leaders who utilize transformational leadership motivate their employees beyond personal interests and also act as role models for those employees (Davidson, 2003). Quintana, Park, & Cabrera (2014) also examined the effects of transactional leadership on a variety of organizational outcomes and concluded that it has a direct impact on employee satisfaction, extra effort, and employee effectiveness.
Implicit in this concept in the understanding by leaders of their unique style of leadership. One such tool, the leadership legacy assessment, assesses for leaders their “legacy style” of leadership. My own assessment revealed that my strongest style is a truth-seeker and my secondary style is a creative builder. According to this analysis, truth-seekers think in terms of fairness and must exercise judgment and objectivity. They always seek to level the playing field for those in need and are process-oriented equalizers in their field. Additionally, creative builders, which is my second strongest leadership characteristic, are visionaries and entrepreneurs. They are naturally inclined and gifted at taking ideas and bringing them to life. In each instance, utilizing an ethical framework to serve others and invest in them is necessary to increasing adaptive capacity.
Organization and Standards of Ethics and Integrity
Organizations often codify their ethical values into ethical standards or codes of conduct for their employees. As an officer in the United States Army, I am very familiar with their code of ethics and integrity. The Army drills (literally) its own code of ethics and integrity into Soldiers in the form of seven Army values: loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage. By utilizing the acronym of “LDRSHIP”, the Army endeavors to teach every Soldier that ethics and integrity are integral to being a good leader. Oftentimes, these values are reinforced through a series of vignettes in which the individual Soldier is forced to demonstrate ethics, integrity, and adherence to Army values before his or her peers. This standard of ethics, and its constant reinforcement by leadership, contributes to a mindful of ethics and ethical frameworks by Soldiers in positions of leadership and influence across all ranks of the Army.
Shaping Ethical Climate
While each leader will have their own leadership style, they must also consider which ethical stance or framework they will utilize in setting the ethical climate of the organization. Codified standards of ethics and integrity are intended to help keep organizations from falling into unethical and harmful practices. There are many recent examples of failures in business which highlight the need for ethical organizations, leaders, and climates. More specifically, the importance of ethical leadership and ethical organizational climates are highlighted two highly visible corporate problems: the increasing number of scandals (such as Enron) and the growing pay inequalities within organizations (Yazdani, 2014). These are just two problems highlighted by researchers which illustrate this need.
Schwepker (2015) noted that ethical climate is important because it establishes the expectations for behavior for members of the organizations. Furthermore, Schwepker (2015) noted that ethical climate is a stronger motivational factor than organizational climate. While many leaders may give much thought as to the overall climate of the organization, research indicates that motivating employees and other stakeholders is best accomplished by the establishment of a strong ethical climate. This can be accomplished using any of the five chosen leadership styles.
Singh (2011) noted, for example, that transformational leaders must meet three important leadership objectives: vision development, mobilization of organizational assets, and institutionalizing changes so that they endure over time. Each of these three objectives are best accomplished by establishing a strong ethical climate through consistent ethical leadership. However, these same objectives could easily be imposed upon any form of leadership as these are broad targets for any organizational leaders. Thus, whether leaders espoused transformational leadership, servant leadership, transactional leadership, situational leadership, or charismatic leadership they would be seeking to accomplish these same organizational objectives.
While organizational leaders are aiming at the same targets, they are also addressing the same problems. In looking at the two problems mentioned – corporate scandals and pay inequalities – leaders of any style must combat such problems. Establishing an ethical climate is a proven and effective way of combating these issues and this can be accomplished by leaders of all styles. Singh (2011) noted that one way of establishing an effective ethical climate and motivating stakeholders throughout the organization is to link individual values with organizational values. Additionally, research suggests that leaders not only shape the ethical climate of the organization but of the individual as well (Hood, 2003). Organizational leaders must consider not only the organizational values they will espouse, but also personal values. Embodying personal values will not only shape the ethical climate of the organization, but of the individual stakeholders. This linkage between personal values and organizational will not only make the organization more effective and efficient and motivate stakeholders, but it will also mitigate these problems and others by establishing an ethical climate which makes an inhospitable environment for unethical behavior. This can and should be accomplished by leaders of all styles.
Controlling Destructive Behavior
In order to pursue ethical integrity for both individuals and organizations as a whole, five steps can be taken to control and prevent destructive behavior. Firstly, leadership can and should sit down and think through an ethical code of conduct. Secondly, like the example of the United States Army listed above, organizations should publish their code of conduct so that everyone within the organization can easily access the information. Thirdly, there should be training and refresher courses given at regular intervals to all within the organization which are proactive and preventative in nature, rather than reactive. Fourthly, scenarios should be created which force those within the organization into a variety of ethical dilemmas and reinforce the values, ethics, and integrity desired by the leadership. Fifthly and finally, destructive behavior should be expected and training ready before-hand in order to discuss with everyone how to prevent the destructive behavior from reoccurring. Everyone should be fully informed of the behavior, the damages caused by the behavior, the expectations of how to deal with the behavior, and means of prevention.
Organizational Compliance and Organizational Integrity
The major goal of all leaders and organizations is to attain organization integrity at the individual level rather than organizational compliance. Ethical standards, value systems, and codes of conduct are designed to develop and cultivate integrity within individuals rather simply compliance to a set of organizational standards. To highlight this difference, consider the similarities and differences in Soldiers and prisoners in the United States. Many similarities exist: both diets consist of government food, both wear uniforms, both are subject to times at which they must awake in the morning and go to sleep at night, and both have grooming standards they are forced to adhere to at all times. However, the primary difference is why each group adheres to these standards. In the case of prisoners, there is simply organizational compliance. They are forced by the state to continue in these routines with no inherent expectation that they internalize any of the standards to which they are subject. However, in the case of Soldiers, they voluntarily chose to be members of the organization and their leaders reinforce these values and ethical standards with the goal and expectation that they will become men and women of integrity. Once an organization witnesses individuals thinking and acting with integrity rather than simply complying to a standard, they can begin to experience the increased capacity discussed earlier.
Cultural Relativism or Universal Ethical Standards
Regardless of which ethical framework and value system leaders and organizations subscribe to, there must be a universal standard of ethics rather simply cultural relativism. One practical danger of cultural relativism in relation to ethics is the inability in a relativistic world to actually be without integrity and live unethically. Their defense can always be that their ethical code and standards for integrity are different from those around them. This sort of ethical chaos is not only counter-productive but unlivable for all within a given organizational culture. Research has reinforced this truth. For example, the research of Werhane (2014) concluded that even though certain operating environments are unethical, operating ethically in an unethical environment can produce good, ethical results. In other words, values-based ethical leadership can have a positive effect on the surrounding culture even when that culture is generally unethical. Additionally, and of equal importance, is a study undertaken by Alas (2006). The research of Alas (2006) demonstrated that, although there are various cultural conceptions of ethics, certain cross-cultural values do exist. These conclusions – the existence of cross-cultural values and the influence of ethics in unethical environments – reinforce the need for universal ethical standards by leaders rather than simply cultural and moral relativism with regard to codes of conduct of standards of integrity.
Werhane, P. H. (2014). Competing with Integrity: Richard De George and the ethics of global business. Journal of Business Ethics, 127(1), 737-742. doi: 10.1007/s10551-014-2183-y
Austin, M.J., Regan, K., Samples, M.W., Schwartz, S.L., & Carnochan, S. (2011). Building Managerial and Organizational Capacity in Nonprofit Human Service Organizations Through a Leadership Development Program. Administration in Social Work, 35(3), 258-281. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
Doh, J.P. & Quigley, N.R. (2014). Responsible Leadership and Stakeholder Management: Influence Pathways and Organizational Outcomes. The Academy of Management Perspectives, 28(3), 255-274. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
Johnson, C. E. (2013). Meeting the ethical challenges of leadership: Casting light or shadow (5th ed.). Los Angeles, CA: SAGE
Henze, R.C., Norte, E., Sather, S.E., Walker, E., Katz, A. (2002). Leading for Diversity: How school leaders promote positive interethnic relations. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
Hood, J. N. (2003). The relationship of leadership style and CEO values to ethical practices in organizations. Journal of Business Ethics, 43(4), 263-273. Retrieved August 18, 2019, from https://link.springer.com/journal/10551
Kouzes, J. M., & Posner, B. Z. (2002). The leadership challenge. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Schwepker, C. H., & Schultz, R. J. (2015). Influence of the ethical servant leader and ethical climate on customer value enhancing sales performance. Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 35(2), 93-107. doi:10.1080/08853134.2015.1010537
Singh, K. (2011). Develop Ethics at the Workplace through Transformational Leadership: A Study of Business Organizations in India. Journal of Knowledge Globalization, 4(2), 31-58. Retrieved August 18, 2019, from http://www.kglobal.org/journal.html
Werhane, P. H. (2014). Competing with Integrity: Richard De George and the ethics of global business. Journal of Business Ethics, 127(1), 737-742. doi: 10.1007/s10551-014-2183-y
Yazdani, N., & Murad, H. S. (2014). Toward an Ethical Theory of Organizing. Journal of Business Ethics, 127(2), 399-417. doi:10.1007/s10551-014-2049-3
Develop Team-Building Activities While Resisting Groupthinking
OL 7102, Assignment 4
DuBose, Justin Z.
Dr. Robert Schultz
11 August 2019
Importance of Teambuilding
Teambuilding is a subject which continues to receive the attention of many scholars in the field of organizational leadership (Johnson, 2013). Teambuilding has not only been recognized as a positive way to build cohesion and relationships between fellow team members, but also a way to build healthy team dynamics and forward momentum upon which organizational success can develop (O’Connor, 2013). The art and science of teambuilding, however, is not as simple as facilitating interaction between members and allowing them to work together toward a goal. Rather, teambuilding is the intentional structuring of coordinated events and projects which force people to work together in a way that fosters awareness and recognition of the strengths and weaknesses of others, as well as a reliance upon fellow team members to achieve substantial goals (O’Connor, 2013).
Research has recognized several common factors present in strong teambuilding functions. These factors highlight the importance of strategic planning on the part of the leader as well as the nesting of teambuilding activities within a tangible, reachable goal for the team. For example, Johnson (2013) noted that teambuilding activities should include the putting of the needs of other team members before your own. Lacarenza et al. (2018) noted that a specific project should be designed for team members to work together toward completing. O’Connor (2013) further added that leaders should list the goals and expectations of such project-oriented teambuilding activities up front before all members prior to the commencing of the exercise. Without this crucial step being taken, team leaders run the risk of teambuilding activities being mostly or even completely fruitless due to team members not fully understanding the purpose and intent of the teambuilding activities.
Land (2019) recognized that assembling high performance individuals on one team does not inherently translate to success. Teambuilding, she argued, is a necessary step in developing a team capable of success. Trofimov (2015) concurred with this conclusion, noting that teambuilding is critical. Furthermore, he added that teambuilding activities which have a focus on spontaneity and creativity are necessary in developing critical thinking on the part of team members. As the real world requires creativity and often spontaneous thought processes to solve high-level problems with major consequences, these factors should be considered heavily by the team leader. These factors are listed in the following sections where three team-building activities are discussed.
Activity One: Active Listening
Johnson (2013) noted that developing critical listening is a key component of teambuilding activities. Active listening is a necessary skill for team members to practice as it not only develops critical listening skills, but also forces team members to cultivate emotional intelligence with one another (Johnson, 2013). This teambuilding activity will be facilitated by one team leader and will require any two members at one time to engage in the teambuilding activity together.
The team leader will set up two chairs facing one another at the front of the room. Participants will either be selected at random by the team leader or they may volunteer for the exercise. Each active listening activity consists of five scenarios in which one team member is forced to actively listen to the voice of their team member. These scenarios are pre-planned and are designed to have one team member express to their fellow team member the struggle they are facing in the workplace. Each scenario will be four-to-five minutes in length, depending on the level of difficulty and uncomfortableness expressed by the team members. Once each scenario is concluded, the team leader will pause the interaction and provide feedback. Team members not actively engaged in the exercise will be observing the activity and, during the feedback period, will be invited and encouraged to give their own opinions and observations of the interactions between team members.
The desired and intended learning outcomes include team members developing emotional intelligence and practicing critical listening to fellow team members. These learning outcomes will be accomplished by the team leader instructing, coaching, and facilitating the asking of reflective questions by team members which demonstrate active listening. For example, if one team member expresses dealing with personality conflict with their supervisor, the other team member will be coached and encouraged to ask reflective questions which demonstrate active listening such as, “So, I am hearing you say that you are having conflict with your supervisor, right?” Then, asking follow-up questions such as, “So, I hear you saying that you feel that your voice is not being heard, correct?” When these types of questions are being asked, it demonstrates that the team members are listening critically to one another and developing emotional intelligence.
Activity Two: Project Completion Course
The second teambuilding activity is the construction of a project completion course which will require each team member to work together and rely on the strengths of their fellow team members. This activity considers the conclusion of Lacarenza et al. (2018) who noted that a project-oriented approach to designing teambuilding activities positively contributes to successful team dynamics.
For this exercise, the team leader will need to appoint team members to one of two teams: a design team and an execution team. Teams will be given a series of instruments which they will use to get from their beginning point to their ending point. This activity will require a wooden post measuring ten feet in length, four small pieces of 2X4, one piece of pipe at least three feet in diameter and eleven feet long, a small grassy area, and one can of spray paint. The design team will be comprised of two members while the execution team will be comprised of five members. The design team will be tasked with surveying their materials and designing the best way to get from point “A” to point “B”. The requirements of the exercise are that the ten-foot pole must go through the inside of the eleven-foot pipe without touching it. Furthermore, the person crawling through the tube must not touch the pipe at any point while crawling through. The design team must figure out how to get a team member through the tube using the materials provided. Then, they must figure out how to get a separate team member over the grassy area without walking on the ground or touching any of the grass. Lastly, they must get an additional team member across the “finish line” which will be spray painted by the team leader before the exercise.
The intended learning outcomes for this exercise are for team members to not only discover their place on a team, but also to trust other team members to do their job even if they would design or execute the activity differently. Once teams are assigned, they will have a total of fifteen minutes to complete the exercise from beginning to plan to getting their last member across the finish line. Each member of the execution team can only serve in one role (crawling through the tube, getting across the grass, running across the finish line, carrying fellow team members, etc. The best design outcome is for the small pieces of 2X4 to be placed under the wooden post as it runs through the pipe. Once a team member successfully crawls through the pipe, two team members carry one member over the grassy area. Lastly, the fifth and final team member runs across the finish line completing the exercise. The challenge of this exercise is not in the rigor of either the design or execution, but rather the team dynamics associated with successfully completing the project. Members of the execution will hear and see how the design team builds their plan, and they must execute it without interfering in the design. Furthermore, the design team members must work together to come up with a good solution in ten minutes or less. The execution team will also have ten minutes to successfully carry out the plan of the design team. Any time a member breaks a rule (the wooden post touches the pipe, the team member touches the pipe, the team member touches the grass, etc.) they execution team must start over again. This teambuilding activity is designed to teach members to work together while being placed in various roles with one another.
Activity Three: Needs Assessment
The third and final teambuilding activity is a needs assessment. This exercise is designed to align with the conclusion of Johnson (2013) that teambuilding activities should include getting team members to place the needs of other members above their own. For this exercise, the team leader will have four index cards with various needs listed on them. Four team members may either volunteer or be selected by the team leader and given a need at random. The four cards all have different needs, but each need can be used to meet the need of another member. For example, one card will say that this team member is lonely and doesn’t spend any time with co-workers while another card will say that this team member needs help from someone to complete a project on time. Each of these members can help meet the need of the other while also contributing to greater organizational success. The other two cards will note that these two members are competing for a promotion with one another, but are also working on completing an important project together. They must each prepare a presentation to their supervisor on the status of the project and the needs of their team to complete the project. However, what they do not know is that during the presentation the supervisor will inform them their fellow team member (the one with whom they are competing for a promotion) has suffered a personal tragedy and has requested time off from the project to attend to a personal matter. They will then be asked, with no prior knowledge or preparation for this situation, how they would advise the supervisor to handle the situation.
The desired learning outcomes for this teambuilding activity is to not only place the team members in a position of having to consider the needs of fellow team members, but also to encourage spontaneous and creative thinking by surprising them with an unexpected situation which requires both critical thinking and compassion. During this exercise, team leaders will get a feel for how well each team member considers the needs of their fellow team members. When they are pressed with work situations which have time constraints, do they focus simply on getting the job done or do they also exhibit care for their fellow team members? Upon conclusion of the exercise, team leaders will have an opportunity to discuss the importance of considering the needs of others before considering your own needs while also thinking critically and creatively about accomplishing the task at hand and contributing to organizational success together.
Johnson, C. E. (2013). Meeting the ethical challenges of leadership: Casting light or shadow (5th ed.). Los Angeles, CA: SAGE
Lacarenza, C.N., Tannenbaum, S.I., Marlow, S.L., and Salas, E. (2018). “Team development interventions: Evidence-based approaches for improving teamwork”. American Psychological Association, 73(4). Accessed August 11, 2019.
Land, S.K. (2019). “The Importance of Deliberate Team Building: A Project-Focused Competence-Based Approach”. IEEE Engineering Management Review, 47(2). Retrieved August 11, 2019.
O’Connor, K.E. (2013). "Your team-building exercises may not be creating a team”. Supervision, 74(7), 8-9. Accessed on August 11, 2019.
Trofimov, A. & Pavlin, D. (2015). "Role of Development of Spontaneity in Teambuilding”. Romanian Journal for Multidimensional Education, 7(2), 79-88. Accessed on August 11, 2019.
Take Time to Celebrate
OL 7102, Assignment 3
DuBose, Justin Z.
Dr. Robert Schultz
28 July 2019
The Value of Celebration
Research continues to demonstrate the importance of leaders celebrating with their followers. For example, Johnson (2013) noted that crises are inevitable and that everyone will, at various points, face a crisis together. When a crisis hits people and organizations, it causes various kinds of damage to those impacted (physical, emotional, social, psychological, etc.) and Johnson (2013) noted that celebrating victories in the midst of crisis can both positively contribute to the healing process and help others learn. Johnson (2013) also noted that celebrating demonstrates care and compassion for others and that these celebrations contribute to raising the awareness of others of the value of their fellow human beings in times of crisis or otherwise.
Jensen (1996) also noted that celebrations can raise awareness of corporate, or shared, values. While Johnson (2013) focused on the value of human worth, Jensen (1996) focused on organizational values. Jensen (1996) noted that leaders should be asking the question of themselves and others of, “how does this affect our important values?” and that, if the actions of others markedly align with and contribute to important values, then a fitting celebration needs to occur. Doing so, they noted, continues to reinforce the expressed and desired values of the organization.
Warrick (2017) noted several additional benefits of corporate celebration. Firstly, he noted that celebrations actually serve to increase the performance and effectiveness of an organization. When leaders take time to celebrate with their followers, it serves as a morale boost to those who labor so diligently and their performance and desire to perform well increases. Similarly, it also pushes those present for the celebration to perform well to achieve the same recognition and award. Warrick (2017) also posited that celebrations increase the ability of organizations to attract, retain, and motivate talented people. When people outside the organization take note of how employees are celebrated within the organization, they desire to become a part of such an organization. Not only does this celebration express and reinforce values, but it also demonstrates care and compassion for those inside the organization (Johnson, 2013). One noted example of this is Tony Shieh, the CEO of Zappos, Inc. Shieh is noted for the celebratory tone of his company and he places such a high value on celebrations that he views every other function as stemming from such actions. When asked about the importance of celebrations, Hsieh noted that establishing an organizational culture that celebrates others is so important that, when this is successfully established, every other aspect of organizational culture will more naturally fall into place (Hsieh, 2010). Consequently, Hsieh focuses on establishing and reinforcing the desired organizational culture of Zappos through frequent celebrations of employees and achievements.
Feldman (1981) noted the benefit of celebrations in providing increased socialization opportunities for employees. Socialization provides increased resiliency amongst employees and, coupled with celebrating the achievements of fellow employees, also publicly reinforces values and behavior. Feldman (1981) further noted that shared experiences between employees create lasting, meaningful bonds which provide for a more cohesive unit and allow for a heightened sense of family and belonging. In this way, celebrations also serve the purpose of reminding employees that they are part of a family and not just an employee collecting a paycheck.
One great example of celebrations comes in the form of my own Brigade Commander, Colonel Sherman. These past three weeks, our engineering unit has been laboring together on a training exercise and our people are weary. Within the first week, Colonel Sherman decided to end each staff meeting with a “good news story” from the troops. He took this opportunity to not only celebrate that daily achievements and actions of his Soldiers, but also to tie such actions to the overall purpose of the mission. These small celebrations began to have a cumulative effect on the Soldiers, which culminates in an awards ceremony on our final day in the field. As Soldiers were celebrated, pride in their unit grew as did their desire to exemplify the values of the mission. Even in these small, short celebrations, the conclusion of researchers about the value of celebration was evident.
Feldman, D. C. (1981). The multiple socialization of organization members. Academy of Management Journal, 6(2), 309—318. Accessed on July 29, 2018.
Hsieh, T. (2010). Delivering happiness: A path to profits, passion, and purpose. New York: Grand Central Publishing.
Jensen, J.V. (1996). Ethical tension points in whistleblowing. In A. Jaksa & M.S. Pritchard (Eds.), Responsible communication: Ethical issues in business, industry, and the professions (pp. 41-51). Cresskill, NJ: Hampton.
Johnson, C. E. (2013). Meeting the ethical challenges of leadership: Casting light or shadow (5th ed.). Los Angeles, CA: SAGE
Warrick, D.D. (2017). What leaders need to know about organizational culture. Business Horizons, 60, 395-404. Accessed on July 29, 2018.
Introduction of Self as Leader
As a leader, my background falls within the realm of religion and the not-for-profit sector. Since 2010, I have served in the United States Army Reserves as a Chaplain. This includes serving as a Detachment Chaplain, where I traveled and provided religious support when needed or requested. In this role, I was extremely independent and had no direct oversight or supervision and traveled widely to provide necessary religious support. I have also served as a Battalion Chaplain providing religious support for eight-hundred Soldiers as well as overseeing a unit ministry team of two Chaplains, two Chaplain Candidates (seminary students studying to be chaplains), and one Religious Affairs Specialist. Presently, I serve as a Brigade Chaplain overseeing religious support for four-thousand Soldiers and overseeing four unit ministry teams distributed over a multi-state area.
In addition to these responsibilities, I also serve as a civilian pastor and oversee a private Christian school of preschool through twelfth grade. The church currently averages one-hundred in weekly worship attendance and the school employs a staff of fifteen and a current student enrollment of one-hundred and seventy-five. These responsibilities require a balance of relational leadership in both the church and school as well as executing administrative duties as required by the private Christian school.
My own leadership style can best be described as servant leadership (Landis, 2014). My goal in any form or function of leadership – but especially in my role as a spiritual leader – is to inspire others to serve by first serving them. I tend to invest heavily in personal relationships with the hopes of inspiring followers to become better leaders themselves by personally experiencing the benefits of servant leadership. One consequence of my personal leadership style is that I tend to be weaker in areas of administration. For the proper exercise of these necessary administrative functions, I often rely on delegation to those who are stronger in these areas than myself. Most often, those gifts are discovered, encouraged, and developed through the personal relationships I seek to develop as a leader.
As a leader, my personal philosophy is to invest heavily – both relationally and professionally – in the area of leadership development. When those who have a desire or an inclination to lead begin to surface through my spending personal time with them, I want to see them grow and develop as people and leaders and, in the process, discover the satisfaction of servant leadership themselves. I make every effort to connect with them emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually in order to see them flourish. Once they are flourishing in their roles and begin to invest in others as well, I then seek to find another person to invest in in hopes of accomplishing that goal again.
Evaluation of Leader from Personal Experience
For the purposes of this paper, my leadership evaluation will focus on Dr. Scott Borderud. Dr. Borderud is a leader within my organization who serves simultaneously at multiple echelons of leadership. Dr. Borderud serves as a local pastor of a church of approximately 500 congregants as well as the treasurer of our district (three states and approximately one-hundred churches). Previously, I served for three years under Dr. Borderud as an Associate Pastor before departing in 2013 to lead my own congregation.
Dr. Borderud immediately stuck out to me because of his unique leadership behavior and traits which positively impacted my life. Dr. Borderud was a graduate of the Naval Academy and spent time as both a Marine Infantry Officer as well as an Army Chaplain. Consequently, he was thoroughly trained and well-versed in a variety of leadership styles. He always spoke very directly and easily commanded the room in which he was present. However, despite this training and presence, his leadership behavior and traits were consistent with two dominant leadership theories: spiritual leadership and servant leadership (Landis, 2014). He effortlessly combined these two theories to produce effective leadership.
Dr. Borderud’s spiritual leadership – a fitting characteristic for a pastor – was evident in his consistency in directing his followers to the Almighty and sacred texts for wisdom and guidance, not to himself. Rather than a dependence on himself and his strengths (which are more emphasized in transformational, charismatic, and strategic leadership theories), Dr. Borderud consistently directed his followers to look beyond him and to a greater and higher power. I remember once when I was facing a problem and looked to him for the answer. Rather than provide me with the answer, he directed me first to pray about it, search the Bible, and then come and talk to him again. I took his advice and, while he still guided my thoughts and actions, it was to a much lesser degree than if he were to immediately provide me with his solution to my problem. In this way, he exhibited great spiritual leadership.
Dr. Borderud’s other great leadership style was his embodiment of servant leadership. Washington, Sutton, and Sauser (2014) define servant leadership as a distinct leadership style in which the leader values the good of the follower above their own self-interest. He told me numerous times that while he valued my contributions to the team, that it would be self-serving of him not to acknowledge my strengths and the future potential available. He selflessly took time to develop my skills and talents and went out of his way to expose me to greater opportunities for service and leadership. One instance in which this was evident was when I confronted him about an opportunity to serve on my own as a pastor, and asked him again for guidance and wisdom. He then advocated for me to candidate for the position, which is a large part of the reason why I am in my present position. He selflessly placed my needs – and the needs of others – above his own for the betterment of the organization and the individuals comprising the organization.
Emotional Intelligence and Resonant Leadership
Research has noted that ethical leadership is more effective at attaining desired results as well as motivating and inspiring others to perform and achieve personal fulfillment (Johnson, 2013). In particular, Maulding (2012) noted that emotional intelligence is one of the most important traits a leader can possess and one which is a strong predictor of leadership. Emotional intelligence is defined as “the capacity of reasoning our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing the emotional will in ourselves and our relationships” (Maulding, 2012, pg. 21). Maulding (2012) further concluded that emotional intelligence allows for leaders to connect with their followers on an emotional level, inspiring them with hope, demonstrating compassion and empathy, and touching their hearts and minds.
One of the most important connections between resonant leaders and their followers is their personal connection allows the leader to process through thoughts, emotions, and plans with the follower. Researchers have labeled this process “meaning-making” (Huevel et al., 2013). The process of meaning-making establishes a connection between leader and follower which facilitates the translation of personal and organizational values into action. Meaning-making facilitates “integrating challenging/ambiguous events into a framework of personal meaning using value-based reflection” (Park, 2010, p. 265). This meaning-making allows an individual’s willingness to adapt to change (Huevel et al., 2013). Huevel et al. (2013) concluded that the process of meaning-making also translates to successful adaptation for employees when it allows them to reflect on organizational changes and link or align their own personal values to the changes. Dr. Borderud was integral in this process for me and other followers and, in the process, helped translate organizational values into action.
Translating Values into Action
One occasion in which Dr. Borderud helped translate organizational values into action for me occurred early in my ministry with him. One of our organizational values was simply to love others. What I did not grasp at the time was that “love” was communicated differently to different people. He had repeatedly given me his speech on loving others, but I got to see him live it out in the context of a board meeting. He was being grilled about the present and future of various ministries in the church, and he repeatedly responded in kind, with patience, and demonstrated love to a hard group. Observing this display helped transform that abstract value of loving others into a concrete action for me. Though his natural personality and communication style was more direct and aggressive, which I experienced on many occasions, he met others where they were and gave them what they needed.
This was just one occasion (in addition to those mentioned earlier) where Dr. Borderud exhibited emotionally intelligent, resonant leadership. He demonstrated compassion and empathy to those within the organization who were struggling to grasp concepts or resistant to ideas and, in doing so, demonstrated to me and others that he was in tune with himself, others, and the organizational culture. Dr. Borderud inspired me to become a better leader as well as being more personally committed to the organization. His resonant leadership was integral in transforming my own understanding of emotional intelligence and the importance of it to personal interaction. While I had served other under servant leaders, none were as relationship-oriented as Dr. Borderud and none connected with as many different types of people as he did with those throughout his organization. As a result of his resonant leadership, several colleagues have stepped up into greater positions of leadership all over the world, and each of them attribute much of their inspiration to the personal connection they shared with Dr. Borderud.
Heuvel, M. V., Demerouti, E., Bakker, A. B., & Schaufeli, W. B. (2013). Adapting to change: The value of change information and meaning-making. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 83(1), 11-21. doi:10.1016/j.jvb.2013.02.004
Johnson, C. E. (2013). Meeting the ethical challenges of leadership: Casting light or shadow (5th ed.). Los Angeles, CA: SAGE
Landis, E. A., Hill, D., & Harvey, M. R. (2014). “A synthesis of leadership theories and styles”. Journal of Management Policy and Practice, 15(2). Retrieved July 14, 2019.
Maulding, W. S., Peters, G. B., Roberts, J., Leonard, E., & Sparkman, L. (2012). Emotional intelligence and resilience as predictors of leadership in school administrators. Journal of Leadership Studies, 5(4), 20–29. doi:10.1002/jls.20240
Park, C. (2010). Making sense of the meaning literature: An integrative review of meaning making and its effects on adjustment to stressful life events. Psychological Bulletin, 136, 257-301. Retrieved July 14, 2019.
NG, LR, NCU, USAR
My collection of personal papers written over the years