Leadership of David Petraeus Research Paper

Pages: 4 (1311 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Leadership

10) Stay fit to fight. Your body is your ulti-mate weapons system. Physical fitness for your body is essential for mental fitness. 11) The only thing better than a little com-petition is a lot of competition. Set chal-lenges for your subordinates to encourage them to excel. 12) Everyone on the team is mission criti-cal. Instill in your team members a sense of great self-worth, that each, at any given time, can be the most important on the battlefield.

From this one may reasonably conclude that Petraeus' leadership style is by and large transformational. Transformational leadership involves creating positive change in the followers whereby they take care of each other's interests and act in the interests of the group as a whole. Essentially the leader's task is consciousness-raising on a wide plane. The leader's fundamental act is to induce people to be aware or conscious of what they feel and to feel their true needs so strongly, to define their values so meaningfully, that they can be moved to purposeful action. In this leadership style, the leader enhances the motivation, moral and performance of his follower group. Transformational leadership is all about values and meaning, and a purpose that transcends short-term goals and focuses on higher order needs (Warrilow, NDI).

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Michael Gerson (2012) noted that Petraeus was "supremely informed and often breathtakingly candid, an attribute that involves risks but establishes credibility." However, Petraeus' recent public downfall, brought on by his extramarital affair reveals a flaw in his character. Infidelity involves personal betrayal. Innocent people, spouses and children, suffer unfairly. Nonetheless, the manner in which Petraeus faced this public humiliation is to be admired, he admitted to showing "extremely poor judgment," and told the employees at the CIA, "Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours" (Gerson, 2012). After a career dedicated to high standards, Petraeus chose to apply those standards to himself.


Research Paper on Leadership of David Petraeus Leadership Assignment

Many of the qualities and attributes demonstrated by Petraeus are applicable to police organizations. His leadership style is designed to create more leaders, not followers. His rules for life are grounded in creating a professionally run efficient force. The integrity he has thus far demonstrated in the face of this current scandal is to be admired, even if his actions are not. Unlike so many public figures whose shortcomings have been publically exposed in the past, Petraeus has not shirked nor made excuses for his responsibility in the matter.

Leadership in any organization is difficult. It has been said that leaders have a nameplate on their chest that says "expert" and a giant target on their back. A leader's behavior is held to higher standards; this is how it should be. Petraeus' fifth rule of living "We all will make mistakes. The key is to recognize them and admit them, to learn from them, and to take off the rear? view mirrors, drive on and avoid making them again" is most applicable in this case. Organizational leadership is a complex endeavor, involving many people with a variety of agendas motivated by any number of personal and altruistic reasons. For a leader to be successful it is important to establish a set of personal standards, and then have the capacity and integrity to abide by them, even in personal failure. This may be the legacy of David Petraeus.


Broadwell, P. (2012, November 5). General David Patraeus's rules for living. Newsweek. Retrieved November 10, 2012, from http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/11/04/general-david-petraeus-s-rules-for-living.html

Gerson, M. (2012, November 12). The flaw of an honorable man. The Washington Post. Retrieved November 12, 2012, from http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2012/02/17/general-david-petraeuss-leadership-and-legacy-2

Pappas, E.H. (2009, August). Top 10 attributes of a true leader. Michigan Bar Journal. Retrieved November 10, 2012, from http://www.michbar.org/journal/pdf/pdf4article1555.pdf

Warrilow, S. (NDI). Transformational leadership theory -- The 4 key elements in leading change and managing change. EzineArticles. Retrived November 12, 2012, from http://ezinearticles.com/?Transformational-Leadership-Theory-The-4-Key-Components-in-Leading-Change-and-Managing-Change&id=2755277

Weir, G. (2012, November 10). David Patraeus and the integrity… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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