Monday, 27 October 2008

My Field Leadership Style.

MY FIELD LEADERSHIP STYLE. The subject of leadership is a well-exhausted topic of discussion. Yet, every new writings and discussions on it are far from boring. Every commander has his own brand of leadership. There is no fixed brand of leadership for any particular level of command and scenario. The rule of the thumb is - if the commander succeeds in whatever task he is set to undertake, then, his style of leadership is the right concoction for the occasion – regardless how unorthodox his style may seemed. Sections and platoons are the most forward troops in the front line. They are always the first to be in contact with the enemy. Invariably, they will be the first to notch a success or the first to suffer casualties. In other words, they are always in danger. They must always be alert and never let their guards down. In fact, they should always be one-up on the enemy. They must maintain the initiative. They can do all these if the commander has the capability, the physical and mental strength, the courage and the stamina to ensure they maintain the initiative. In my many experiences and contacts with the CTs, I had found that not all soldiers were brave and willing to risk his life. You may call them cowards if you will. This is a natural human tendency. It is only natural for him to keep himself alive – he has a wife and children to think of and the only sure way of ensuring he is alive is by not doing anything and simply not putting their heads on the chopping boards! Given the slightest chance, this group of soldiers will simply ignore your commands! Just imagine soldiers who refuse to obey and execute orders in the battle fields! I don’t want to think of it. The consequences would be catastrophic! I was fully aware of this shortcoming. I strongly believe this shortcoming can be overcome by the commanders themselves. They have to show that they are courageous and unafraid to face the enemies. They must move well forward, show their presence and courage at all time. These characteristic will rub and infect the soldiers. My motto was always TO LEAD BY EXAMPLE and WHAT THE SOLDIERS CAN DO, I CAN DO BETTER. In due time, trust in one another is built. Camaderie and espirit-de-corps will grow. These are the most important ingredients for a successful unit. In the absence of the real challenges from the real enemies, other means must be found to inject and build up these all-important qualities into every soldiers and officers. Without these qualities, soldiers and officers will just be an unthinking and unenthusiastic robot. The unit will be a unit without any soul.

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