Tommy Franks Leadership Selection of the Leader Book Review

Excerpt from Book Review :

Tommy Franks


Selection of the Leader

Definition of Leadership by General Tommy Franks

Leadership Philosophy of General Tommy Franks

Learning to Lead

Analyzing Strengths and Weaknesses Using Leadership Challenge Model



Leadership Adventures of General Tommy Franks Using Kouzes and Posner Leadership Framework

Model the Way

Inspire a Shared Vision

Challenge the Process

Enable others to act

Encourage the Heart

Enhancing the Effectiveness in Leadership

Learning From the Experience of General Tommy Franks

Take the Challenge

Accept the Opportunity

Learn to lead with General Tommy Franks

This paper discusses the leadership style and traits of a retired U.S. Army General namely General Tommy Franks. He was regarded as the commander in chief of Central Command of United States from the period of July 200 till July 2003. At that time he was given charge of the Middle East region that comprised of twenty- five countries. His most influential leadership qualities have been seen during the time when United States was at war with Afghanistan and Iraq. He is considered as a tough and leading general of United States Army.

Selection of the Leader

Due to his extraordinary and strong personality that motivated several soldiers and army officials of the United States, General Tommy Franks can be regarded as a hero of the United States Army. The insight view of his leadership characteristics and ideas could be of a greater interest not only to those who want to lead in their life but it can also ignite the spirit of leadership and confidence among other people. The strategic approach and the decision making qualities of a good leader are all compiled in the personality of General Tommy Franks. The selection of this personality is useful to understand by the youth and they can incorporate these approaches and styles in their own personality.

Definition of Leadership by General Tommy Franks

General Tommy Franks defined leadership as an opportunity to influence the line of the history. He considered leadership position as a way to anticipate the following opportunity to forecast the future stance and events. He always wanted to get a position that could provide him a conviction to plan a strategy that would be of a greater interest to the United States. His definition of leadership also includes a fortitude that should be present in a leader in order to successfully implement the plan. He believed in the intensity and courage of action that would make it work and last for long. According to General Tommy Franks a leader should be flexible enough to confront with the uncertain challenges that come under way and an ability of flexibility that would make him survive in different kinds of situations. The ability to change the plan or modify it when it does not seem to work efficiently is also the responsibility of a leader. The leadership characteristics also include a sense of loyalty and honesty within oneself that is essential while dealing with defeating or unsuccessful situations. It helps in admitting the defeat and motivates the leader for future plans. He described a leader as a person who has an ability of balancing the excitement of victory and success. General Tommy Franks thinks that a leader should be motivated enough to get back to the planning and execution of new plans just after the completion of the current plans.

Leadership Philosophy of General Tommy Franks

General Tommy Franks' personal aptitude and perception about leadership includes a thorough learning and practicing from the learned experiences of leadership. The specific philosophy of General Tommy Franks that reflects his great ideas and represents his set of skills and abilities include several notions such as his knowledge about the effectiveness of a leader and the way a leader should possess this efficiency and effectiveness using their leadership qualities specifically in the current situations of war and military. He always used to transmit and convey the qualities of leadership among his followers and fellow team members including sub-ordinates and super ordinates. The way he transmit his knowledge and experience among the team members creates a powerful environment of learning and development. It has been observed during his leadership period as a general of United States Army that he has almost eliminated the apparent difference between the management of people and making them learn the skills of being responsible, confident, efficient and empowered. He not only proved to be a great leader for his team members during the war times and as a military general but also he provided several examples, experiences and lectures regarding the characteristics, responsibilities, skills and role of leaders to other people that would ultimately benefit the future leaders of the country. He has helped many people in learning the dynamics of a successful and effective leader by giving an insight into the critical and important components that are essential for the development of kind of teams and people along with creating the suitable and favorable environment that probe the success of leaders and team in this competitive and tough arena.

Learning to Lead

General Tommy Franks learned to lead throughout his life and this is the reason he got the one of the highest ranking position in the United States Army. He defined his learning experiences as totally different from other military men. He was always interested in planning and getting things done successfully. He was curious about new ways and new ideas that could benefit the country and the forces that are fighting for the peace and sustainability of the country. General Tommy Franks used to go on the jobs that he believed are still unidentified or he perceive interesting to him. During his training experience he described that he learned from people and from his isolation that leads to thinking process. He used to judge things and situations by his own thinking and by the experiences he has got over time. He also gave credit to his troop and the people that surrounded him during his career. The secret behind his leadership philosophy is the self judgment and thinking process that is attained by understanding the roles of different people and their understanding of the different situations and the work conditions and resources they have to deal with while they work.

General Tommy franks has learned several lessons through his experiences and observations on leadership during his life. He regarded effective communication among team members and between the leader and the team as one of the critical factor for attaining success. A good knowledge of team members is also considered as an important tool in managing the team. Learning and moving forward is the basic factor that is reflected in his personality.

Analyzing Strengths and Weaknesses Using Leadership Challenge Model

The leadership challenge model that comprises of five exemplary leadership practices can be used to analyze the personality of a leader by finding his or her strengths and weaknesses among the possible domains. The leadership challenge model provides several assessment methods and tools for finding out the effectiveness in the role of a particular leader and the degree of commitment that is present among their followers along with their satisfaction and engagement with the leader. The five practices that are makes an exemplary leadership model includes the modeling of methods and way optimized by the leader, sharing of an inspired vision, challenging the processes, enabling others to act and encouraging the heart. The strengths and weaknesses of General Tommy Franks leadership are extracted using the leadership challenge model.


There are several strengths of General Tommy Franks that made him a true and successful leader. On the basis of Leadership Challenge Model, the greatest strengths of General Tommy Franks can be attributed to the following factors:

Tommy Franks believed in leading people not managing them. He created a fine line between management and leadership

It was due to his personality and attitude that he was successful in getting a loyal and honest team of soldiers. He emphasizes on the loyalty and support of subordinates and relates this to the success of a plan

He regarded the safety and problem resolution of each and every trooper. According to him the problem of a soldier or team member is the problem of the leader

Emotions has no place for him during the war time

He always considered himself as a soldier even when he was at a higher rank. He lead the troopers but act as a soldier himself

According to General Tommy Franks, the quest quotient is more important to him and it has excited him more than the quotient of intelligence.


The first practice that should be adopted by a leader is the endurance of modeling or planning an effective method or strategy that could be of best of interest for almost all the stakeholders. But the perfection of a plan that considered each and every aspect is near to impossible to attain by any one. General Tommy Franks has made plans during his period as a leader and effectively…

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