Malham M. Wakin
The central theme of this chapter is that a person's view of human nature is essentially relevant to the type of leader he or she becomes. Social contract theories such as that of Thomas Hobbes are said to lead to "transactional" leadership, encouraging adversary relationships between the leader and those led. The classical Greek view of humans as societal beings by nature is held, by contrast, to foster a "transformational" view of leadership stressing the role of education, persuasion, and cooperation in mission accomplishment. The contractual view is seen as generating amoral attitudes toward the military function while the transformational view holds more promise for concern with the development of the moral character of leaders and those led. A case is made that professional competence is legitimately viewed as a moral obligation, most especially in the military profession. It is suggested that advancing technology and specialization have made it more difficult to identify moral concerns with the military function, thus placing more burden on the leader to emphasize the moral dimensions of the profession of arms. —M.M.W.
A leader is best
When people barely know that he exists,
Not so good when people obey and acclaim him,
Worst when they despise him.
"Fail to honor people,
They fail to honor you;"
Reprinted from Malham M. Wakin, "Ethics of Leadership", pp. 95-111 in Military Leadership, edited by J. H. Buck and L. J. Korb (Beverly Hills, Calif.: Sage Publications). © 1981 by J. H. Buck. Reprinted by permission of Sage Publications, Inc., and J. H. Buck.
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Publication information: Book title: War, Morality, and the Military Profession. Contributors: Malham M. Wakin - Author. Publisher: Westview Press. Place of publication: Boulder, CO. Publication year: 1986. Page number: 200.