According to Vance Packard, leadership appears to be the art of getting others to want to do something that you are convinced should be done (Lewis, 2003). Leadership is a pertinent part of project management. James Lewis (2003) says leadership is not a position; it’s the ability to gain commitment from people. According to Professor Warren G. Bennis, “Leaders are people who do the right thing; managers are people who do things right”. The importance of leadership in a project is demonstrated in the case study, “A Peaceful Evacuation: Building a Multi-Project Team Battalion by Leading Upward”. This case study involves two leaders, who had similar, but mostly, different leadership styles and strategies. Lieutenant Colonels Yaron and Daniel were both put in charge of enforcing a Disengagement Plan brought forth by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and finding the best course of action to evacuate settlements along the Gaza Strip. In this essay, I will analyze the leadership styles of Lieutenant Colonels Yaron and Daniel and provider three examples of the leadership actions and behaviors for each subject. This essay will then compare and contrast the Lieutenants and will examine the interrelationship using the four personality traits and the Jung theory.
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Lieutenant Colonel Daniel, the chief psychologist of the Southern Command, felt that research was the first step in the project. Daniel conducted searched to locate relevant information on the topic of evacuation to learn from the experience of the past (Laufer, 2012). In the case study, Daniel uses adaptive and participative leadership styles. An adaptive leadership style is a fluid style that takes into consideration the context of the environment and the individual being led. For example, Daniel says, “Due to the complex situation, we were concerned that the emotional burden on the soldiers would be too heavy…Our success will be measured by the ability to help find the correct balance between determination and sensitivity”. A participative leadership style seeks input from others and participates with those they are leading in the decision making process. An example of this leadership style is when Daniel gathered other Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) psychologists for a “day of thinking together,” with the objective of expressing and listening to their different opinions about potential problems that may arise in the evacuation project (Laufer, 2012). Daniel’s strategy was to brainstorm to identify key issues and mitigate risks. He felt that preparation was the key to completing the mission. Daniel also used the term “we”, instead of “I”. His group of psychologists worked as team to identify how to execute the mission according to the government’s guidelines while ensuring that the damage incurred during the evacuation itself would be minimal.
Lieutenant Colonel Yaron displayed two types of leadership styles: directive and participative. Directive style is telling people what to do and expecting them to jump right to it. It is one of the oldest styles and frequently called autocratic. Yaron was accustomed to being lead with this style so, in turn; he used the same leadership style to lead. Yaron was very hands-on and encouraged the battalion’s company commanders to initiate ongoing meetings with their soldiers. Yaron met, called and emailed with some of the top officers in the air force. He made immediate inquiries with the top colonels through face-to-face meetings, telephone calls, and email communication. Because of this style, Yaron found that the quality and motivation of certain staff fell far short of meeting his needs (Laufer, 2012). Yaron wanted to make sure that everyone was on the same page. Yaron is a participative leader because he went to tour the settlement first hand. He wanted to know what his battalion would have to deal with. By visiting the settlement, Yaron realized that the mission could not be successful with average squad leaders. Squad leaders must be top notch because they will be the ones interacting with the people.