Theoretical and conceptual issues in leadership and complex military operations
KeywordHomo habilis; Analosynthesis; Leadership ethics; Ethical values; Standard form; Power and influence; Elements of power; Factors of power and influence; Warfare domains; Military element of power; Socio-military element of power; Military operation; Battlespace; Complexity of military operations
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AbstractThis paper discusses theoretical and conceptual issues in leadership and how these apply to complex military operations in this global age. It identifies the reason for and the point at which the need for leadership arose among the early humans. It suggests the need for every human activity to be assessed within the context of its relative existence, based on the employment of accepted standards. Thereafter, the subject matter was treated under four main sections; namely, the Elements of Power, Leadership and its Sanctity, Concept of Military Operations, and Analosynthesis. With improvements in technology and mastery over their environments, the homo habilis gained control over their means of subsistence and the basic necessities of life. Their quest for better security and stability, in order to facilitate progressive developments, led to the emergence of community life. This was the stage at which the need for leadership, among humans, became apparent. Lessons on Leadership and Influence dictate that Power and Influence, which is one’s art of getting others to follow one’s lead, are best understood in terms of the interactions among the Elements of Power. The paper identified five enabling factors of power and influence; namely, how power works, how influence works, the TOPS Formula, the influence skills and cultural differences. These would enhance his ability to positively communicate with the led for maximum effect. Defined as a process of influencing a group of individuals to achieve a common goal, leadership is seen as a key variable in the development of human society. Any leader that fails to imbibe some ethical leadership values and principles that would guide his leadership, he would hardly gain the confidence and loyalty of the led. These include respect for others; service to others; justice, fairness and equity for all and sundry; honesty; resourcefulness; and truthfulness/trustworthiness – all leading to the building of a strong, united, virile and prosperous community. It is believed that the crises bedevilling Nigeria today, particularly Northern Nigeria, can be largely attributed to the negation of ethical values/principles on the part of our leaders, both past and present. It is hoped that the Change which Nigerian electorates voted for on 28th March 2015 would make the needed difference. A military operation is a set of activities characterised by mutual belligerent actions; regardless of how the opposing elements are defined, equipped or disposed. Hence, military operations may not be limited to the conventional battlefield; new forms of battlefields and domains of warfare will continue to emerge for as long as human technology is progressive. Currently, a critical analysis yields the existence of five warfare domains; namely, Land, Sea, Air, Space (Strategic Defence Initiative or Star Wars) and Cyber Space. In view of the above, even the concept of military operation, in terms of the troops that execute warfare, must also be re-assessed in tune with the dictates of globalisation. Thus, as opposed to seeing soldiers as some illiterates, dressed in ragtag attire and engaging in a “woo-chebe!” warfare; the contrary should now be the case. Soldiering should be seen as an enterprise for people traversing the entire levels of education/training throughout the social strata of the society; comprising the illiterate and semi-illiterate local informants, highly educated troops, and all shades of professionals and technocrats up to the University Professors, globally. Concomitantly, there is need to also re-evaluate, by reconfiguring and expanding, the concept of the military element of national power into a more suitable gauge of national strength - the socio-military element of national power. That is, the military is no longer expected to function effectively independent of its wider society setting. In a nutshell, for one to succeed as a leader of officers and men in a military operation, one must first of all imbibe the general principles/values of ethical leadership expected of all categories of leaders, as enumerated above. In addition to these, one must then train to internalise those other attributes that would sustain one in leadership position as one confronts an uncertain death; namely, valour, bravery, courage, faithfulness and an existence of a balanced coordination between a healthy mind and a healthy body.
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CitationAdeka IM, Shepherd SJ and Abd-Alhameed RA (2016) Theoretical and conceptual issues in leadership and complex military operations. In: Leadership and Complex Military Operations, Kaduna (Nigeria): Nigerian Defence Academy Publishing.
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