What long-range steps might Pacific Command (PACOM) take, as part of a broader national strategy, to help constructively engage China, while dissuading and deterring China from using force or the threat of force against others?
The challenges of today's battlefield do not provide an easy answer to this question and leaves the leader of the 21st century sometimes questioning the rationale behind defending America. As a potential member of PACOM and ultimately contributing to its success in one form or another by my service, this analysis provides both an internal and external review of the current state of my leadership as I experience it. Containing China and ensuring a peaceful coexistence with this powerful nation represents a national goal, and through this goal many individual and organizational goals are simultaneously achieved as well. The purpose of this essay is to examine this question using the three conceptual frameworks introduced in the previous instruction of this class.
I'll examine this question at a personal level first in order to attain a solid base of understanding and knowledge that can be applied to the problem at whole. Secondly I will address this complex problem from the organizational level and describe how I may contribute to the solutions to this problem and understand how this important segment of the hierarchy fits into the entire strategic outlook for the Department of Defense. Lastly I will examine this question from a larger operational level demonstrating the tools of individual leadership at the national and international level. Each specific segment of this framework contributes to the greater whole piece of the team effort and it is important to understand each individual framework at its own and then synthesize these into one total strategic package that may provide a useful and beneficial tool to ensure American values endure and its chosen ways of life ring true across the globe.
Atop the chain of command stands the commander-in-chief and his national security strategy gives the defense industry and all the serving members of the Armed Forces a total vision of its mission. The current stratgic document is focused "on renewing American leadership so that we can more effectively advance our interests in the 21st century. We will do so by building of the sources of our strength at home, while shaping international war that can be the challenges of our time." In my opinion, the best place to begin a re-creation of strength begins within the individual leader him or herself. Knowledge and strategy are useless to the leader who refuses to address the values and ethics of service that lies with in one's own individual's character that can be brought out in military service.
In analyzing my personal leadership styles and skills within the first framework I can create a base of fundamental actions that will lead to organizational, and hopefully eventually national realization. Whetten & Cameron (2008) suggested further breaking down this individual analysis into four different categories: personal skills, interpersonal skills, group skills and specific communication skills. Within these categories strengths and weaknesses are analyzed as a management style is developed in specific actions such as motivating and managing conflict demonstrated and developed using self-analysis and self-assessment skills.
The most important aspect to any leadership skill, in my opinion, is the ability to become self-aware. With self-awareness comes the ability to understand and utilize the specific strengths that any individual may possess. Furthermore, identifying certain weaknesses helps that leader weigh those situations and helps determine what skills are in need for this particular situation. Knowing one's own true self seems like easy task, but this is more difficult than might be suggested. Hard-core criticism directed at different aspects of individual behavior requires a discipline and commitment to truly getting at the root of certain behaviors.
Managing personal stress becomes an essential task in becoming self-aware. Realizing a quietness within oneself is essential in reducing stress and finding the best operating conditions for a leader to demonstrate his worth. Meditative practices are essential in any attempts of attaining awareness through stress management. Religious practices, while not always accepted within certain parts of the society, may help provide a meditative outlet to allow the leader to explore his spiritual and soulful side which ultimately drives the value an ethical motivations behind any specific order or decision. Quiet time and individual reflection are often hard to attain on the 21st century's battlefield requiring the leadership of any unit to understand its importance in order for this specific action to occur. A strong soldier is one that is independent and can rely on his true self. Subordinates will ultimately recognize this trait regardless of the precision or legitimacy of any specific order.
Once a certain level of personal complacency is achieved, a leader is required to master interpersonal skills. These skills include problem solving, coaching, counseling and gaining power and influence while motivating others. Managing conflict, and the ability to deflect certain emotions into positive solutions is most necessary to master interpersonal skill. One-on-one conflict is often just a microcosm of larger group problems and the ability to relate to an individual on one-on-one basis allows leadedr to confidently assume these skills should work in larger groups.
Empowering the group at large requires much energy. My own personal strengths rely on a never ending source of energy I can draw upon. This becomes very useful in applying my own personal strengths into a group situation. I've also learned throughout this course that my weaknesses involve a tendency to be impatient with an occasionally hesitancy to introduce other's ideas into my own selective leadership style. Knowing this from becoming self-aware through intense self-analysis, I can apply this particular individual situation into success within the group dynamic. Creative outlets that allow for cathartic expressions of self individual realization will help eliminate the temptation to insert these destructive behaviors within the group dynamic.
In the final segment of the first framework of three, effective communication through speech and presentation becomes a necessity for those wishing to demonstrate leadership within the military structure. Communication is the water of life within the military. Confusion due to the fog of war requires simple and effective communication from leader to subordinate in order to minimize the varying dangers that ignorance and disinformation often presents to soldiers today. Eliminating uncertainty through the effective communication tools to present solid contingency and rules of thumb reminds today's leaders of the simplicity required to obtain success within a career.
These first long-range steps that can be taken by any individual is helpful in ultimately solving larger problems as PACOM will truly be responsible for in China. If each individual soldier could develop an individual leadership style based upon the previous framework, success would come soon and swiftly in this part of the world. Reality tells us different and leadership is required to drive the mission to its potential. The next step in this process is to understand the second framework and understanding how transferring these skills into the organizational level provides greater challenges and rewards. This crucial step is a transitory framework that eventually leads into the ultimate target or goal but is nonetheless important and essential to understand and relate to others.
Leadership success at the organizational level includes balancing different relationships that appear to be aligned with the inherent ethical value structure seen within a nation or large groups. It is important to understand and identify the different dynamics and behaviors that these organizations play in their relation to each other. Every factor of the larger picture at this conceptual framework contributes to the problem of China de-stabilizing this region. At this level it appears important to understand the political and economic pressures that each one of these groups follows and essentially operates under. Referring back to the individual leadership skills and applying them here allows the leader to communicate his personal ethics and value system to the larger groups, making a comfortable and practical transition originating from a smaller microcosmic level into the larger macrocosmic level.
For me, personally, it's important to ignore political and other social prejudices and not let them dominate and overshadow the larger task at hand. This is the great struggle that leaders will face as they continue to climb the ranks within the military system and repeatedly encounter different temptations to alter from this leadership style. Is important to remember that the military is a special segment of society and certain laws do not apply to this group yet The Uniform Code of Military Justice provides additional guidance for this special group of people. The military mind frame and the political mind frame of most nongovernment organizations and other IGOs often does not match up to support a specific method of execution.
Managing conflict in this case requires appealing to higher sources and using intelligent discourse to successfully navigate a proper and just resolution to these disputes. It becomes important for me to remember that as a leader I am responsible…