Introduction to Theories of Leadership: Lessons from Military Leadership

PACE-C100 — Fall 2020

Marco Arnaudo
BH 306
Days and Times
2:30P - 3:45P, MW
Course Description
While there is a common belief that military leaders mainly bark orders to soldiers, military leadership in truth entails building rapport, cooperation, shared values, common objectives, and team spirit. Without these elements, soldiers may fail to perform their tasks entirely, or in any case they will not do it to their full potential. The multilayered nature of military leadership has motivated many private companies to hire retired army professionals as consultants, analysts, and trainers. While the violence of the battlefield is not a factor in the civilian context, every leader still has to face the challenge of motivating and coordinating groups of people, and often in situations of great stress, limited resources, and demanding timetables.

This class examines basic theories of warfare throughout history, with a strong focus on the role of strong and effective leadership. The purpose is to gain an understanding of what makes a great leader in the battlefield, in a military academy, or around a negotiation table, and to develop these insights into tools that can then be applied to civilian contexts. We will read key texts on the subject, and we will make use of interactive simulations - basically games that were created in the military to analyze complex situations, and are now employed by private companies too. This is so true that some companies now organize game nights in order to find potential hires, knowing how such games can be indicators of a person's strategic thinking and effective interpersonal skills. In other words, students will learn about leaders from the texts, BE military leaders in our simulations, and learn to apply these ideas in their future career.

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