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Study of the Falkland Island Conflict, Capstone Project Example

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Capstone Project

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Abstract

In analyzing the Falkland war, the campaign had severed huge losses to the Argentinean and the British forces. The sudden impulse of both countries to launch a military struggle instead of resorting to peace talks is a matter of much debate. Christoph Bluth stated, “In Argentina and Britain, abstract moral arguments about deterrence were suddenly transformed into the stark reality of two nations engaging in military conflict, even though it took place some distance away from the civilian populations of both countries,” (1987); and, more so for a small island, inhabited by a scanty population, and flocks of livestock. Our article would contemplate on the factors responsible for the outcome of the war, necessarily the role of leadership in the countries.  In depth leadership comparison with respect to modules of communication, strategy and planning, and leadership style in the countries would conclude that Britain won because of visionary leadership while Argentina failed due to lack of coherent leadership.  

Introduction

Britain and Argentina fought the Falkland War in 1982. Before the war started, it had been was a win-win situation, for both countries. They had the expertise and technical knowledge to fight and win the war. There were some extra advantages for Argentina, as it was closer to Falklands than Britain. Then why did Britain win the war? On paper, Argentina had an extra edge, in material, planes, supply lines, military, and ships. But did they use it well? Did they utilize their potentialities optimally? For example, Argentine leaders kept their elite troops in the mainland, fearing a Chilean invasion and sent troops untrained troops to fight the war. While Britain had sent their elite troops, such as Special Forces, Paratroopers, and Commandos well trained to combat in the terrain. Under such circumstances, conscripted Argentinean soldiers had to fight against a professionally trained force.

The idea may be controversial and cynical, that under certain circumstances, the fighting effectiveness of soldiers and an army can equal that of a professional army, provided with effective leadership. The Malvinas (Falklands) War of 1982 is a specter of conflict between the organized and the unorganized. In this war, two types of armies confronted one another: Argentine army, which constituted principally, of conscripted soldiers, headed by an autocratic delusional leadership; while the British army consisted of a professional and all volunteer force, headed by a visionary, effective leadership. Critical evaluation of the conflict showed Argentina lagged and lost the war in spite of having advantages over Britain.  Best state of art ammunition, modern aircrafts, but nothing could camouflage the sheer hopelessness of the leaders. The absence of a visionary leader made the difference. It is his traits, his command, his communication, his emotional intelligence, his interpretation, his judgment, charisma, his coordination, and interrelation between his soldiers that throttled the British victory. Thus, for any military institution, effectiveness in combat is not only determined by the degree of technological training, among soldiers and officers, it is essentially dependent on the effectiveness of the leaders.

Argentinean defeat is largely a leadership failure while British victory is largely coveted to excellent and determined leadership. The leaders in Argentina did not define a servant leader. Instead they were rigid, orthodox, and autocratic; embracing anti-communist, anti-media preferences; blocking the information flow to the citizens; killing and slaughtering opposition; creating chaotic and hostile environment to sustain nationalism. The servant-leader is first a servant who begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve (Greenleaf, 1977, pg. 27). He should feel more compelled to help, guide, and mentor his subordinates as he does not want to fail. A leader must look at his subordinate’s failure as his own. Humans do not strive to fail, so if a leader owned up to, and took on a personal responsibility, he will go beyond the norm to achieve success. Leaders say, “I will go; follow me!” (Greenleaf, 1977, pg. 29). These are mere words that have no meaning if there is no trust. Subordinates should want to follow you because they know and realize that you will take care of their wellbeing. Sometimes the route you take, as a leader, may be dangerous and must be accomplished. A leadership challenge will be to accomplish those goals in sight of the dangers. How do you get an individual to follow you? How does another human being say, “I will follow as long as you lead?” The book stresses that if you take care of your subordinate he will take care of you. You serve and your subordinates will serve you. The leaders in Argentina did exactly the opposite and created friction and lack of trust which resulted in failure.

Britain being a democracy and enlightened in the leadership of the visionary leaders, managers and commandants- provided an ambience of motivation and nationalism. Leaders and the soldiers fought their hearts out. They were media friendly, informed the people about their intentions, collaborated International support, and planned strategies; above all gained public support. Thus, it can be emphatically interpreted that leaders are the proponents of success or failure in any organization.

Our analysis would thus conjure the Falkland Island Case as a study, which highlights the fact that visionary leadership is the most important factor responsible for the success of any war – in the current case of any organization or organizational change.  The effectiveness of leadership in sustains and implementing defense mission depends on his qualities of vision. One must know about the inventory of weapons and their capabilities. The structure of their military, how it’s organized, and all resources available while understanding their current doctrine. The dedication, mindset, and ability of both people in uniform and supporters, teamwork and communications, and how intricately all these elements are commanded and integrated. Leadership contributes to mission effectiveness, through all these dimensions, but in qualitatively different ways. “Leadership is at the service of collective effectiveness,” (Stephen Zaccaro & Richard Klimoski ,Nature of Organizational Leadership- from National Defense and Canadian Forces, [nd] ).

Defining the Conflict

Claim of Sovereignty: The historical perspective is an essential ingredient for any understanding of the issues at stake in the 1982 conflict. Beck states, “Shackled by history–bound by past commitments and statements as well as by their own versions of the Falklands past-both disputants have possessed little room for compromise, thereby hampering the search for a negotiated settlement even during the post-1968 period when British policy assumed a more flexible line on sovereignty (1982).  In fact, both Argentina and Britain have attached considerable significance to the presentation of their respective historical and legal cases for sovereignty over the islands, a point highlighted by British ministerial statements and official publications during the course of the Falklands War (Hansard Parliamentary Debates, 1982).  One British government publication entitled “The Falkland Islands: The Facts,” (the title itself was re-assuring) reminded the reader that “British sovereignty over the Falkland Islands rests on a secure historical and legal foundation,”(British Government, 1984).  In the context of such certainty over title it became easy for British opinion to accept somewhat un-critically the Thatcher government’s views of the rights and wrongs of the affair. Britain was right and Argentina, for all its protestations to the contrary, was in the wrong not only for invading the islands but also for even claiming title over them. For example, Sir Miles Clifford, a former Governor of the Falklands, commented that “those who have had occasion to conduct research into the history of this troubled little colony can only confirm that our claim to sovereignty is irrefutable,” (Miles, 1982).

The Falkland Invasion: The Falkland Islands have been in British hands since 1833. It was indeed strange enough for Britain to lay its hands on the island – as Falkland islands were 8000 miles away from UK. So the physical distance did not stop UK from waging a war against Argentina to proclaim their colonization in the island. The island had a habitation of 1,813 people according to the censor statistics of that year.

Argentina was going through economic crisis, which had completely devastated the country as a whole. There were chaos, massive unrest, political anarchy, and social dogmatism. Military Junta, the unelected political party at that time, massacred thousands of Argentines who opposed the unelected Junta. Hundreds of those who ‘disappeared’ were tortured and thrown out of aircraft, into shark-infested waters, (Kirby times, n.d). There were Death squads who terrorized the working class and anyone seeking opposition. Falkland war was used as an eye washer, to divert the energy of people from the plight of the country politics. The trick of diverting attention from the economic condition to the Falklands war worked. The Argentineans overlooked the economic crisis within the country and the oppression of the government. The oppression of the people of Argentina continued under a succession of dictators from General Jorge Videla, General Roberto Viola, and then General Leopoldo Galtieri until after the war. General Galtieri led the country with horror and oppression. He was one of the most prominent dictators of the period who slaughtered his people for political gain and fame. Having a tyrannical style of leadership may have brought some short term victory for the Argentinians, however they were short lived and created lack of trust. Leopoldo Galtieri never considered values in his decision-making and every action taken was self serving. “Even in times of change, an awareness of values is important to the life of organizations and societies” (Gormely & Balla, 2008, p. 259).  “Each strategy has its strengths and weaknesses, which leaders must judge in relation to their own circumstances.” (Gormely & Balla, 2008, p. 260)

The British government was also going through a phase of turmoil and economic crisis at that time. Unlike Galtieri, Margaret Thatcher, the Prime minister during  that period resorted to use the Falkland war to raise the spirit of the people. However, she used the media and other techniques to stop opposition instead of slaughtering them to death. Thatcher’s leadership style was based more on the behavioral approach. The behavioral theory believes in diversity of perspectives and individuals’ well being. “The organization must learn to respond to a wider range of human needs if it is effectively to motivate man in the organization, let alone control his behavior,” (Fry, 1989, p. 6). She took into consideration the lives of soldiers and how to motivate them to succeed.

Argentina’s Failure

The sinking event of the Argentine ship Belgrano was the last straw in the sea battle with Britain. It marked the effective end of the naval conflict in the Falklands. Moreover, at the beginning Argentina had a lot of extra advantage in the air power but could never use its high tech automation and air forces to establish control over the airspace. On land Argentina had more success. Brigadier General Menendez was probably a poor choice to defend the Argentine beachhead. He showed signs of immature and inconsistent leadership – he was himself incapable of taking and co-coordinating the simplest of military decisions. His strategy, his supply lines his placement of troops, his responses to British actions, and all of it exposed his woeful military incompetence. Paradoxically, President Galtieri recognized Menendez’s deficiencies on his only visit to the islands, but refused to replace him (Falklands Island Review, 1983). Galtieri thought that removing Menendez from his position would demoralize the Argentinean military and population. Galtieri made a mistake in his assumptions. Rather than taking a risk for the better of the mission at hand, he continued with the mediocre leadership. The culture set in place was that of poor treatment of soldiers, indecisive leaders, and mistrust. Changing a culture would require introducing new beliefs, practices, traditions, and values and this would require a strong leader who has the ability to influence others and has conviction in the process of change. The leader must be optimistic and demonstrate that enthusiasm to members of an organization in order to get “buy in” from members. The difficult task involved in change is that resistance to change exists.  Shafritz, Ott and Jang write about three types of change; “(1) revolutionary and comprehensive efforts to change the cultures of entire organizations; (2) efforts confined largely to changing specific subcultures or subunits within organizations; and (3) efforts that are gradual and incremental,” (2005,p.384). When change is needed, it is best to capitalize on advantageous moments; such as an obvious problem.  It is important that leadership understand resistance to culture change and should always be active in the process and maintain communication of the process daily with members.  It was obvious that there was a problem but the Argentineans did not seize the opportunity effectively.

The next most contributing factor to the Argentinean  defeat on land was the division between the soldiers and officers. While common soldiers were living in austere conditions and preparing for battle, the officers giving orders were living like kings at Port Stanley. Decisions are better made when you are along side your men who are freezing, thirsty, hungry, and even dying. There was no leadership, no communication, and no motivation for soldiers on the front. Instead of empathy, their intermediate officers fled the battle under British military pressure- leaving the soldiers to suffer in the carnage.  Obviously the conditions, distance between the enlisted soldiers and officers demoralized and devastated the morale of the fighting forces. The soldiers in the absence of aspirations and motivation crumbled easily to the relentless British onslaughts. The leadership in place was that of a traditional hierarchy where Galtierie was authoritarian and made decisions without taking into account his leaders’ perspectives or consideration of his soldiers. This created lack of trust and increased incompetence’s. Had Galtierie led by example through motivation and the right values performance and outcomes would have been drastically different.

Leaving apart political considerations, could Argentina have won the military struggle? It is difficult to ascertain the outcome, but most observers seem to feel that Argentina was in a much better position than the British to fight the war. They could at least make a better show of their efforts. The Argentine Army made a very poor performance due to lack of diligence, vision, and guidance. They lacked in skilful tactics, better supplies, aggressive attitude, and the zeal to fight and win.

The Argentinean soldiers lacked training, and failed to fight in night combats and in cold weather conditions. They also lacked military cohesion. Training, stamina, and leadership contribute to create a cohesive force like the British army (Freedman, 1988).  At moments, victory and survival depends on intense cooperation between different ranks and offices. Thus, Argentina was forced to lose the battle due to diligence and lack of motivated support. Bureaucracy was not a participant for Argentina during this difficult time. Bureaucracy is traditionally defined as rules and policies created to complete a task and provide fairness to all. Galtieri’s method was strictly “do as I say” approach with disregard to his soldier’s wellbeing. Normally, bureaucracies have a reputation of causing more hindrance and creating contradiction in terms through excessive policies and rules.  However, in reality bureaucracies are a positive impact because they help to “solve problems and improve conditions for individuals throughout society” (Gromely & Balla, 2008, p. xiii). Bureaucracies also assist in defining the scope of leadership and structure.

Role of Britain & Argentina in the Falkland Conflict: The British are not without blame in the run up conflict, however, despite official whitewash performed by the committee of privy counselors by Lord Franks, (Falklands Island Review, 1983). Virtually every scholar of this conflict would conclude that the British had intelligence failures as well. The British decision makers were also ignorant about the history of the dispute and the concern and desire by the Argentineans. Even the senior members failed to realize the determination of the Argentineans and showed no caliber in giving impulsion to the round table negotiations. The foreign policy bureaucrats never really pressed for negotiation efforts because they thought that Argentina was just talking. In Diplomacy, War and Parliamentary democracy: Further results from the Falklands, or Advice from the Academe, Robert Burns (one of the participants of the British side), made an analysis of the foreign policy decision of both countries, (Tulchin, 1985).  Burns suggests, had the British engaged in systematic revelations of the past and the situation in South Atlantic, and interpreted that the Argentineans were decoding their signals as it is- then things would have been better. It seemed both the countries underestimated the physical influences of each other. Both of them evaded practicality- each camouflaged in their own perspectives and beliefs. None of them ventured to know the extent of their individual differences.

Leaders of mutual countries could have delved into negotiations more seriously, implementing the network theory approach. Instead of using the war as a platform to establish their individual governments, they could have resorted to mutually beneficial and productive ventures. They could avoid the unfortunate death and loss of human lives and property by being flexible and open to negotiations through proper sharing of information and ideas using effective communication. Each would have a set of responsibilities and tasks to accomplish in order to bring the goal and mission to full term. This theory aids in holding each organization accountable for their respective performance as well as maintaining structure and organization.  “Although each organization affiliated with a network undoubtedly has its own goals, the goals of the network itself evolve over time through a process of give-and-take,” (Gromely & Balla, 2008, p.131). Network theory involves both hierarchical and non-hierarchical relationships.  However, their sheer selfishness and lack of morale instigated to take such hopeless and callous steps. Thatcher, in her own enigmatic ways, gave shape to her political dreams while Galtieri fell behind the race. Flexibility and a vision for the common good would have resulted in compromise and less distress.  Sharing information by discussing agenda’s, policies, activities, and initiatives would result in proper negotiations.  Network theory requires that there be strong leadership with extensive skills in order to produce legitimacy, accountability, and effectiveness.

Leadership Challenges

Lack of Motivation: It was noticeable that the morale of the Argentine Conscript Forces was poor, in spite of the bravery & determination of other elements of the Argentine defense of Stanley. In sum the Argentines were defeated because they did not have sufficient determination or wherewithal to supply & sustain their Invasion Forces. This was denied them, at great cost, by the Royal Navy.

Lack of Communication

The Argentine Air Forces were brave enough to rage the air battle.  They appeared to have excellent technical training in airfare. The damage that the Argentine pilots inflicted on the British, initially, virtually crippled the invasion. However, the lack of intelligence turned things in favor of Britain. They continuously invaded the sky with poor air strikes – failing to aim the bombs at correct targets. It was a consequence of poor communication to the air crew. The Argentine senior air leader’s policy of keeping different air crew squadrons isolated from each other endangered the mission. Squadrons that attacked earlier did not brief / or communicate those which attacked later. Neither the aircrews nor the squadrons decimated so that the links between consecutive attacks were synchronized. The result is that the fresh air units sent into subsequent attacks went without critical experience from the previous attacks. Lack of communication and keeping members involved is detrimental to the success of a mission or goal. As a leader, “a key challenge is to communicate themselves in words and actions that enable people to see their confidence and their openness and interest in the participation of others,” (Taylor, 2004, p.4-5). Sharing information between members and leaders eliminates ambiguity and fosters better understanding of the implementation process.

Leaders misused the meaning of “sense of urgency”:  The dictionary tells that urgency means “of pressing importance”.  When people have a true sense of urgency, they think that action on critical issues is needed now, not eventually, not when it fits easily in the schedule. Now means making real progress every single day. Critically important challenges, that is central to success or survival, winning or losing. A sense of urgency is not an attitude …,” (Kotter.J. 2007).  General Galtieri created a sense of false urgency and in this way wanted to defocus the people of his country from the economic downturn of the government.  His actions were driven to countercheck the anger that was predisposed with the leftist wing protests and antagonism. The false urgency generated from anger and anxiety can create a lot of destructive activity.

Leader believed in Traditional Leadership:  “Traditionally leadership research has focused on individual leaders and then, by extension, on vertical approaches to organizing work tasks. The work of leadership, in this view is to make strategic decisions, and then to influence and align the rest of the organization, to implement these decisions effectively (Northouse, 2001) Shared approaches to leadership question this individual level perspective, arguing that, it focuses excessively on top leaders and says little about informal leadership or larger situational factors. In contrast, shared leadership offers a concept of leadership practice as a group level phenomenon,” (Pearce, Conger, 2006). Taking into account members’ perspectives and input aide in the decision-making that result in trust and a sense of worth. Results are optimal and more likely to succeed through group effort and motivation.

Respective Leadership Qualities

Transformational vs. Transactional Leadership: Transactional leaders are mostly autocratic leaders. They seem to be more vertical and focus primarily on their own goals despite the effects on their own people. Transformational leaders are visionary patrons. Their ideals, philosophies, and interests are carved to balance between individual and organizational interest. In reality, the leader tries to acknowledge mutual interests and act accordingly. The decision is considered the best and most viable under the circumstances, even if it might mean sacrificing individual interest. “It is the leader who articulates and brings together the external environment with the organizational mission, strategy, and culture and then provides a vision for the future: the destination, the change goal(s)…Without leadership, planned organizational change will never be realized. This is a strong declaration. I am not the only one to make such a statement,” (W.W.Burke, 2007, Pg 225- 226).

Leadership Style in Argentina: According to the Rattenbach Commission Report (1983), “It is called for the prosecution of former Foreign minister, Nicanor Costa Mendez, under the Institutional Responsibility Act, which covers civilians, whose action threatens the valued interest of the nation.” The leaders of three armed forces during the war- President, G. Leopold Galtieri, Air force chief Basilio Lami Dozo and Admiral Jorge Anaya would be tried by a supreme tribunal of the Armed forces. They lead the country without a clear military and strategic objective. General Galtieri was a diehard autocratic leader exhibiting high traits of Transactional Behavior.

Before he started the Falklands War, Galtieri was subject to growing opposition from the people. The actual dictatorship of General Galtieri lasted only eighteen months, but he had already been a poignant player in oppressing his own people. Kidnapping, murdering and assaulting opposition, was something unlike that of the British leaders like Thatcher. She could never in her wildest dreams even think of implementing such carnage. Thus, transformational leaders are more successful than transactional leaders as both adhere to different forms of leadership techniques- one resorting to fear and coercion and the other leading by motivation (Kirby Times, [nd]). Thus they followed the autocratic form of leadership. Such leadership style can never motivate people to fight or work from their heart. Use of coercion, physical abuse, and lack of emotional attachment with the followers are the major hurdles in leadership traits for gaining military/organizational success.

Leadership Style in Britain: Margaret Thatcher was more than a leader- she was a visionary who knew her priorities, her goals, and her mission. She also wanted to divert the attention of her people from economical stagnation to fighting a war for nationalism, like the leaders of Argentina. But her reaction was positive, inert and mature – she informed her people, motivated them and involved them to reduce resistance. Being a transformational leader, she addressed the issue with complacency and charisma. We have to acknowledge the fact that Thatcher was a female leader in a traditionally male role. It is safe to assume that due to her difference in gender her leadership approach was unique. Feminist theory includes ideologies that involve everyone’s perspective and input and does not base decisions solely on one’s own knowledge or expertise as does the traditional leadership.  Women traditionally are know as excellent communicators and are able to build rapports with members.  Thatcher was an effective communicator, something that Galtieri lacked.  “Agencies with ambiguous or conflicting missions tend to perform poorly,” (Gormley and Bella p. 205). The outcome was the victory of Britain in the Falklands war.

Approaches in Leadership Communication

Leadership Communication: Communication strategy is probably the most important tool to help leaders manage organizational change. Communication starts at the very beginning of the process – the people must be communicated that the organization is planning for a change. It is also an ideal way to manage resistance. Communication plans and strategies help individuals to deal with the change. Interactive sessions with the leader provide an opportunity to hear, see, learn, and provide input. In others words, they are involved and feel part of the process, change and success, rather than just “being told” to do something (4hoteliers.com, 2009).

“Change and communication go hand in hand…yet too often I’ve heard leaders complain…this is what we’re doing but then it isn’t not happening,” (Cohen & Kotter ,2002). According to them, change is a marathon and not a 50 yard race. “In the end, it’s that communication and emotion- that sustains the urgency to change. And it has to be recharged again and again.”(Cohen & Kotter, 2002). The other basic features of Communication are:

  1. Information made visible: Creating urgency is possible only via communication.  The team and followers need to be communicated about the change. The leader should share the information available with his followers.
  2. A pivotal management role: Katzenbach (1997) says that middle managers help to influence the teams as they are the first point of interaction with the followers. They are the most pivotal players in the communication process. If the middle managers fail to communicate, then the entire leadership throttles down to inspire the people.
  3. Creating a feedback loop: The leader should interact and discuss the programs with his followers. This helps to create the feedback loop. In this way, the leader gets to know the fallacies and loopholes of the implementation process.

Leadership Communication in Argentina: The third of four military leaders during the Junta period, Leopoldo Galtieri was one of the greatest proponents in the Falkland war. He coerced his country to lead a military invasion, home to 1200 British soldiers and large number of livestock. His callous action claimed the lives of 700 Argentinean soldiers and the collapse of the military regime in Argentina. Galtieri underestimated the international situation during the Falkland crisis. He misjudged the British potential and overestimated his international level of support.

The junta made all the strategic and operational decisions of the invasion. They made random and erratic decisions based on personal whims and fancies. The senior service commanders were neither consulted nor informed. The situation was not studied or monitored, resulting in biased and faulty planning of the entire process. Galtieri had initially planned to launch the attack on June 1982, but he suddenly decided to bring it forward. On 9th April 1982, Galtieri ordered a Mechanized Brigade to go to the islands without any consultation with his Generals or constituents.  Continuing to show his power of position, he ordered another Brigade to go to the islands. By the end of April 10,000 Argentinean soldiers were spread throughout the island, without any information, knowledge or communication. They were confused about the logistic, support and about the intelligence of their enemies. The total invasion lacked any insight or communication from the leader. The orders of execution from the leader had no scientific and logical study without any impetus to the resupply and reinforcement of the forces.

Leadership Communication in Britain: Thatcher organized diplomatic pressure on Argentina to put a halt to the ambitions of Argentina. When she realized that it was not possible to hold the Argentineans back, she asked the naval task force to take control of the islands. To dispatch a force to retake the Falkland islands within a day of the invasion was an extraordinary display of leadership on behalf of Thatcher. Commanded by Admiral Sir John Fieldhouse, the task force which comprised of several aircraft carriers HMS Hermes and HMS Invincible attacked the Argentinean forces, (Military Falklands, [nd]) .

As UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher took the decision in 1982 to send the naval task force 8,000 miles to the south Atlantic, to reclaim the islands after the Argentines invaded. “Sending troops into battle is the gravest decision that any prime minister has to take. To fight 8,000 miles away from home, in perilous conditions, against a well armed, if badly led, enemy was bound to be an awesome challenge,” she said, (BBC, 1990). Thatcher was smart enough to coagulate support from United Nations. She launched attack on Argentinean army with a joint force of United States and Chile, and ultimately defeated a larger Argentine force.  About 225 British servicemen were killed. However, Margaret Thatcher in her effective and charismatic ways had already convinced her people, and inspired then to bear the loss, for the cause of freedom and nationalism. Thatcher also had an effective line of commanders who strategically planned and managed the soldiers. Her most trusted admiral John Fieldhouse, as she describes him “a brilliant commander and humanitarian,” (Kirby Times, n.d.). Friends and colleges of Admiral Fieldhouse were very impressed by his imperturbability and great sense of humor. Stress and pressure could not deter his spirits. Flexible attitude, inspiration, and motivation made him one of the most efficient commandants. He played a pivotal role in the victory of Britain. He had to fight a war under most warranted conditions- and had to tackle political exposure and pressure. His communication skills were also noteworthy – as he managed to handle press in an effective manner which could effortlessly make a victory look like a defeat.

Leadership Plan and Strategy

Argentinean Leadership’s Plan or Strategy: From the beginning Argentinean command had a delusional vision. They went into the war without any plan or strategy. (insert research methods)They surprised their enemies by a sudden attack, but did not envisage wrath of irresponsible actions. Galtieri hypothetically assumed American support without any counter check. He reacted only after the British attacked on Argentinean forces, and resorted US support at this stage (Schwab, 2001). His over confidence was shattered as US denied their allegiance to Argentina. Galtieri also lacked understanding of modern military operations. For this reason he emphasized the proliferation of a large land military group to defend the Falklands, fully knowing that the land forces comprised mainly of half trained conscripts. Lack of concept on modern technology also impaired their capacity to visualize and plan strategies for war. For example, the air force and the Argentinean army could have lengthened the airstrip at Stanley by 2,000 feet, having the support of the equipment, engineers, and pierced steel planking to finish the extended runaway in a week (Earl Tilford, 1984). General Galtieri had engaged the entire airlift for bringing the troops to Argentina, since the sea route was blocked by Britain. So he could not bring the engineers and technology to build the runway. This was a major blunder in the decision process of losing the war.

Admiral Lombardo, the theater commander, was an equally ineffective operational commander and strategist as General Galtieri. His decision to base a large air force in the Falklands is a major tactical error. It could never have been the decision of a professional soldier, let alone the leader.  How could he plan counterinsurgency planes in an aerial environment full of British ships bristling with the latest antiaircraft missiles, Harriers with Sidewinders, and ground forces armed with Blowpipe antiaircraft missiles Rapiers, (Maxwell, 2002)? It was an exceptionally dangerous situation for aircrafts to ally insurgency operations. Maxwell writes of another of Admiral Lombardo’s major operational decisions to send General Belgrano (an ancient 43-year-old cruiser) with little antisubmarine defense. It was sunk by the HMS Conqueror, British nuclear submarine and was the major reason of Argentinean defeat (2002).

The British Leadership’s plan of strategy during the Falkland conflict:  Margaret Thatcher, a visionary leader, employed the psychological and physical resources to achieve the policy objectives of the war. She with her charisma developed a comprehensive dialogue to win International sanctions in support of the war; she coordinated the psychological and physical pressures to obtain civil will and mobilize the economic and military resources in the essence of winning the war. She was effective in networking her resources for optimal performance and this was a sign of an effective network theory approach. “A network is an institution linking organizations or persons” (Gromely & Balla, 2008, p.131).  Granted this was possible primarily because of the position she held. The point is that she took full advantage of using her subordinate leaders and taking their sound advice. The purpose is to create joint decision-making  to maximize effectiveness, dependency or partnerships with other inter-organizational agencies are crucial and required.

Thatcher’s most trusted commandant, Admiral Fieldhouse, was given the task to conduct military operations and look after the deployment and of the forces so that Argentinean forces are withdrawn and British administration is re-established as quickly as possible. Fieldhouse was a man of immense courage and charisma; both are great attributes of a leader. Though he changed the rules of engagement and ordered to sink the Argentinean cruiser General Belgrano which was menacing around the southern flank of General Woodward’s ships. But he was merciful and compassionate, and showed apathy to the Belgrano’s survivors by ordering Conqueror not to attack the ships picking up the survivors of Belgrano. Though Conqueror had herself been charged by those same ships. Fieldhouse fought a curiously old-fashioned war, using many of the tactics that the Navy has used for centuries: blockade and bombardment, decoy and deception, covert operations and convoy (fleetairarmoa, n.d.).

Effective Measures for Resolution

The overall basis of the book, The Heart of Change, focuses on the idea that change initiation and implementation requires highly successful efforts from the leaders to help the followers view large-scale ventures with emotions and feelings. In case of the Falkland conflict, Galtieri ordered war without any sensitivity for his soldiers. He coerced and left his soldiers hungry and cold. He did not give them proper training, proper means for fighting and proper information for his mission. He was usurped by selfish intentions and did not percolate motivation to his next in commands leading to the disaster.  Let us consider a model which would have helped Argentina win the battle over Britain, Kotter’s Eight-Step Model.

  1. Establish a Sense of Urgency – Observing outside forces opposite the country and the brunt of these forces; Identify and discuss the looming crises.

Galtieri and Thatcher both neglected the threats of each other. The external situation had warned both the countries to step up the process of negotiation. Thatcher realized the level of urgency after Argentina attacked Falklands. Though, she was quite apt in doing her home work. Galtieri could not establish a true sense of urgency. He was unable to gain the international support and finally at a later stage settled in a false sense of urgency. Thus Galtieri should have researched, developed a vision, and moved with a sense of urgency.

  1. Create a Guiding Coalition – Create a staff of leaders who are qualified, respectful, and proven in their assignments.

Thatcher was prompt to propound the theory of Just war, negotiated with the International community and went into the battle into a coalition with UN. She did not wage the battle on impulse. Galtieri failure to understand American behavior, he rarely communicated with the International community and failed to create any coalition.

  1. Develop a Vision and Strategy – Always develop your vision, post it, and sell it to your subordinate leaders.

Thatcher developed a vision about her intentions from the outcome of the war. She formulated, chalked and implemented a strategy, created first and second line officers and made concrete policy decisions. Galtieri was impulsive- he just went to the war for the sake of it. He waged the war without sufficient homework, training, and intelligence.

  1. Communicate the Change Vision – Develop a plan and then create your steps to present and reiterate the change vision.

Galtieri was poor in communication. He did not feel the need to inform the masses and the soldiers about their mission. They neglected the media and made it constricted. Thatcher used the media in its full potential to gain domestic as well as International empathy.

  1. Empower Broad-based Action – Identify any barriers to change and simply remove them. – The Argentinean leadership should have taken and empowered broad based action.
  2. Generate Short Term Wins – You have to let your subordinates taste victory. You can make easy to achieve goals so that a sense of accomplishment can be felt with in your organization. If Argentina would have planned out their vision they would of either celebrated victory or accepted the fact that defeat is on the horizon.
  3. Consolidate Gains and Produce More Change – As the small victories are consolidated, motivation will build, and change will become accepted a productive way of doing business.
  4. Anchor New Approaches in the Culture – Day to day operations must reflect your vision, your change. Every difficult task becomes a norm once it is practiced and embedded as a way of life. This must be done after the prior 7 steps are completed (Kotter’s study, as cited in Leading Change, 2007)

The first step is increase urgency. The leaders are infested the role to increase a sense of urgency among the fellow members. The leader opts to such a process at the beginning to help the followers realize the potency of danger or the need of the situation. The leader motivates and energizes the followers to rise in the need of the occasion. Galtieri as a leader should have initiated and energized his soldiers. He should have first created the sense of urgency among his soldiers, and educate them about their patriotic sense.

The second step in Kotter & Cohen’s (2002) model is building a guiding team. Once the leader creates urgency the followers should be trained to manage the change.  They should be trained in the field so that the urgency can be mitigated with precision. In case of Argentina, the conscripted soldiers had very little formal training. They did not know how to combat in extreme weather conditions, nor were they accustomed to night fighting.

The third step is to get the vision right. It shows that leader focuses on four elements that enhance the overall performance of the teams. The four elements are: budgets, plans, strategies, and vision (Kotter & Cohen, 2002). The budget helps to analyze the financial aspects required for the process. A plan should be there to organize the steps. The strategy helps to plan and evaluate the hurdles which may come in the way of the leader, (Kotter & Cohen, 2002). The Argentinean leadership had no plan or strategy. They acted on the temperamental aptitudes of the leader. This led to the whimsical and erratic decisions on behalf of the leader. Galtieri had no vision- he did not evaluate the cost, physical and emotional implications of the conflict. He just threw his troops to fight without backing of any significant vision.

The fourth step communicate for buy-in has a very straight-forward goal, “…to get as many people as possible to make the vision a reality,” (Kotter & Cohen, 2002, p. 83). An important avenue for affective communication is explained by George Kohlrieser titled, The Power of Authentic Dialogue. He shows that engaging in authentic dialogue helps to motivate followers and states, “Dialogue creates an atmosphere in which mutual needs are recognized, common interests are understood, and resolutions to conflicts are discovered,” (Kohlrieser, 2003, p. 40). Galtieri was busy in his loop of consummating his dictatorship and had little time to let communication flow to the roots of his rule. He should have communicated his vision and plan to the soldiers to effectively understand and work accordingly.

The fifth step is empowerment. This method helps to remove the obstacles in the path of the followers. Kotter & Cohen (2002) says removing the “Systems” barrier, removing barriers of the mind, and removing information barriers are the important tools to help the leaders in the path to effective implementation of their strategies. Galtieri did little to remove the system barrier- he did not acknowledge and listen to the feedback from his people.

The sixth step short-term wins, “…nourish faith in the change effort, emotionally reward the hard workers, keep the critics at bay, and build momentum,” (Kotter & Cohen, 2002, p. 125). This helps the leaders to motivate his followers with rewards for excellent services.

According to the seventh step in the model, leaders should consolidate gains and produce more change – go on in their effort to motivate the followers. The leaders should build on past successes so that change becomes permeated throughout the organization.

The eighth and final step is one of the toughest steps. In order to keep support and constant commitment among followers, leader should, “…create a new, supportive, and sufficiently strong organizational culture,” (Kotter & Cohen, 2002, p. 161).

Conclusion

Our analysis thus concluded that Argentina suffered from lacking of visionary leadership, reflecting the fascist influence on its leadership than an expression of a particular type of nationalism within the international balance of power. Everyone agrees that the Argentinean leadership completely misread and miscalculated British resolve and entered the crisis firmly convinced that the British would not and could not mount a military response to the invasion sufficient to dislodge Argentinean troops without unacceptable military losses. So convinced were the Argentinean leaders that they never formulated plans to defend the islands under such a situation. The failure to apprehend the British response correctly was a function of the nature of the regime and the quality of its advisors. The Junta leadership was never open to information and planning. Its decision making structures were severely restricted, and the press was self-censored, so that no access existed to information that might not be congenial to the leaders. Because of their political isolation, the junta members were getting their advice from amateurs and were making no systematic provision to check that advice.

The junta members did not cross checks the advice as they firmly believed that they had led their nation to a new, prominent position in world affairs, that their staunch anticommunism had carved them a place among the world’s major leaders. Moreover, the leaders chose wrong people in correct positions. They appointed Nicanor Costa Mendez, as the foreign minister in this crisis, who claimed to have immense knowledge of US, Britain and international affairs. But it proved to be a fatal choice on behalf of the Argentinean leadership as he knew none of the affairs of both these countries. Galtieri waited, and after the British attack resorted for American help. He probably thought that support were in the pockets of Ronald Reagan. It is his ignorance of the lengthy US decision making process that he reacted so late for support. Moreover, he believed in the formal assurances of personal emissary of Secretary of state. The Argentinean leaders viewed America as some unitary actor whose representatives announce unambiguous declarations as if they were words of some anthromorrphic being, (Eddy, Linklater & Gilman, 1982). The leaders heard what they wanted to hear and did not allow reality to alter their views. Moreover, the Argentinean leadership treated the press with malice and suspicion. Always critical of the role of the media, junta controlled media access to the soldiers and consistently treated all information as propaganda. This highlighted the difference between democracies and dictatorship regimes, but had been the main weapon of Thatcher to win over her own people and the international community for their cause.

However, the British attitude and leadership were different. Thatcher consolidated all her means, support, and negotiations before she leaped into the battle. Her discretion to wage force and defend his country might have met with speculation and criticism – but it was the right move at the right time. She wanted to motivate her country with the spirit of nationalism and used this ploy as a mechanism to instigate the feelings of her people. However, her effective handling of the media, providing effective communication and relevant information to the soldiers as well as the people of the country made her a real winner. She did not close her door behind skepticism and did not plan depending on the whims and fancies of her insight. She consulted with her team, her experts and made strategic plans before she went ahead in the conflict. Thus the abrasive differences in the attitude of the leadership of the countries show that the real cause of victory or defeat lies in the hands of the leader. He is the sole administrator and visionary who could steer a nation to its goal or victory.

Reference

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Cohen, D. S. & Kotter, J. P. (2002). The Heart of Change. Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing.

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Eddy, Paul; Magnus Linklater; and Peter Gillman. (1982). War in the Falklands: The Full Story. New York: Harper & Row, 1982.

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Leadership Statement

There are many definitions on leadership and several similar views. I have been in leadership positions my entire adult life having served 24 years in a combat arms occupation. Some say that leadership can be taught and others say one is born with those traits. I believe in a little of both. You can teach leadership styles, attributes, and methods to just about anyone. The ability to grasp or relate those in everything you do in life is the difficult part. I think that the values that are instilled in your childhood play a significant role in your ability to visualize leadership. I also believe that the life you have lived and your effort put into your activities growing up, ads to your ability to lead. An example is a person who is always chosen to be a team captain in a particular sport, may have a little more experience in being a leader. I don’t view leadership as a certification where you pass a course, be a team captain, or write books on it, as rights of passage to eternal leadership status. It is ongoing and must be practiced and developed over time.

My belief is that effective leaders have vision, personal charisma, passion, influence, followers not subordinates, and are transformational.  A good leader will be able to visualize where he wants to take his followers. He has the ability to bring his followers on board and buy into his vision. Selling a leaders vision has a lot to do with personal charisma. Unleashing your inner magnetism as you speak authentically and from the heart, carries you and amplifies your ability to persuade your followers. Thoughts are communicated well through the display of one’s passion and belief in the mission. Leaders don’t have subordinates like managers have, you have followers. Finally people want to follow you because you’re transformational. You are able to stand up and be counted for as well as be seen. You are able to place your vision in your followers mind and let them see the future that you want to provide for them. Leaders provide purpose, direction, and motivation while building trust and confidence with members.

I will close by stating the most important part of leadership, “influence.” You can be taller, faster, richer, better looking, smarter, and even more successful, but you’re mediocre at best if you can’t influence. How does someone get another to do anything, its influence? How does a leader pass his vision to his followers, influence? How does anyone make another do a task that they would not normally do, influence.  The U.S. Army is spot on when they define it as the ability to influence others to accomplish the mission by providing purpose, direction, and motivation, is leadership.

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