Cadets is a learning environment where everyone is encouraged and taught how to join in but sometimes we have to give orders so I will be using mainly the following leadership skills as a Sergeant in the Cadet force: Participative Leadership, the old-fashioned term being democratic leadership style. It is usually when a company asks their employees their ideas before making decisions. It is useful when changes are required because the team and will be more ready to accept the changes as their opinions have been asked and considered. This type of leadership is useful when the tasks are a little different to normal routines. I will use this style most of the time due to the fact we are a learning environment and are all trying to improve our knowledge, skills and encourage leadership. No one or no ideas will be laughed at, but we all should be able to laugh at ourselves. I have been asked to mentor the DofE practice orienteering groups and this will be a participative exercise, however, even though they will have autocratic rules to keep the cadets safe from wondering over dangerous ground. Such as do not climb fences and if you see a red flag do not investigate. An example of the democratic leadership style could be doing a briefing (SMEAC) on a leadership activity and allowing the cadets/followers to come up with some suggestions about how to complete the activity. Autocratic Leadership will be used as this is a training Organisation and safety is most important. If I am leading a challenging activity sometimes such as cross-country walk or arranging a drill parade It will be necessary to tell people what to keep safe. If one or more follower isn’t safe, it could cause safety issues for them or everyone. This also is good when arguments are occurring, it is a quick and safe way to resolve issues which often occur in young adults. An example of an activity where Autocratic leadership would be used is also leading an activity. For example, I stated: ‘An example of the Democratic leadership … about how to complete the activity.’ For autocratic leadership, it would be opposed because if the leader was using this style, they would create a plan themselves and tell the followers to follow that plan even if it was wrong. Democratic and Autocratic leadership can be used at different points and will vary. An example of choosing between autocratic and democratic is timing for the activity. If there is a lot of time (especially to plan) then democratic could be useful, but if there isn’t a lot of time, then this is where autocratic leadership would probably take place. I will also be using Supportive Leadership as I have a real concern and responsibility for the needs of the younger and less able cadets as a Sergeant and as this is a voluntary all-inclusive environment we must be and seen to be available so I will be a leader that is approachable. There are some more vulnerable than others. I will also use Achievement Leadership (keeping up enthusiasm and motivation) as the cadets provide badges and promotions and encourage training, by setting high standards and showing the cadets I have confidence in them to do the task.
This type of leadership (supportive and achievement leadership) should be incorporated into every other type of leadership because all followers are different and all will have different needs whether they be minor or major. A good leader should able to identify followers needs and help followers as individuals and not as a whole group.