“One of strategies, the careful selection of a best

“One of the least controversial things that can
be said about command is that it is poorly understood and subject to wildly
different interpretation.  The term can
mean almost everything from military computers to the art of generalship;
whatever the user wishes it to mean.” – (Moll 1978)1

 

The plethora of literature on Command, Leadership and Management
(CLM) illustrates the difficulties in defining their meaning, and therefore
understanding the attributes and characteristics of each in order to examine
the relationships between them is complex. 
Coupled with this, the rapidly changing political and cultural
environments drive a necessity for CLM to be better understood and the balance manipulated
in order to maintain and exploit the full potential of military personnel for maximum
Operational Capability (OC).

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In order to examine if Leadership and Management remains the
backbone of Command in today’s RN this essay will cover the following:

The definitions of CLM.The personal attributes associated to CLM.The importance of Leadership
and Management in Command within today’s RN.

 

Leadership

Despite
the abundance of definitions for the term ‘leadership’, key characteristics including
influence, motivation and the delivery of results are recurrent themes.  The chief investigator of the largest study
conducted on leadership defines it as the “ability of an individual to
influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward the effectiveness
and success of the organizations of which they are members”.2  Leadership is therefore a blend of persuasion,
compulsion, and example, a combination that makes individuals do what their leader
wants of them, even when the task is not essentially to their liking.3
 

 

Management

The
literature on ‘management’ offers more straightforward and consistent definitions.
 A commonly cited definition is “the
attainment of organizational goals in an effective and efficient manner through
planning, organizing, leading, and controlling resources.”4  Management is therefore the careful assessment
of a situation, the systematic development of strategies, the careful selection
of a best course of action and the subsequent administration of resources and
activities to achieve the aim.  Whereas
leadership has a definitive focus on an individual’s ‘soft-skills’, management
has a ‘hard-skill’ emphasis.

 

Command

Joint
Doctrine Publication 0-01.1 (JDP 0-01.1), 8th Edition, defines
command as “the authority vested in an individual to influence events and to
order subordinates to implement decisions.” 5
 Command is therefore the art of
decision-making, motivating and directing all ranks into action, whilst
maintaining accountability and control.6  These functions directly
relate to those defined in both leadership and management.  This is recognised in the JDP definition which
notes “command comprises 3 closely inter-related elements: leadership, decision
making and control”7,
where control is further defined as “the coordination of activity, through
processes and structures that enable a commander to manage risk and to deliver
intent.”8
 It can therefore be seen that command,
leadership and management are intertwined at a definitional level.

 

Command,
Leadership and Management Attributes

For an individual to achieve the functions of CLM, as per their
definitions, they must possess key attributes. 
A comparison of attributes between leadership and management is shown in
table 1 below.

It can be seen that leadership and management
are interrelated, and will at times perform a similar function to achieve the
same goals; however, they are clearly different and distinct skills.  Further relationships are observed when
considering the execution of each function.  Command involves setting direction, management
is about providing and controlling the means of following the direction, and
leadership motivates subordinates to execute the means of achieving the direction.
 If each is performed in isolation then the
initial command would be inefficient and likely to fail.  General Montgomery once telling the first rule
of strategy said, “The Commander-in-Chief must be sure that what is
strategically desirable is technically possible with the resources at his
disposal”.9  It is therefore recognised that both leadership
and management are essential to effective command.

The Manager

The
Leader

The manager administers

The leader innovates.

The manager is a copy

The leader is an original.

The manager maintains

The leader develops.

The manager controls

The leader inspires trust.

The manager has a short-range view

The leader has a long-range
perspective.

The manager asks how and when

The leader asks what and why.

The manager has his or her eye on the
bottom line

The leader has his or her eye on the
horizon.

The manager does things right

The leader does the right thing.

Table 1: Leadership vs
Management.10

 

The importance in today’s Royal Navy

It has already been established that
leadership and management have and, will continue to, form the backbone of
command, where command can be viewed as a function performed through utilising
the ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ skills of leadership and management.  It is, however, the priority between the use
of leadership and management that must be considered further given the changing
environment and demographic within which we work.

The
volatility of the technological, social and political environments has driven a
need for the ‘stable’ CLM relationship to have a greater dependence on
leadership. J. P. Kotter quotes “Leaders produce the potential for dramatic
change, chaos, and even failure; but managers produce standards, consistency,
predictability, and order.”11  Management can not compete with a rapidly
changing environment that is unpredictable, it is leadership that will
innovate, develop and inspire trust throughout an organisation to deal with
such unpredictability.  This is
applicable across all Ranks and Rates both by definition, and by a need to
achieve the most effective outcome, through the appropriate use of CLM, to
combat this volatility.  General George
Patten Jr quotes “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what
to do, and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.”12

The step change towards individualism, as opposed
to communal responsibility, further emphasises the importance of leadership within
the CLM model.  Individuals are now more
cognisant of their rights and are more likely to work for personnel gain over
and above what is best for a community.  To
overcome this would again require a focus on leadership to instil common values,
but would also require an adjustment in leadership style from autocratic, to a ‘softer’
participative or transformational style.

 

Conclusion

A
personal experience that best demonstrates this ‘leadership dependent’ CLM model
is that of a short notice tasking.  This
alone can be viewed as a microcosm of the rapidly changing environment in which
we operate.

A
requirement to embark two Merlin MK2 aircraft in RFA WAVEKNIGHT, with only 48 hours’
notice, saw me managing and leading all the engineering elements with oversight
provided by a Flight Commander.  Additional
challenges included the proximity to Christmas (4 weeks), the unknown duration
of the tasking and the 2nd line nature of 824 Naval Air Squadron
(NAS) which significantly reduced the numbers of deployable personnel, aircraft
and equipment.  To ensure success the
tasking required leadership at all levels. 
Initially I was required to instil trust in my subordinates and did so
through demonstrating that all alternative options for achieving the desired
tasking had been exhausted, and emphasising the importance of the tasking.  Those personnel, now motivated, demonstrated
equal levels of leadership as they developed alternative methods of achieving
each delegated task despite a lack of resources.  This was a clear display of innovation,
originality and long-range perspective.

Taking
a managerial approach to the same scenario would not have yielded the same
result, primarily, the difficulties when working with ‘pressed-men’, time constraints
and lacking resources.  Relating this to
the wider RN, in order for command to compete with the rate of environmental
change and deal with the continued strain on resources, it must prioritise
leadership in order to instil motivation, promote awareness and facilitate
innovation.  The managerial component of
command will consequently be easier and more effective when working with
motivated and conscious individuals.  It
would be impossible to ‘manage’ an individual into a warzone if they do not
possess the desire, motivation, awareness and belief it is correct to be there.

 

Bibliography                     

1 Moll, Kenneth. “The Command and Control Dilemma: when
Technology and Organizational Orientation Collide.” Air War
College Maxwell Paper No 8, (Alabama: Maxwell Air Force Base, 1978).

2 House, R. J. “Culture, leadership, and organizations: The GLOBE study of sixty-two
societies.” Thesis,( California: Sage, 2004).

3 Leadership and Management Handbook (Sandhurst,
UK: The Royal Military Academy, 2003).

4 Daft, R. L. Management. (London:
Dryden, 2003).

5 UK
MOD, Joint Doctrine Publication 0-01.1 (JDP 0-01.1), 8th Edition, (London, HMG, Sept 2011).

6 Howieson,
B. & Kahn, H. Leadership, Management and Command: The officer’s trinity. In Gray
& S. Cox (Eds), Air power leadership: Theory and practice. (Norwich:  HMSO , 2002).

9 Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed. The
Leadership Star. (Bloomington,  AuthorHouse, 2012).

10 Bennis,
W. G. Managing People is like Herding Cats. (London:  Kogan Page
Limited, 1997).

11 Kotter, J P. “What leaders really do. Boston”:(Harvard Business School
Press, 1990).

12 General
G. Patton, War as I knew It. Reflections
and Suggestions. (Boston, Houghton Mifflin Comp, 1995).

 

1 Moll, Kenneth. “The
Command and Control Dilemma: when Technology and Organizational Orientation
Collide.” Air War College Maxwell Paper No 8, (Alabama: Maxwell
Air Force Base, 1978).

2 House, R. J. “Culture,
leadership, and organizations: The GLOBE study of sixty-two societies.”
Thesis,( California: Sage, 2004).

3 Leadership and Management Handbook (Sandhurst, UK: The Royal
Military Academy, 2003).

 

4 Daft, R. L. Management. (London: Dryden, 2003).

5 UK MOD, Joint
Doctrine Publication 0-01.1 (JDP 0-01.1), 8th Edition, (London, HMG, Sept 2011).

6 Howieson, B. &
Kahn, H. Leadership,
Management and Command: The officer’s trinity. In Gray & S. Cox (Eds),
Air power leadership: Theory and practice. (Norwich:
 HMSO
, 2002).

7 UK MOD, Joint
Doctrine Publication 0-01.1 (JDP 0-01.1), 8th Edition, (London, HMG, Sept 2011).

8 UK MOD, Joint
Doctrine Publication 0-01.1 (JDP 0-01.1), 8th Edition, (London, HMG, Sept 2011).

9 Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed. The Leadership Star. (Bloomington,
 AuthorHouse, 2012).

10 Bennis, W. G. Managing
People is like Herding Cats. (London:  Kogan Page Limited, 1997).

11 Kotter, J P. “What
leaders really do. Boston”:(Harvard Business School Press, 1990).

12 General G. Patton, War as I knew It. Reflections and
Suggestions. (Boston, Houghton Mifflin Comp, 1995).