Differing Leadership Styles Displayed by British Officers in the Falklands

Essay by jfreel01University, Master's September 2008

download word file, 7 pages 5.0

"If one looks at the conduct of the battlegroup in the attack, I would always look to Goose Green to find out how not to do things…In my mind there were many, many things that went wrong at Goose Green that";against a good enemy, would have cost us very dearly indeed; and we got away with it because they were less good.";A 2 Para officer present at Goose Green(Sited through Fitz-Gibbon, 1995)This essay aims to analyse and discuss the dramatically different leadership styles portrayed by British Officers at the battle of Goose Green. In particular, it will concentrate on two characters, that of the Battlegroup Commander Colonel H Jones who was famous for assaulting a trench single handedly and was subsequently killed. The second character is that of the B Company commander Major John Crosland who successfully lead an assault on Burntside Hill and demonstrated a markedly different style of leadership than that of Colonel Jones.

These two characters have been chosen because of their almost polar opposite approaches to initially the orders process and then their own leadership style. They demonstrate just how subjective the orders process can be and the affect that a differing approach can have on the battle itself. Jones demonstrated how an autocratic style of leadership coupled with a positionalist approach to warfighting lead to near disaster, whereas Crosland showed how a slightly more Laisser Faire attitude and an understanding of mission command could prove successful. How could two such different approaches be present in what was to all intents and purposes was the same organisation? This essay will look at two areas of Jones in particular. The first - the orders delivered by Jones for the Assault on Goose Green and secondly his individual leadership style. These will then be contrasted with...