Leadership traits and characteristics of effective company officers at the United States Naval Academy: the midshipmen perspective
Kyle, Eric R.
Crawford, Alice, Thomas, Gail Fann.
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This thesis provides the reader with insight into what leadership traits and characteristics Midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy desire in an effective Company Officer. The author interviewed 40 Midshipmen in eight separate focus group sessions comprised of five Midshipmen in each group. The data from the focus group sessions were analyzed to produce a list of desired leadership traits and characteristics. This list was presented back to 1,392 Midshipmen in survey format. The top seven traits and characteristics Midshipmen admire most in effective Company Officers are: (1) Approachable, (2) Trusting, (3) Not a Form-2 Leader, (4) Fair, (5) Understanding, (6) Respected, and (7) Knowledgeable about his/her people. Bach of the top seven traits is discussed in detail, and quotes from the focus group interviews are provided to give the reader deeper insight. The results of the USNA study are different than those found in other studies on leadership. The author discusses these differences. The author's conclusion is that leading Midshipmen is different than leading in both military and non-military environments. Small changes in leadership style will make a Company Officer more effective in the eyes of Midshipmen.
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