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Attempts at servant leadership in a military institution

by Joy Tio February 23, 2009

After more than a century of training leaders for the Armed Forces, the Philippine Military Academy recently attempted to introduce the concept of servant leadership to the cadets.  The idea had  and continues to have a difficult time catching on and met (and will continue to meet) a wall of resistance not only from the cadets but also from the graduates and alumni.  

Old habits indeed die hard.  Command and control remains to be the preferred leadership style brought about perhaps by the continuing insurgency problems.  There is the fear that if officers were to be servant leaders, they would lose the authority to command and exact unquestioning obedience from the subordinates.  Servant leadership seems to be associated with being soft, a trait that is definitely out of sync in the battlefront.