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Leadership and Management in the US Navy

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Introduction

The US Navy is a naval warfare branch of the United States Armed Forces among the seven uniformed services. It was one of the biggest navies in the world with a battle fleet greater than 13 navies combined (Reed, 2009). It has the largest carrier in the service and operates over 280 ships in active service with more than 3500 aircrafts on operation. It has its origin from the continental Navy established during the American Revolutionary War.

In the 21st century, the US Navy maintains a sizable global presence, having been deployed to Asia, Middle East and the Mediterranean Sea. The US Navy maintains a quick response in times of crisis, which makes it an active player in the US foreign defence policy. Administratively, the US Navy is managed by the Department of the Navy, which is headed by the secretary of the Navy, a civilian soldier (Reed, 2009). The Department of the Navy forms a division in that is led by the Secretary of Defence. Chief of Naval Operations office is the highest ranking position in the naval operations.

The United States military, like most armed forces, has a strict authority and hierarchy that helps to allocate managers and leaders in the service. Leadership is provided at many ranks, which keeps each person disciplined. In the service operations, the US Navy have a high integrity and heavily rely on each other.

Leadership is a process of influencing people to accomplish and direct activities within an organization, in such a way that it becomes more cohesive and coherent (Wart, 2005). A substantive difference between leadership and management is the scope. Leadership focuses on creation and support of potential through the reinforcement and motivation, while management focuses on the setting of goals and planning to achieve the set standards. Moreover, effective management identifies the tactical areas that involve calculated directions and controlling approaches. Management gets affairs running in a dynamic environment sphere.Leadership sets the precedence for others and nurtures the human capital to perform better through guidance. All areas of control of the organization lie on the hands of the manager. The manager delegates responsibilities to subordinates. The principle guiding the forces is that of acting as instructed, working within set deadlines (Bateman & Snell, 2009).  Leadership is based on appeal, inspiration, and charisma to support subordinates in meeting their targets. This is termed as transformational control, and for motivation of employees to perform well, extrinsic rewards is necessary.

Effective management demands proficiency in technical (competency in a profession or ability), human (ability to work with others as a group) and conceptual (ability to work with ideas or concepts) skills. These are essential in various sections of management in the forces. However, these skills are not mandatory for effective leadership. Therefore, leadership skills are difficult to learn as opposed to management.

The US Navy force needs managers more than leaders since in management there are established goals and objectives for performance of the organization. The US Navy has achieved this through planning, budgeting for resources and proper human resource management. Management gears to improve efficiency, which boosts the performance of an organization and fulfils the goals and objectives. Leadership is the quality that a successful manager must possess to excel. Nevertheless, one should be careful in distinguishing between these two concepts.

The prime goal of the manager is to maximize the performance and productivity of an organization by means of administrative implementations. Therefore, every manager who tries to achieve these goals undertakes the functions of an organization, which include:  staffing, planning, controlling and directing of affairs in the organization. For proper control of organizations, leadership and management are equally valuable. In order to perform manager functions, it is crucial to understand what it takes to be a good leader.

It is crucial for a leader to be of a high level of intelligence. This is highly based on the decisions that one makes as a leader. Effective leadership should not be misinterpreted as being clever, but it should rather be consistent. This comes with the understanding that the most fundamental aspect of leadership and is the ability to ground a particular direction and impact team members. Planning is very important aspect for manager. He will have to ensure information is spread to the staff on the obligations, policies, and regulations together with having a detailed format of implementation of the organizational culture change. Proper teamwork has to be coordinated towards the goal. Change related information will have to be imparted with the staff having to be informed of the position, responsibility as well as the change effects.

The US Navy Department mission is to enhance the quality of life in the Territory of the United States of America. It works in conjunction with the American society within the confines of the U.S. Constitution to preserve peace, reduce fear, provide a safe environment and enforce laws. Evaluation of leadership at the US Navy Department is based upon leader’s ability to have a positive effect on the administration of the affairs of the forces. The effective leader in the US Navy Department is evaluated against three key leadership skills namely: technical skills, which require a US Navy officer to have the ability to perform basic naval functions, have pleasant human and communication skills, which are used at all levels. In the US Navy Department, it is required for a Navy officer to have the ability to positively interrelate with others officers and possess conceptual skills, which are critical for performance.

Ambition is a pillar in the success of a leader, regardless of the team and size of the organization that one has taken charge. It is quite obvious that the army has a vision, which in itself is meaningless, if the team leader lacked ambition and confidence. Self-confidence plays an essential role in the management. Heller & Till (1982) describe self assurance as a crucial factor that enhances individuals to posses all the necessary knowledge and skills that help one to make important decisions. Team members are exceedingly moved by the extent of assurance shown when providing directions or when seeking for any form of help.

Globalization and Management

Due to globalization, the US Navy Department goes beyond its borders to recruit qualified Navy officers. One of the biggest investments associated with globalization is the creation of numerous opportunities for employment. As a result of globalization, many corporations have divested into both in the developed and developing countries, tapping into the emerging markets and creation employment. In a way therefore, globalization has helped in eradication unemployment, which is a critical issue for many nations.

Through the Internet for example, social networking sites have also been widely utilized for recruitment purposes by human resource managers in the US armed forces. Through such sites, employers are able to find relevant information of current and potential employees’ social activities, thus knowing the right people to employ from all over the world without restricting themselves to certain regions.

Motivation is a need or desire that causes a person to act in a particular way. Motivated soldiers are controlled by urges, drives, and aspirations to conquer. The US Navy Department has a proper mechanism of rewarding employees to motivate them and increase their commitment to their jobs. An employee reward and recognition system creates and boosts the morale of employees and impact positively on the organization. Fair reward programs that are effectively designed enhance motivation and make employees desire to exceed their performance targets at the workplace.

According to Kinne, (2000), some of the benefits provided by The US Navy Department to attract, motivate and retain employees include:

•        Bonuses - this may be a onetime payment at a specific time which is determined when the outcome is achieved. Bonuses are generally awarded once a year.

•       The US Navy Department also provides other fringe benefits like holiday and vacation pay, day care services to employees either free or at a reduced cost.

•        Employees at The US Navy Department are also being provided with hospital services at discounted rates.

•       Pay for knowledge - here, compensation is based on experience, knowledge and skills gained on the job while working as opposed to the position held in the organization. This has encouraged employees to further their learning so as to increase their compensation.

Recommendation

In order to improve the motivation of workers in The US Navy Department, it is essential to have a strategic compensation as a way of encouraging and boosting the morale of Navy officers so that they can perform better and give the organizations and its targeted production and eventual profit. Reward schemes will strengthen and motivate employees if implemented carefully without discrimination. The majority of employees focus more on how much they earn rather than on the work itself. Having good rewards will motivate them achieve goals and increase competitiveness in the forces, which is the goal of any institution. A good reward scheme must take into consideration the quantity and quality of contribution of workers and must be void of bias.

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