Difference Between Direct And Organizational Leadership

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Direct Leadership Versus Organizational Leadership The United States Army defines leadership as "the process of influencing people by providing purpose, direction, and motivation to accomplish the mission and improve the organization" (Department of the Army, p. 1). While all levels of Army leadership are interconnected there are various levels of leadership recognized within the Army. The three tiers of leadership are direct, organizational, and strategic. In this paper, I will describe the differences and challenges between direct and organizational leadership.
Direct Leadership Direct leadership is face-to-face, or boots on the ground, leadership. This style of leadership typically occurs at the team, squads, sections,
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The direct level of leadership may influence a few hundred soldiers, and the organizational level indirectly impacts thousands of soldiers. This area of influence may range from a battalion size formation to the corps level and beyond. Unlike the previous level of leadership, leaders within the operational domain might find themselves contending with more intricate and complex issues that require a greater degree of critical thinking. At the organizational level, there is usually a sizeable staff to assist in the long-range planning, resourcing, and managing of personnel to support the mission requirements. Furthermore, it is important to understand that leaders at the organizational level utilize policy and the integration of systems in achieving the commander’s intent. Leaders at the organizational level will frequently conduct staff or face-to-face visits to validate the effectiveness of their efforts, and to make adjustments as needed to maximize the synergy of support to the subordinate elements. In the next paragraph, I will examine potential challenges of direct and organizational leadership within the …show more content…
Firstly, from the direct level of leadership perspective there is often a semblance of mistrust, or rather misunderstanding between lower and upper commands. In such cases, I can personally recall frequently hearing comments regarding how the brigade didn’t seem to have a clue due to real or perceived unrealistic expectations placed on our Infantry battalion. Whether real or perceived, it often presented challenges which invariably add to mission creep. Given the fluidity of mission requirements at the operational level, it is easier to understand why leaders at the operational level may face significant challenges. Especially, when it comes to finding time to get out from their work areas to conduct scheduled visits to subordinate elements which are geographically dispersed. While we will always face challenges to varying degrees, it is imperative that we as senior leaders take the proverbial bull by the horns, and look for creative solutions to bridge the challenges between the direct and operational levels of

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