America has been to war more than any other country in the world in the past century. This means that they have had a chance to develop their military strategies to unmatched levels. It also means that the military leadership has had to change its tactics from dealing with big wars such as World War II to accomplishing small missions in the Middle East to counter terrorism (Patterson, 2014). Leadership in any context mostly entails influence of one person on others. This is highly seen in the military where soldiers are trained to follow orders of one person into combat to make it seamless. Military leadership, values, and methodology while intended apolitical, is exactly what is needed in today’s politics.
The founding fathers of the U.S. did not consider military leadership in America as separate from civil leadership. Their idea of how leaders should behave was based on the model of a military hero. Leaders such as Washington applied the leadership qualities they had learned in the military in governing the country. Most of the leaders aiding Washington were also from military service and acquired all their leadership skills in the military. To date, Washington’s leadership is credited for the creation of a stable nation that has grown to be the most powerful in the world.
Today, the military is considered the most intensive leadership training ground. Most military leaders spend many years of their lives learning how to lead and applying what they learn in the field. After service, these leaders try to apply their leadership traits to the community. There are fewer people who know how the military works today because of the decreased number of people serving in the military. During World War II, almost every household in America had at least one person serving in the military. Such a situation meant that people were more aware of military practices, their benefits, and consequences. It also meant that more people were familiar with the qualities of leadership gained in the military.
Being a good leader in the military will also make you a good leader in the public sphere. However, leadership experts and scholars have a phobia for implementing military leadership into public service. This phobia exists despite having little insight into the effectiveness of military leadership (Hess & Orphanides, 1995). These scholars and leadership experts usually view military leadership as a non-transferable skill except when a crisis arises. However, this is not the case. Military leadership qualities are not fully separated from public service. Even in the areas where military leadership conflicts with public service leadership, military leadership should be considered more than any other.
Since the formation of America, public leadership has been separating itself from the public over time. There has also been a widening gap between policymakers and military leaders. Despite this gap, both types of leadership remain the same only with different terms used. Both public leadership and military apply the same terms, which include patriotism, diversity, mission, camaraderie, heroism, and service but in different manners (Szypszak, 2016). In both politics and military leadership, they apply these concepts, but military leadership does it most effectively. This is because military leaders spend many years being trained on how to apply these concepts. Therefore, politicians should benchmark on how military leaders apply these concepts to apply them better in the public service.
One of the most important aspects of military leadership that are needed in politics is its heavy reliance on core values such as honor and respect. Relying on these values heavily ensures that leaders on both sides do not get lost in the leadership sphere (Szypszak, 2016). Some leaders may opt to become leaders in their own space and detach from their current leadership roles. Reliance on the core values ensures that such leaders do not get distracted by leadership quotes such as “everyone is a leader.” In the military, this is heavily emphasized on and at no point do military leaders and soldiers sway from their current leadership positions.
In politics, veterans tend to have the appropriate set of leadership skills due to their vast experience compared to their younger counterparts. This is not the case in military leadership where leaders who have followed the set values and rules to the latter tend to have the required leadership set of skills in the field (Fallows, 2014). The prowess of military leaders is not gauged by the amount of time they have been in the position but by their ability to follow the set rules and policies. Such leaders can have difficult conversations with people who are not performing and choosing between costly choices with real-world consequences. They are also able to regain trust from their followers whenever anything goes wrong.
Politics tends to put political leaders under extreme conditions. With military leadership values, any leader will be able to push through the tough conditions. Setting up one’s political leadership style to suit that in the military prepares them for any instance. For example, having subordinates, blunt feedback and being loyal.
However, military leadership, values, and methodology should be applied depending on the person’s personality. As many political leaders are set to retire in the coming years, former military leaders should take up their position. They can induce some of their military experience in policy making and implementation. This is because military leadership, values, and methodology are exactly what is needed in politics.