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Question:

Discuss about the Leadership for the Journey Inward.

 

Answer:

Introduction

Leaders have certain character traits which will either lead to the success or failure of the organization. A leader is an individual who is ready and willing to take responsibility. David Morrison is one of the great leaders in Australia. He has won several awards due to the quality leadership he provided during his service time.

People assume leadership roles knowingly or unknowingly. It is good to know how to handle responsibilities in life whenever you are faced with them by studying how great leaders like David Morrison did (Giuliani and Kurson, 2013, p.18).  

Morison made use of both Democratic and team leadership styles. He believes in a combined effort in decision making. Team play is essential in achieving the set objectives of an organization, be it political, sports or business. Throughout his service in the military, Morrison encouraged teamwork. This helped him to bring all people together hence making most of his missions a success (Ambrose, 2013, p.33).

Background Information

David Morrison is a great Australian leader born in May 1956 in Queensland, Australia. His father was major general, Alan Morrison. Morrison studied arts and law at the Australian National University, St Edmund’s College and Canberra. With a bachelor’s degree in 1979, Morrison joined the Australian Army. From, Portsea School, Morrison advanced to the Royal Australian Infantry Corps. 1987-1988, he worked at the Royal Military Academy as an instructor.

David was appointed the Brigade Major of the 3rd Brigade in 1992 which was based in Queensland. In the year 1997, he was appointed as the commanding officer of the 2nd Battalion. His leadership qualities saw him attain several titles in the Australian army. In 1999, he was promoted to colonel of operations at the International Force for East Timor (INTERFET).  In the year 2002, Morrison graduated with a strategic studies masters in arts. In 2006, Morrison served as the Australian Defense College commander. He has served in several posts until his retirement in the year 2015. In the year 2016, David was named the Australian of the year.

According to the participative leadership theory, a leader allows other people, peers, stakeholders or subordinates to engage in the decision-making process. As a leader, Morrison allowed and encouraged his people to participate in the decision-making process. For Morrison, this theory seemed to work well. There are several assumptions which are made in the theory. The assumptions include:

  • Understanding is improved through involvement in decision-making.
    This assumption has proved to work out well in the time service of Morrison. Nevertheless, when studying organizational behaviour, the best decisions have always been arrived at when several people are involved.
  • A wide choice of ideas is better than one.
  • Working on shared goals reduces competition but increases collaboration.
  • Participation increases the social commitment of individual’s hence higher performance.

For Morrison, he had the knowledge of what being a participative leader meant. As a result, he decided to go for more studies to improve the skills of leadership. This made him a great leader to be admired by the Australians, teammates and the rest of the world. In fact, people can make reference to him when talking about great leaders. Some of the approaches that David possessed as a leader include behavioural approach.

 

According to this approach, the behaviour of the leader is determined by the influence it brings to the people. For instance, Morrison used his immense power to influence men participation to help in creating a change for women. Due to this, he was pronounced as a “warrior for women” by the mass media in the year 2016 when he was named Australian of the year. Making changes is something which does not take place easily, a lot of pressure is needed. Morrison was able to make a change in the nation’s military by fighting for gender equality. He wanted women to be involved in the most combat roles.

As a leader, Morrison faced a challenge in fighting religious rights in the country. He felt that the Islamic community was unfairly represented in the Society. This is an issue he even brought forward in the year 2016. Over time, the minority in Australia have been wrongly misrepresented by their leaders (March and Weil, 2015, p.19). Something needs to be done, after all, aren’t all people of the same nation?  Some of the steps taken by Morrison includes empowering women in the society. With the speed technology is improving, the social media is in wide use. Suppose Morrison made use of the existing social media to bring people together in the society, the discrimination rate will go down (Davis, Alves and Sklansky, 2014, p.63)

A lot of interactions are taking place on the internet, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. Using these platforms to convey the message to the people will be vital since most people have become frequent users of the social media. Messages to reject any discrimination forms on the social media will be of great help to fight for the minority rights (Sobaci, 2016, p.21)

Another major challenge as a leader is authority versus influence. Working as head, one has to prepare for the opposing views which might arise as a result of the influence of the society. David faced such whenever he wanted to make implement changes to certain sections of the community. For instance, in Australia and most parts of the world, women are not given positions in the military.  When Morrison tried to create a change to this, most people saw him as a leader who is majorly influenced by the opinions of few rather than exercising his authority properly. As a focused leader, Morrison never got distracted; he went on with his objectives and mission.

Such situations could have been approached more easily if Morrison took advantage of the leaders with a significant influence in the society. He should make those leaders support him, in doing so, the rest of the community will be convinced.

Several things can be learned from studying the leadership style of Morrison. For instance, to be a great leader, one has to be strong and courageous. Making decisions, which is one of the major responsibilities of a leader is a very crucial part for it determines your progress in implementing changes for success (Edinger and Sain, 2014, p.72). A courageous leader will make decisions despite the challenges he will go through. For instance, to make changes in the military, Morrison faced several oppositions.

The way a leader influences his people relies on several character traits. These traits include the way the leader knows the society. Morrison had the power to make the society support him. A good leader is always there when solving issues concerning the society. Being present is an indication of how committed one is in helping his people (Parks, 2017, n.d).  

A leader who brings things into the light of many often gets the support of the majority. Having a majority by your side is an assurance of success. In the Leadership positions that David was allocated, he was always there for his people. Whenever concerns were raised, he responded with immediate effect.

Morrison was humble, kind, courageous, social, and objective. By being objective, a leader is not easily swayed away from the course of action he has chosen. A social leader understands the needs of his people easily (Cantwell, 2015, p.47). According to the social cognitive theory, when people meet they interact, maintain or acquire certain behavior patterns. Being a team leader who interacted with his people provided an opportunity for others to learn from him. Team leadership entails the generation of a vivid picture of its future, where it is headed to and what it will stand for. The vision provides and inspires a strong sense of purpose and direction.

As a leader, you always have to be prepared for challenges. Obstacles strengthen leaders. When you face a problem today, tomorrow you will know how to solve it if it arises. Leadership skills can be improved through attending learning institutions. From David, the aspect of academic degrees and masters were all meant to improve the skills he possessed. Nevertheless, education earned him several positions in the army. This gave him enough experience of how to handle issues whenever they arose (Gunter, 2012, p.54).

Improving leadership qualities of an individual entails several forms which include learning from other leaders, attending learning institutions and socializing with people so that one gets to learn how different individuals respond to given situations. Nevertheless, with the social media and technology, leadership covers a wide area which includes the online platform. Through reading opinions from your followers on a social media platform, an individual can improve his leadership skills (Davies, 2013, p.11).  The social media is entertaining and at the same time educative. 

 

References

Ambrose, D. (2013). Leadership: the journey inward. Dubuque, Iowa, Kendall/Hunt

Australian of the year Awards, 2016. State Finalist Australian of the Year 2015. [Online] Available at: https://www.australianoftheyear.org.au/honour-roll/?view=landing&year=2000[Accessed 12 May 2017].

Davis, E. F., Alves, A. A., & Sklansky, D. A. (2014). Social media and police leadership: lessons from  Dziedzic, S., 2017. Australian of the Year: General David Morrison's tumultuous 12 months. [Online]  Available at: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-25/australian-of-the-year-general-david-morrisons-torrid-12-months/8212248
[Accessed 12 May 2017].

Cantwell, J. P. (2015). Leadership in action. Carlton, Vic. Melbourne University Pub.

Davies, A. (2013). Social Media. 3, 3. [Ottawa], Library Of Parliament

Edinger, S. K., & Sain, L. (2014). The hidden leader: discover and develop greatness within your company

Giuliani, R. W., & Kurson, K. (2013). Leadership. Waterville, Me, Thorndike Press

Gunter, H. (2012). Leaders and leadership in education. London, Paul Chapman

March, J., & Weil, T. (2015). On Leadership: a Short Course. Oxford, John Wiley & Sons.

Parks, P. J. (2017). Social Media. San Diego. Referencepoint Press, Inc.

Sobaci, M. Z. (2016). Social media and local governments: theory and practice.

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