Military Leadership Essay

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1. The most significant insight I derived from the first part of SF0002 is from the findings of Stouffler’s (1949) interview with the war veterans after world war II; cohesion is a key motivational component in times of real war. “If I don’t earn extra, why do I have to suffer more as a Guardsman?” It was a question posed to me by a new enlistee at 3GDS. I could relate to his disposition, but I replied with “pride and honour of being an elite fighting force”. My answer did not satisfy him. 2. 16 months later, the same soldier got into a bike accident. Despite multiple injuries, he requested to participate in ATEC. He was unhappy as he felt that being a guardsman “was not worth it”. Relating to Adam’s Equity Theory, he felt that the monetary outcome was not equivalent to the hardship he had to go through, as compared to a combat medic, driver, or even a normal infantry trooper. The dissatisfaction is further explained by Herzberg’s “Motivation-hygiene theory”. The poor hygiene factors created lots of displeasement and unhappiness in this soldier. 3. Yet, after 16 months in the Guards unit, this soldier became highly driven to participate in ATEC to contribute to the unit despite the lack of fulfilment of hygiene factors and inequitable extrinsic outcomes. This change was driven by cohesion and the bond he shared with his buddies, which was forged through many months of tough and rigourous training. This seems to suggest that motivators may overpower poor hygiene factors and pave way for high motivation and morale. It is also a clear indication of how the soldier moved from extrinsic to intrinsic motivation, which typically occurs through group identity and alignment to the goals of the team. This key motivator must not be neglected by military leaders as it shapes the “will-do” attitude of both regular and conscript soldiers in times of real difficulty. 4. The

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