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One of the determinants of success in any group is the leadership style employed. Therefore, in a battlefield an army may end up losing or winning the war not because of the warfare techniques used but the kind of leaders leading the squad. Every leader must be in the limelight to ensure that his group emerges with victory at the end of the battle. However, leadership styles differ with the personality of the leader. The book ‘Band of Brothers’ by Stephen E. Ambrose displays the experiences of soldiers during the World War II under the leadership of different commanders. Leading people and managing people are two things that a competent leader should learn to differentiate. To some extent, Ambrose seems to emphasize on the need of an effective management of the cadets by the company commander. I like the way he portrays Captain Dick Winters as a leader who promoted unity among the soldiers through delegation. Winters is conveyed as a prominent commander who places the soldiers in a win-win situation in the Easy Company. He is a leader that stands to be emulated because of the myriad qualities evident in his leadership.
Some people believe that leadership is a gift while others argue that leaders can be nurtured through training. However, Dick Winters is a prominent leader who led people especially in his company from the heart. He is not just born as Major but his leadership goes through stages. He begins as a lieutenant, moves to captainship and finally becomes a Major. Several lessons can be learnt from the way he leads his troop. He remains focused and mobilizes people by leading the way. He has empathy for the soldiers and always seeks to understand them by investing in teamwork. His style of leadership motivated the men in Easy Company, 506th Infantry Regiment, and 101st Airborne Division to fight on despite the challenges associated with the war.
It is worth noting the leadership style of Winters is quite outstanding because he leads the same company that was under captain Sobel to an appraisable victory. Sobel comes out as an autocratic captain who subjects the soldiers under rigorous training with an ill motive of becoming popular for leading the best company. Under his leadership, the company loses many battles to their enemies. After a successful training period of reading maps, communications and learning how to use and maintain weapons, the men of Easy Company fail to succeed in war. The army hates Captain Sobel following his inability to read the map which is an essential element in the battlefield. However, tables turned when Captain Winters was given the mandate to lead the battalion.
The victory of the company when Winters came to power signifies how the troop lacked a real hero who could lead by example. They endured the domineering rule of their former captain who only exposed them to a total suffering by his corrupt deeds. As a result, Sobel earned hatred from his members and made the company lose its reputation after losing several battles. Captain Winters instilled hope in his troop by taking care of their needs. This made him admirable among his men. His effective form of leadership made him work in different ranks and become respected in every capacity he worked in. He was exceptionally tactful in his idea and encouraged every soldier to work towards emerging victorious. The brilliant ideas revived the company and enabled it to take successful moves in attacking the opponents. Winters was a brave leader who never gave up in his decisions. During his tenure, the company did not retreat in fighting but endured the strongholds until the end of World War II. He encouraged the army to conquer Germany that was being led by Hitler. The army fought tirelessly without food and winter clothing as they advanced the opponents territory. The war intensified and finally the Germany army gave in. Moreover, the win was attributed to the confidence they had in their commander who was Captain Winters by then. He has become an icon because he managed to walk the talk by commanding the army successfully. Although the esasy men appeared ordinary they are today remembered in the UnitedState regarded for doing an extraordinary thing during the World War II.
Hardworking and cooperation among the soldiers kept them moving to higher levels. During the reign of Winters, the improvement of infrastructure was carried out. He renovated the buildings that were needed for an efficient training of the troops. He promoted the spirit of equality during the training sessions by making the troop to have the same exercise test. Moreover, the captain was very selective when recruiting new members. He upheld discipline among his men and valued moral ethics at all costs. He did not invite just anyone to the airborne but instead liaised with his men before welcoming a new soldier. Consequently, he chose good men who knew what airborne demanded and those who were able to fight in season and out of season. Thorough training and proper coordination among his men are the essential tools that led to the celebration of Easy Company. Captain Winters was very tough on those who did not comply with the stipulated rules and regulations. As a result, those who could not cope eliminated themselves and enabled the company to have a superior force. Intense training on offensive action earned his army the basic tactics of winning the war.
The men of Easy Company suffered major causalities in the war but they were not discouraged. The leadership technique used by Dick Winters kept them in the spirit of winning the war. He ensured that everything needed for the battle was available. Constant supply of ammunitions was maintained throughout the battling session. As a result, the company performed well and become the winners at the end of the war. However, some soldiers died not because of inadequate weapons or poor skills used but because of the tension and pressure from the armed units.
A good leader must be the first in the implementation of an action. Winters gave his best time in ensuring that the company dominates in every activity. For instance, he could wake up early in the morning before all the men and devise schemes of attacking the Germany combat force. He could take a few men with him and launch inside to the enemies camp. This small unit attack imposed threats to the opponents and expedited the efforts of winning the battle. As a matter of fact, he was always at the frontline when meeting the enemies. He gave commands after planning the offensive action to be taken and led the army in attacking the opponents. This enabled the army to take control of the war by taking several guns from the German force. However, the captain was very decisive because he managed to survive many death attempts by the enemies to kill him.
In most cases, participating in a civil war is not a noble task. This calls for those who are able to invent ways and devise mechanisms that will make the enemy lose as you become victorious. Captain Winters was a good schemer in the way he led his army. The soldiers were able to follow him anywhere he went in pursuit of the armed opponents. He was able to make a decision within a short time and engaged his troop in attack. He humbled himself and worked cooperatively with the army. Thus, the morale of the troop was boosted and enabled them to work in unison.
A successful leader is one who is able to respect and understand his subjects. Winters was very respectful to the soldiers and understood the pain they were going through. He was not self-centered because he took time to learn the behavior of his team members. Moreover, he did not force them to do anything. He was a bit flexible when addressing his troop. He adjusted himself when advising them on the course of action to take and treated them uniformly.
It is said that honesty is the policy. For a group to achieve its goals and objectives, both the members and the leader should be very fair in their ideas and actions they do. Captain Winters demonstrated honesty in the way he presented himself before the army. The moves he made were very consistent. He maintained his policy of equality and fairness in the camp. The soldiers trusted him in every matter he raised and believed in his pieces of advice. Moreover, he maintained a close relationship with the army and came to mutual understanding in several issues. However, the troop was not able to know his mind because he remained to be their leader and they gave him the respect he deserved.
Leadership style used by a leader in any organization greatly contributes to the behavior his or her subjects. A good leader should not aim at pleasing his subjects or the environment but ought to demonstrate policies that will lead to the creation of new leaders in future. A good leader is one who is humble, honest, committed, team player and who upholds morality in his undertakings. Nevertheless, effective leadership enables a given group to achieve goals that may seem difficult.