Ability alludes to the rather stable capabilities individuals have to do different but related ranges of activities (Colquitt et al., 2021). The ability is stable compared to skills one can improve with experience and training. The government trains marines to improve, adapt, and overcome every obstacle in every situation (“Marine Corps,” n.d.). Therefore, historically, certain abilities have been relevant to marine effectiveness.
Marines are renowned for their devastating effectiveness, courage, and toughness. Frequently sent into dangerous situations, they tirelessly work to maintain combat readiness through physical, psychological, and mental training. Marines’ abilities revolve around the strategically sound utilization of all weapons to complete missions (Tukeli, n.d.). The most relevant abilities are physical, emotional, and cognitive.
Physical abilities include psychomotor abilities, sensory abilities, stamina, strength, flexibility and coordination (Colquitt et al., 2021).
Due to the existing condition, the Marine Corps must identify recruits with the necessary blend of traits. Finding such recruits appears straightforward but is more challenging. One of the reasons why the undertaking is challenging is because of the personalities of the recruits. Some might be enthusiastic about joining the Marine Corps because of the physicality involved in the general practice. Others might lack the physical traits but possess cognitive traits which suit the cyber-security department. The different personalities of the recruits might make it hard for them to adjust to the mix of responsibilities assigned to them. Another reason is the attitude of the existing personnel. The existing personnel might feel that the recruits are less tough than necessary since some physical attributes might be overlooked.
Consequently, the interaction between the two groups might be challenging. However, the Marine Corps can address these challenges by explaining to the two groups the importance of the mix of skills in their duties to create a conducive environment for optimal performance. Explanation and implementation of a more inclusive environment will likely increase the pool available for recruits with these skills.
One initiative the Marine Corps can implement is embracing internal recruitment from the existing personnel. Internal recruitment entails looking at the existing workforce and selecting individuals to fill vacant or necessary organizational positions. In this case, the Marine Corps would need to look at the existing personnel who were traditionally recruited and prepare them to become cyber personnel. This initiative would require the candidates to undergo a test evaluating their cognitive abilities since they are necessary for cyber performance. The Wonderlic Cognitive Test is widely used to test potential employees’ cognitive abilities (Colquitt et al., 2021). The Marine Corps can use this model to recruit cyber personnel.
Using this initiative in the Marine Corps has some advantages and disadvantages. The major advantage is that the candidates who complete the test and start learning cyber performance will not need to learn the working environment. They are already used to the culture, therefore, will not need to adjust to it. However, there is the disadvantage that the initiative might identify ineffective personnel to work in the cyber department. Traditional recruitment focused on the physical attributes more than the cognitive qualities of the personnel. Therefore, the Marine Corps might fail to acquire enough cyber personnel from the existing workforce.
One of the teams I have recently worked in and proved to perform poorly was a group assignment at work. The manager assigned us a project where six members were to work together to address all the tasks. After forming the group, each member was assigned specific tasks that the group would combine to form the whole project. However, some issues arose, hindering the group’s performance. Different forces associated with process loss triggered the group’s poor performance.
First, there was poor communication within the group which caused a loss in action processes. The rules stipulated that each member show their progress in the second meeting. However, only two members had achieved significant progress. The other four members stated that they failed to clearly hear their assigned roles in the project because the leader was inaudible. Inaudibility meant that the group members could not perform their tasks, which interfered with the action process of commencing the project. To address it, we decided to move the meeting to a more silent room where all members heard clearly. Switching the room addressed the communication problem.
Another force was a lack of commitment which hindered moving from one part of the project to the other. One member was a regular absentee from group meetings, leading to a loss in the transition processes. It was only possible to complete the project with the member’s input. The group leader addressed this problem by explaining to the member that input and commitment were crucial to the project’s success. Eventually, the member resumed the meeting, and the project was successful.
I have met and interacted with famous people considered leaders in their different fields. However, my Human Resource manager is the person with whom I have had direct contact and who left a lasting influence. From the first day at work, the manager had my attention and continued to influence my behavior. The manager’s influence comes from the various types of power of leadership.
The manager’s first type of power is legitimate power, which falls under the broad category of institutional power. Legitimate power arises from a person’s position in an institution (Colquitt et al., 2021). When I joined the company, the administration had already established our roles. I was the subordinate, while the instructor was my senior. This establishment by the company meant that the manager was ranked higher than me in the hierarchy of power. Consequently, I respected the manager and followed the issued instructions because of his position. The manager’s legitimate power influenced me to be respectful and attentive.
The other type of power possessed by the manager is expert power. An individual with a unique skill set or expertise exerts this power on others (Colquitt et al., 2021). The instructor is seasoned in human resources, so he is in a position to transfer knowledge and skills to subordinates. Although subordinates can perform independently, they might encounter challenges that can only be solved and addressed by the instructor. The expert power of the manager influenced me to adhere to his professional guidance.
The manager also possesses referent power. This type of power arises when others desire to be identified with a certain person (Colquitt et al., 2021). Since the manager had attractive traits such as charisma, I admired and wished to emulate him. Therefore, his attractive traits triggered my admiration from me.
I had some assumptions regarding leadership before I read this chapter. The most outstanding one was that children are born with traits that enable them to be leaders in the future. However, this chapter has changed my perception after learning about leaders’ different roles and how they effectively influence employees. Now, I understand that people have inborn traits that increase their chances of becoming successful leaders, but individuals can deliberately learn the concepts of effective leadership.
The inborn traits alone will not enable a person to be a successful leader in the future. For instance, some people are naturally charismatic, and this might draw admiration from others. Also, some people will be born to be naturally high performers academically and rise to positions of power. However, these people may fail to utilize various types of power to motivate employees.
On the other hand, other people might lack inborn leadership traits but become effective leaders. Such people will have to learn various leadership aspects and their influence on employees and organizations. For instance, leaders should understand that although they possess legitimate power, it might negatively affect employee performance when applied ineffectively (Baig et al., 2021). In the end, the chapter altered my perception of leaders, and I have concluded that leaders are mostly made despite some individuals possessing inborn leadership qualities.
Colquitt, J., Lepine, J. A., & Wesson, M. J. (2021). Organizational Behavior: Improving Performance and Commitment in the Workplace (4e). New York, NY, USA: McGraw-Hill.
Marine Corps Purpose. Marines. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.marines.com/about-the-marine-corps/who-are-the-marines/purpose.html
Tukeli, K. (n.d.). What Are the Skills & Abilities of a Marine? Chron. Retrieved from https://work.chron.com/skills-abilities-marine-22538.html
Baig, S. A., Iqbal, S., Abrar, M., Baig, I. A., Amjad, F., Zia-ur-Rehman, M., & Awan, M. U. (2021). Impact of leadership styles on employees’ performance with moderating role of positive psychological capital. Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, 32(9-10), 1085-1105.