Writing Assignment #6

Kathleen Adams 

FYSM  

Writing Prompt #6 

Continuing October 4th prompt 

In the film, “Saving Private Ryan”, Captain Miller makes a very poor decision that lead to bad outcomes for both himself and his unit. This bad decision of his involved him freeing a German soldier that had under their custody. His men disagreed with his controversial decision and believed they should have shot the soldier so he would not have had the opportunity to return to German forces. Captain Miller made a decision that ultimately jeopardized the success of his unit.  

One important factor a leader should take into consideration when making a decision is if it would benefit their group in the long run. I believe that this thought crossed Captain Miller’s mind, but he still made the wrong choice. Like many could have predicted, the German soldier returned to the German’s and went back into their rotation. After returning to fight for his country, the German soldier ended up shooting and killing Captain Miller. It is ironic that the decision Captain Miller made to spare the German soldiers life ended up costing him his own.  

Although there was no way to predict the fact that Captain Miller would be killed directly by the German Soldier, it is still on Captain Miller for making the decision to set him free. After his death, his until was left without a leader. A leader makes a huge impact on the success and overall morale of the group. Without Captain Miller, his unit was basically set up to fail.  

After watching the film, “Platoon”, my views on the decision made by Captain Miller did not change. I still believe that he made a poor decision that negatively impacted his unit. He should have taken the needs of the unit into consideration more before making a decision that controversial. He also made the decision without informing his men. As far as his men knew, they were shooting the soldier.  

In the film, “Saving Private Ryan”, Captain Miller makes a poor decision to set a German Soldier free. This decision ultimately ends his life and negatively impacts his unit. His decision came with a lot of consequences that he did not take into consideration. Captain Miller made a controversial decision without consulting his men which resulted in his death and the impacted the success of his unit.  

Writing Prompt #5

Kathleen Adams 

Leadership War & Hollywood 

October 9, 2019 

Leader Member Exchange Theory 

In the film, A Bridge Too Far, Lieutenant General Browning uses the Leader Member Exchange Theory when directing his men. The Leader Member Exchange Theory can be described by the relationship between a leader and his or her followers. This relationship is determined by the characteristics possessed by a leader towards their followers that translates into productivity and satisfaction. Lieutenant General Browning using this technique in two juxtaposing ways throughout the film.  

At the beginning of the film, Lieutenant General Browning is seen walking to his car alongside Major Fuller. During their conversation, Fuller brings up his concerns about new evidence of tanks being reported from the Arnhem area. Lieutenant General Browning refers to these concerns as rumors and refuses to acknowledge the threat the tanks pose. The act of General Browning blowing off the information from the Dutch Underground reports gives Fuller the sense that his concerns are not valued by his leader. This weakens the relationship between Lieutenant General Browning and Major Fuller.  

Despite Lieutenant General Browning’s lack of interest in the information Major Fuller presents to him, Browning ends their conversation by complimenting Fuller. After Fuller’s request to have another low-level reconnaissance in the area was approved, General Browning states that, “I wouldn’t be too concerned about what people think of you. You happen to be somewhat brighter than most of us. Tends to make us nervous.” This statement from General Browning flatters Fuller and solidifies his respect and loyalty to Browning. However, the statement contradicts his previous actions in a way. If General Browning truly believed Fuller was brighter than most of them, he would not have taken his information and concerns with a grain of salt like he did. General Browing excels at forming a relationship between himself and Fuller even if it’s not genuine 

In the film, A Bridge Too Far, Lieutenant General Browning displays the Leader Member Exchange Theory in his interactions with Major Fuller. He displays this theory in the way he interacts with Fuller often in a doubtful manner, yet sometimes in a positive way to keep their relationship intact. Lieutenant General Browning uses the Leader Member Exchange Theory multiple times in the film with his followers.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revision to writing assignment 1

Kathleen Adams 

Writing buddy: Kate

Writing Assignment 1  

September 3, 2019 

Abraham Lincoln 

Throughout history we have been exposed to various styles of leadership. Abraham Lincoln’s methods of leading through communication and integrity juxtaposed with Hitler’s style of intimidation and aggression. These qualities of both leaders dictated whether history remembered them as successful leaders or not. History remembers Abraham Lincoln for his strong leadership during the American Civil War and his signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, an executive order that freed slaves in 1863. Abe Lincoln, or “Honest Abe” as he is often referred to as, displayed the characteristics of a great leader. In contrast, Hitler is remembered as an atrocious dictator. Hitler lacked in the areas of being a good leader that Abraham excelled in.  

One of the crucial characteristics of being a good leader that Abraham Lincoln obtained was having exceptional communication skills. Much of his success came from his ability to clearly convey his messages and connect with his audience. One of his most famous methods of communication was through his story telling. Lincoln was able to pull stories that the American people could relate to and that would also unite them through common experiences. Story telling gave him the ability to use pathos to persuade his audience with his sincere, empathetic, and honest personality.  

A sense of integrity is also a very important part in being an influential leader. When there is a disconnect between a leaders and words and actions, the audience is less likely to become committed to them. “Honest Abe” did an exquisite job of instilling a sense of trust into his audience. People trusted him and felt confident in the decisions he was making on their behalf, so they were more willing to embrace change. More advancements and productivity, such as freeing slaves, was easier to accomplish when the country trusted that he was doing what was best for their country. 

A good leader is not just born overnight, however. It takes time to develop the skills to learn how to be influential, trustworthy, and well liked. Abraham Lincoln, along with many other great leaders, had to use history as a tool to study past events and learn from other’s mistakes. Abraham Lincoln was able to reflect upon good leaders such as George Washington and James Monroe, as well as poor presidents such as James Buchanan and Franklin Pierce. Observing both the good and bad President’s that came before him helped him equally. He was able to use methods that George Washington and James Monroe used, while also avoiding the different approaches James Buchanan and Franklin Pierce used during their terms in office.  

Unlike Abraham Lincoln, Hitler was remembered for his aggressive manor and dictator leadership style. Even though some could argue Hitler was a strong leader because of his persuasion, he lacked in other personality traits that ultimately led to his downfall. He was a tough leader who had a need for everything to be done his way. This created a sense of fear in the people around him. He was not capable of nurturing sympathizing with anyone. It is important for a strong leader to be able to have an equal balance between being a benevolent leader and a tough leader. Due to his incapability of treating people like humans, he cannot be considered a successful leader.  

As a country we have experienced both good and bad leaders which either helped shape people like Abraham Lincoln into the strong leaders they became or led to the downfall of leaders like Hitler. Abraham Lincoln demonstrated his strong leadership skills during his term in office from 1861-1865. During his term he was able to lead the nation through the American Civil War, free slaves, and much more. He accomplished all of this by learning from other’s mistakes and successes and adapting his characteristics accordingly. Overall, he was able to make advancements in our country and become a tool for future leaders to learn from. In contrast, Hitler lacked good communication skills and did not poses a nurturing character trait. Due to these missing traits in Hitler’s personality, he was not remembered in the positive light Abraham Lincoln was. Throughout history we have experienced a wide variety of leaders. Each leader earned their reputation through the character traits they either possessed or lacked.  

Writing Assignment #3

Kathleen Adams 

Leadership War and Hollywood 

September 17, 2019 

Patton 

The film Patton depicts the story of the controversial World War II hero, General George S. Patton. His story begins with his travels in North Africa and finishes with the invasion of Europe and the fall of the Third Reich. He works alongside the less controversial General Omar Nelson Bradley who was promoted over Patton. General Patton and General Bradley grew up with drastically different backgrounds which shaped them into the vastly contrasting military leaders they became.  

General George S. Patton was raised in a family with a very strong military background and first saw combat at the age of 31 He never really considered an occupation other than going into the military like his father. In the film, he is known for not only his accomplishments beginning with his entry into the North African campaign, he is also remembered for his controversial public statements. His temper and other faults prevented him from becoming the lead American general in the Normandy Invasion. The aggression he possessed and controversial speeches he gave also led to the end of his career as Occupation Commander of Germany.  

The colleague of General George S. Patton, General Omar Nelson Bradley, was raised in a very different setting. He was born into a family of poverty and no military background. Unlike General George S. Patton, he did not always have the plan to go into the military. Before entering the United States Military Academy at West Point, Bradley worked as boilermaker teaching school and was encouraged to take the entrance examine for the military academy.  

General George S. Patton and General Omar Nelson Bradley were raised in two very diverse backgrounds which resulted in their juxtaposed leadership traits. In order to be an exceptional military leader, you must be well liked by your army and be respected. General Patton failed to possess these two crucial points. He often disobeyed authority and became known for his aggressive statements especially towards the Soviet Union. Therefore, I would much prefer emulating General Omar Nelson Bradley. He did not have the poor reputation that General Patton had, and he was a very successful leader. Despite his non-military background, Bradley was able to pick things up quickly and gain power through his impressive leadership skills.  

 

Writing Assignment #2

Kathleen Adams 

Leadership, War, and Hollywood  

September 10, 2019 

Military Discipline 

The word “discipline” has and will continue to be interpreted differently by everyone. Many relate the word with its aggressive nature, while some believe that discipline should be expressed in a personable manner. While addressing the Corps of Cadets, U.S. Military Academy, Major General John M. Schofield expressed his opinions on the negative effects of harsh discipline. He conveys the idea that harsh or tyrannical conditions towards soldiers only damages the army and creates resentment. In the film, “Glory”, both harsh and humane discipline tactics are used by Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and his team to build their army of African American soldiers.  

One of the major portrayals of harsh discipline in the film involves Sargent Major Mulcahy and Corporal Thomas Searles. While participating in a drill, Thomas Searles is approached by Sargent Mulcahy who criticizes his bayonet skills. Mulcahy proceeds to pull Searles out in front of the large group where he is called names and directed to stab him. Knowing Searles won’t stab him with force, Mulcahy grabs his bayonet and beats him with it. Mulcahy’s actions relate to Major General John M. Schofield’s statement, “He who feels the respect which is due to others cannot fail to inspire in them regard for himself, while he who feels, and hence manifests, disrespect toward others, especially his inferiors, cannot fail to inspire hatred against himself”. Sargent Major Mulcahy uses violence as a form of discipline which only backfired on him when his army began to resent and not respect him. 

Unlike Sargent Major Mulcahy who treated his army as if they were less than him, Colonel Robert Gould Shaw considered them equal human beings. After delivering the information to his army that they would be receiving three dollars less than a normal army would be payed due to their skin color, Colonel Shaw stated that, “If you men will take no pay, then none of us will”. This statement puts both the white army leaders and the African American soldiers on an equal platform which creates mutual respect. From there he gave his army official uniforms and was able to use his strong relationship with them as a form of discipline.  

In his speech addressing Corps of Cadets, U.S. Military Academy, Major General John M. Schofield mentioned his views on how harsh discipline in an army only leads to their downfall. In the film, “Glory”, Sargent Major Mulcahy toys with the use of violence and tyrannical methods of discipline. These methods only negatively impacted himself and his army. In contrast, Colonel Robert Gould Shaw believed in leading his army by creating a strong relationship between himself and his army. Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and Major General John M. Schofield’s ideals related to one another which supported the overall idea that using harsh methods and violence as a form of discipline will not improve your army, it will only break it.