General George Washington's Leadership Styles

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The leadership quality of a boss, a commander, a president, or even a baseball coach can directly influence order, morale, productivity, and loyalty of those under them. Leaders throughout history have relied on various styles of governing to keep order and to get their objectives accomplished. However, these leading styles are not equally effective. All too often throughout history, the style of choice for many heads of state was one that relied on a show of power and instituting a pervasive fear amongst the citizens. While this style keeps a population in petrified order, it does little to promote loyalty and the lower morale of the people tends to dampen productivity. Conversely, A population that respects a leader, feels respect in…show more content…
Interestingly, both General Napoleon Bonaparte and General George Washington’s leadership styles were captured pictorially in their epic portraits. In the portrait of Washington Crossing the Delaware, the artist Emanuel Leutze captured the frigid Christmas day crossing of the Delaware River by George Washington and his troops attempting a covert attack against the Hessian army. The painting portrays a heroic voyage of troop filled boats cutting across an icy river. Washington is iconically standing amongst the rowers and ice cutters prominently willing them forward. Washington’s position in the lead boat of the attack demonstrates his selfless act of exposing himself to the same danger as the rest of the men. Not only did he lead by example, but he showed he valued the lives of his soldiers and valued their efforts and sacrifice. George Washington was more a leader among men rather than a leader over men which made his troops fiercely loyal. On the other hand, in the painting called Napoleon Crossing the Alps, painter Jacques-Louis David captured a much different leadership style. The painting portrays a majestic Napoleon sitting astride a wild eyed horse who is rearing up as he leads his men up the side of a mountain. Napoleon’s expression and body language convey a level of calm control over this agitated horse which in turn also applies to his troops trudging up the side of the mountain behind him. The juxtaposition of his army on foot, low to the ground, and pushing a heavy cannon up the mountain to Napoleon seated high above on horseback communicates a clear leadership style. Napoleon saw himself as above the common soldier. His style was to keep tight reigns on his commanders and to keep his troops in line with a clenched fist. As a conqueror of nations, Napoleon's wars and battles were as much about gaining power for

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