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By Christian Lance Relleve
“The one quality that can be developed by studious reflection and practice is the leadership of men” -Dwight D. Eisenhower
We have been ingrained upon to read voraciously of anything related to military leadership to further our professional development. We are encouraged to live by the values that have been taught to us preceded by notable historic commanders. These commanders have lived through and exemplified unique values of leadership. Of course, not all individuals will be able to live and abide by these values, but we may only invoke these qualities at a surface level if not fostered nor nurtured.
Genuine leadership is a perspective that has potential to lead to understanding true leadership. Not all individuals are meant to live through the values Patton has exemplified, such as his sheer forwardness; Eisenhower’s optimism; Shalikashvili’s studiousness; nor Marshall’s rigor and fairness. Let’s face it, some individuals of today do commit to try and live these values but are not genuine. It is all surface with no depth—bluntly, an emulation. These traits have been proficiently demonstrated by these leaders because it is thoroughly distinct to them, in fact— Genuine. Genuineness comes from the heart. Developmentally, Genuine leadership stems into three factors: art, passion, and reflection. The intent to live by these values is to realize an individual’s self-importance and his or her potential to become a genuine leader.