Municipal Monitor Q1 2017 | Page 31

Normally , when people think of military leadership they picture a classic image of a grizzly old sergeant screaming at a group of soldiers who can do nothing else but stand in formation with only the occasional “ Yes , sir !” in reply . However , the realities of the modern military are quite different . There will always be a requirement for unquestioned orders in combat situations , where any delay in delivering and executing instruction could endanger lives , but this is by far the exception rather than the rule .

The same could be said of a municipal environment , such as when emergency services are involved in complicated and dangerous situations . However , the reality of both modern military and municipal environments is that these high-stress situations are not typical , and whether it is soldiers or municipal workers , almost all employees are spending more time in offices .
With this in mind , militaries around the world have developed modern leadership programs deeply rooted in natural leadership tendencies , while taking into account the realities of maintaining large forces in peacetime . These programs leverage the most basic and natural inclinations of human behaviour , such as individuals ’ tendency to form groups and respond to reasonable direction from others . They also recognize that , as a rule , all employees prefer to do their jobs well and want to learn and develop their abilities . These leadership programs encourage the majority to perform at their best by maintaining high expectations and effectively using rewards and discipline .
The leadership-and-command style militaries use has always been a direct result of battlefield tactics . This includes the centralized command structure that accompanied large military formations before the 20th century and the decentralized command structure used in small-unit tactics on the modern battlefield .
This evolution in tactics was accompanied by a shift in leadership approach from a centralized model focused on senior leaders to a decentralized model focusing on the junior leaders and encouraging
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Municipal Monitor 29