Leadership In Context And The Saf Leadership Doctrine Management Essay

Leadership have been described as “the process of influence others, perhaps true to say that leadership have become feature of all culture throughout history. It has certainly been an essential quality in all cultures that have survived and flourished. The objective of this essay is to explain the understanding of leadership in the context of SAF, the SAF leadership competency model and Framework & Behaviour / Competency / Skill approaches. It will then answered on the ideas or issues to which there are two things to be examined over the concept or theory and followed by the reflection from lesson 1 to 5.

What Is Leadership

What leadership means to me and why it matters in Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF)? Leadership is a responsibility to lead a team or organisation in order to carry out the mission or complete the task effectively. As an officer in the armed forces, I must be able to inspire the people by showing my character, values of existing fields and possess good communication. This ability has been cultivated since the beginning when I joined the organisation.

In Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF), the context is referred to leader and manager. The two approaches are different, where a leader can be described as “a person who shows the way, urges and goals”, and manager is “a person who oversees, supervises, guides and administers” [2] . Therefore to be effective in what we do we must have both skills. As a leader must have vision, being able to communicate that vision and convince our people to follow and to take willingly. In addition to that, the core values explain how we as a leaders and managers must act as a role models for our subordinates to follow. It describes how we must behave in order to motivate and guide those for whom we are responsible in RBAF.

The SAF Leadership Doctrine (Framework & Competency Model)

What is remarkable in the SAF Leadership framework is the order of two main forms, namely in the form of triangle and circle. SAF has developed extensive and heading towards the direction of the third Generation SAF. In the second form of the framework explains the pattern of leadership for the desired direction. The uniqueness of this framework gives pictorial understanding the meaning and thought leadership in the two forms of order. Each form has a framework as a distinctive feature descriptions are summarized as follows:

In a circle each leader must emphasize affect people with a good understanding of the mission and objectives, operating environment and the desired results. Triangle provides a framework to determine the need for leaders to effective leadership in the SAF. Benefits of this framework create awareness in performing their duties and responsibilities and know where the weaknesses that needs to be improved. For understanding the context of leadership, the triangle shape consists of four domains which are values, competencies, styles and self. The form of the circle can identify the contextual through three domains, namely the mission and objectives, operating environment and desired outcomes [3] .

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This framework is not only expanding the list of “ingredients” for effective leadership, but also emphasized the unique importance. This context called the SAF Leadership 24-7 as shown in Figure 1 [4] . Every building blocks affect a leader and moving journey through the contacts contained in a circle. Form of this framework can be used to service Tri and also to the inferior and middle managers. Contextual insight 3 domains have relationship with manifestation of leadership in the SAF. If either one of the domain is failed, then overall will be unsuccessful.

Figure 1. SAF Leadership Framework 24-7

Behavioural / Competency / Skill Approaches to Leadership

The SAF Leadership Competency Model consists of five competency domains and 14 skills are common to the SAF [5] . In the skill domains are divided into 3 levels of leadership of different Behaviours; Direct, Organizational and strategic. The style approach emphasises the behaviour of the leaders. Style approach is different from trait and skills approaches because it focuses on what leaders do rather than are. There are two primary behaviours which are task behaviours and relationship behaviours. The task behaviours facilitate goal accomplishment or reach the objectives. Relationship behaviours help subordinates feel comfortable with themselves, with each other and the situation. The central focus is how leaders combined these two behaviours. Blake & Mouton developed a model that described leadership behaviours on a managerial or leadership grid. The basic tenet is that based on concern for production and concern for people, the leadership style will fall into one of the 4 quadrants [6] .

By understanding the behaviour that lead style can be seen how you play the role as a leader. The main focus is what leaders do and how they act. As shown in Figure 2, the managerial behaviour is the preferred style area to operate which is both concern for people and results, and it also depend the area of environment you operate. However, this style is soft, but production will run smoothly. The behaviour approach required a great depth of understanding to study linkage to leadership.

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Figure 2. The Leadership Grid [7] 

What are the difference concepts between leadership and management?

The terms leadership and management are distinguish differently by various people. The biggest difference between managers and leaders is the way they inspire the people who work or follow them. Back to the definition, leadership is a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal, whereas management is to exercise managerial, administrative and supervisory direction of a group or organization [8] . Leadership and management share many similarities. Both leadership and management involve influence, working with people, and working with effective goal management. However, the fields of leadership and management can also be considered very different.

To distinguish between leadership and management, a comparison between leadership and management activities is shown in Figure 3. An individual can be a great leader, a great manager, or both, but each area requires the mastery of slightly different skills and competencies.




Seeking order and stability

Seeking adaptive and constructive change

Kotter (1990)

Do the right things

Do things right

Bennis & Nanus (1985)

Multidirectional relationship

Develop mutual purpose

Unidirectional relationship

Coordinating activities

Rost (1991)

Source: Northouse, 2007, p. 9-10

Figure 3. Comparison Function of Leadership and Management

Although there is a clear distinction between management and leadership, two roles are overlapping. Take for example, Ship CO lead the command of the ship for patrol with his crews. When CO takes charge on planning and controlling, he is involved in management. When CO became manager in influencing the ship’s crew to achieve their task, he is involved in leadership. Both processes affect the ship’s crew to achieve the task. Overall, this is depends on the tasking given where the CO can take more leadership and less management or vice-versa.

Do I want more leadership/management oriented responsibilities?

Again taking an example as Ship CO where his leadership may vary depending on his task and works with his crew. His management function will demand more as to look after the men including the ship so ship organisation will run efficiently. As shown in Figure 3 above, management is about seeking order and stability; leadership is about seeking adaptive and constructive [9] . When there is more leadership responsibilities, it required time and concentration of effort for Ship CO that will affect changes on his crew.

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My strength and weakness

By understanding the leadership in context, more in-depth thought to show that there are weaknesses in my area of leadership. In lesson 1 to 5, can be make a distinction whether my leadership style and leadership effectiveness for this has been achieved or need to be developed. As shown in the diagram on Figure 1 above, the leadership competency framework & model, generally through this form of triangle and circle guidance can establish from one of 4 building blocks. The understanding of military leadership and the difference between management, leadership and command give an overview and their relationship to my reflection. During this course, the main focus is to look and think into my Personal Mastery and Self. On top of that, the 5 competency domains and 14 skill domains can be taken as education knowledge.

The MBTI tool is described about the preferences to distinguish my type of personality whether the function of judging (thinking and feeling) and perceiving functions (sensing & Intuition). My profile obtained was based on ENTJ (Direct & Decide), strength of character that helped me through character Extraversion and Thinking. However, to assist on my weakness parts, I need to look into Introversion which several of this type should appreciate deep thinking methodology and understanding the logic.

Meanwhile, IDAP methods provide important feedback to guide me towards achieving the desired direction. From short to long term goal that measure my success. Strength and weakness of the evidence provided will develop and improve my weakness area with the help of coaching method. Interviews were conducted with the Directing Staff to evaluate my IDAP. To achieve my goal is to do a reflection on my strength and weakness and taking the feedback positively.


The essay has explained on my understanding on leadership in context and the important of it in relation to RBAF. The SAF Leadership Framework & competency which has a unique to SAF and the Behavioural / Competency / Skill approaches to leadership give more thought on style approach and competency domain which is common to SAF. To elaborate further, it discussed the difference between leadership and management and their responsibilities. As a manager and a leader both roles are significant by having their style approach towards the task. Overall my reflection on the lesson 1 – 5, has significantly open my awareness especially the tools (MBTI and IDAP) which will further improve my leadership knowledge during this course.

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