Direct leadership vs organizational leadership, difference, pros and cons

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In the army, there are two general types of leadership: direct leadership vs organizational leadership. Organizational leadership is a critical component of success on the battlefield. However, there are times when direct leadership is required to achieve victory. There are pros and cons to both, and which approach is best depends on the situation. This article will explore the differences between these two approaches, as well as when each might be most appropriate. Stay tuned for more insights on how to lead army most effectively!

What is direct leadership and organizational leadership?

Leadership in the army can be direct, where a leader gives orders and expects them to be followed, or it can be organizational, where a leader works to establish systems and procedures that will allow the organization to function more effectively.

Organizational leadership is more concerned with creating an environment where people can work together effectively and efficiently. Direct leadership, on the other hand, is more focused on getting people to do what the leader wants them to do. In general, organizational leadership is more effective in the long run, while direct leadership may be more effective in the short term.

One of the most important aspects of organizational leadership is creating a clear vision for the organization. This vision should be something that all members of the organization can buy into and support. It should be ambitious, but achievable, and it should be something that will inspire people to work hard to achieve it. A good vision will help to focus the efforts of the entire organization on a common goal.

Another important aspect of organizational leadership is building trust within the organization. People need to feel like they can trust their leaders in order to be willing to follow them. Leaders need to earn the trust of their followers by being honest and transparent with them, and by acting in the best interests of the organization as a whole

The direct leadership in the army is the personal leadership such as a soldier leading his platoon during a mission. The organizational leadership in the army is more of the strategic level such as a General leading his troops during a war.

Both types of leadership are essential to the Army’s success, but they require different skills and abilities.

Key differences between direct leadership and organizational leadership

  1. The main difference between these two types of leadership is that direct leadership is more concerned with individual performance, while organizational leadership is more concerned with how the organization functions as a whole.
  2. Direct leadership is the leader’s personal influence over subordinates to motivate them to accomplish the mission. Organizational leadership, on the other hand, is the leader’s influence within the Army’s formal chain of command to shape its values, culture, and strategic direction.
  3. Organizational leadership is typically more concerned with the big picture, such as strategy and planning, while direct leadership is focused on leading soldiers in combat situations.
  4. Direct leadership is most effective when the leader has a clear vision for what needs to be accomplished and can communicate that vision to subordinates. Subordinates must trust that the leader has their best interests at heart and is capable of achieving the mission. Organizational leadership, on the other hand, requires an understanding of the Army’s bureaucracy and how to navigate it effectively. Leaders must also be able to develop relationships with key stakeholders within the organization and build consensus around a shared vision. Ultimately, both types of leaders need to be able to inspire those around them to achieve greatness.
army leadership abstract
army leadership abstract

There are many different levels of leadership in between these two extremes. The key is for each leader to know their followers and what type of leadership they need in order to be successful.

In some cases, a leader may need to provide both types of leadership depending on the situation. It is important for all leaders to be adaptable and able to provide the type of leadership that their followers need at any given moment.

Pros of direct leadership over organizational leadership

  1. Direct leadership can help to ensure that orders are followed. When soldiers know that their commanding officer is directly responsible for their safety and well-being, they are more likely to obey orders and follow Through.
  2. Direct leadership can help to build a sense of camaraderie among soldiers. When soldiers feel that they are part of a team led by someone who cares about their welfare, they are more likely to be loyal and committed to the unit.
  3. Direct leadership provides an opportunity for leader development. By working closely with subordinates, leaders can gain a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. This knowledge can then be used to improve the effectiveness of the unit as a whole.

Pros of organizational leadership over direct leadership

  1. Organizational leaders are able to take a step back and see the big picture. They can make long-term plans and goals for the army.
  2. Organizational leaders are not as emotionally attached to individual soldiers. This allows them to make decisions that are in the best interest of the army as a whole, even if it means sacrificing individual soldiers.
  3. Organizational leaders often have a better understanding of the overall political situation, which can be helpful in making military decisions.

In general, both types of leadership are necessary for the army to function effectively. Organizational leaders provide long-term vision and direction, while direct leaders provide crucial guidance in combat situations.

Army Soldier Silhouettes
Army Soldier Silhouettes

Cons of organizational leadership over direct leadership

There are a few potential cons to organizational leadership over direct leadership in the army:

  1. Organizational leadership may be less personal investment in soldiers’ welfare and development by those in charge.
  2. It can be more difficult to effectively communicate and collaborate when there is a layer of bureaucracy between leaders and troops.
  3. Soldiers may feel less motivated if they do not have a direct connection to their leader.
  4. Organizational leaders are not always well-suited to making decisions in the heat of battle. They may not be familiar with the specific details of a combat situation, and they may not understand the emotional state of their soldiers. As a result, they may make decisions that are not in the best interest of their troops.

While these are potential drawbacks, it is worth noting that there are also advantages to this type of leadership, such as greater efficiency and more streamlined decision-making. Ultimately, the appropriateness of organizational leadership will depend on the specific context and goals of the army in question.

Cons of direct leadership over organizational leadership

Direct leadership is often necessary in emergency situations, when quick decisions need to be made and there is no time for extensive discussion. However, this style of leadership can also be autocratic and inflexible, and it can stifle creativity and initiative.

Direct leaders may be too emotionally attached to their troops to make tough decisions that could result in casualties. In contrast, organizational leadership takes a more collaborative approach, which can encourage decision-making and creative problem-solving. However, this style of leadership may not be as effective in times of crisis. Ultimately, the best approach depends on the specific situation and the type of leader involved.

Drawing of a General and Soldiers and Air Support Army Helicopter
Drawing of a General and Soldiers and Air Support Army Helicopter

Situations when direct leadership is better than organizational leadership

In the army, there are a variety of leadership styles that can be effective in different situations. In some cases, direct leadership is preferable to organizational leadership. Direct leadership is a style in which the leader provides clear and concise instructions to subordinates, who then carry out those instructions with minimal input from the leader.

This style is often used in situations where time is of the essence or when the task at hand is relatively simple and straightforward. In contrast, organizational leadership is a style in which the leader takes a more hands-on approach, working closely with subordinates to develop a plan of action and then supervising them as they carry out that plan. This style is often used in situations where the task is more complex or where there is more room for interpretation and creativity. Ultimately, the appropriate leadership style depends on the specific situation and the needs of the army unit involved.

Situations when organizational leadership is better than direct leadership

While direct leadership is often the most effective form of leadership in the army, there are situations when organizational leadership is a better option.

One such situation is when an army unit is large and complex, as is often the case with divisions and corps. In these cases, it’s simply not possible for one leader to effectively manage all of the different units and sub-units. Instead, a more decentralized form of leadership is necessary.

Organizational leadership also tends to be more effective when soldiers are widely dispersed, as is often the case in asymmetrical warfare. In these situations, direct leaders can’t be everywhere at once, so they have to rely on subordinates to carry out their orders. While this can lead to some degree of confusion and chaos, it’s often the only way to effectively manage a large and dispersed force.

Direct leadership vs organizational leadership, difference, pros and cons (Pinterest Pin)

Direct leadership vs organizational leadership summary

Direct leadership involves a leader taking direct control of a situation and issuing orders to subordinates. Organizational leadership, on the other hand, involves leading by example and inspiring subordinates to achieve common goals. Each approach has its own advantages and disadvantages. The direct leadership style is a good choice for leaders who want to have more control over their team and achieve quick results.

However, the organizational leadership style can be more beneficial in certain situations. It’s important for leaders to understand when each leadership style is most appropriate so they can make the best decisions for their team and organization. Have you tried using an organizational leadership style? What were the results? Leave a comment below and let us know.

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Hidayat Rizvi
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