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"Army to Business School Essay"

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Unedited Version (the "Before")

Please give a brief evaluation of yourself as a leader
In order to give an accurate evaluation of myself as a leader, I think it is important to discuss some of the events that molded my leadership skills. Having served as a Non-commissioned officer in the United States Marine Corplowed me to lls. The Marine Corps places grc of leadership, believing that great leaders are not born, they are properly trained.

Leadership in the Marine Corps is more complicated than the simple management of employees. I learned this lesson the hard way, being thrust into a management position as my unit was being shipped over seas during the Persian Gulf War. As a newly promoted Corporal, I was given the job of night crew supervisor in charge of 15 other marines. In the Marine Corps, the person in charge is not only held accountable for the work getting done but also the performance and conduct of their marines. At the ripe old age of 21 I was put in the position too not only lead these marines, but to take some responsibility for their personal lives and general welfare. This being my second time over seas, I understood many of the difficulties that a young marine can have on their first extended trip away from their family. I enjoyed helping my marines over come their problems, and learned that the benefits were well worth the time that I invested. I discovered that employees who have the support of their management tend to be more focused on the tasks at hand, gaining levels of trust and loyalty that can only benefit the organization.

Another unique aspect of the Marine Corps is that a manager must come up with a means other than direct compensation in order to motivate employees. It can be very difficult at times to be in charge of individuals, yet have no direct control over their salaries or advancement in the organization. The government decides military salaries, and promotions are controlled by boards with the primary means of measurement being time in service. Because of this, I learned that good leadership is based on mutual respect. I believe it is much more important to gain the trust and confidence of your employees than to use direct compensation in order to motivate.

Throughout my Marine Corps career and beyond I developed many strong leadership skills, but most of all I learned that to be effective as a manager one must remain focused on the human aspect of leadership. This experience will be one of many contributions that I hope to make to the academic environment at the Anderson School of Business.

Edited Version (the "After")

Please give a brief evaluation of yourself as a leader

By serving as a noncommissioned officer in the United States Marine Corps, I learned and developed valuable leadership skills that would prove crucial to my success as a leader and to my ability to gain the respect of my subordinates. The Marine Corps places great emphasis on leadership characteristics, believing that great leaders are not born, they are properly trained. I submitted to grueling training on my way to becoming an officer in the Marines, and I believe this training gives me the foundation of strong leadership skills that I will need to succeed in corporate America.

Leadership in the Marine Corps is more complicated than the simple management of employees. I learned this lesson the hard way, being thrust into a management position as my unit was being shipped overseas during the Persian Gulf War. As a newly promoted Corporal, I was given the job of night crew supervisor in charge of 15 other marines. In the Marine Corps, leaders are not only held accountable for their assigned tasks but also for the performance and conduct of their marines. At the age of 21, I had the responsibility not only to carry out my orders but also to safeguard the lives and protect the general welfare of my men. This being my second time overseas, I understood many of the difficulties that a young marine can have on their first extended trip away from their family. I enjoyed helping my marines overcome their problems, and learned that the benefits were well worth the time that I invested. I discovered that employees who have the support of their management tend to be more focused on the tasks at hand, gaining levels of trust and loyalty that can only benefit the organization.

Related to this issue of gaining trust and loyalty through management supportiveness is that the Marine Corps requires creative means to motivate subordinates. It can be very difficult at times to be in charge of individuals, yet have no direct control over their salaries or advancement in the organization. The government decides military salaries, and promotions are controlled by boards with the primary means of measurement being time in service. For this reason, I learned to manage through mutual respect. [CAN YOU GIVE A CONCRETE EXAMPLE TO ILLUSTRATE HOW YOU MANAGE / MOTIVATE THROUGH MUTUAL RESPECT (1-2 SENTENCES)] I believe it is much more important to gain the trust and confidence of your employees than to use direct compensation to motivate them.

Throughout my Marine Corps career and beyond, I developed many strong leadership skills, but most of all I learned that to be effective as a manager one must remain focused on the human aspect of leadership. By concentrating too much on the goal and not on the people needed to meet it, leaders risk alienating their employees and thus risk failure in achieving the goal itself. By leveraging the lessons and qualities I gained while serving as an officer in the Marine Corps, I hope to meaningfully contribute to the academic environment at the Anderson School of Business.

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