Military Leader transitioning into a Educational Leader

Often times making a transition from military life to civilian life is challenging.

According to Ken Blanchard, “54% of leaders only use one style of leadership, regardless of the situation” (Blanchard, n.d.). While every leader is different, Sean was able to make a smooth transition by using the situational and authentic leadership approach. So, who is Sean and how did he utilize two leadership approaches in his workplace?

Sean grew up in a military family. At a young age Sean knew he wanted to follow in his parents footsteps and join the United States Marine Corps. Sean enlisted in the Marine Corps on his 18th birthday and ended up serving his country for 15 years. After his service, through the Troops to Teachers program, Sean began his teaching career. While in the military and now as a teacher, Sean utilized elements of the situational and authentic approach in his leadership positions.

According to Northouse (2018), “the situational approach stresses that leadership is composed of both a directive and a supportive dimension, and that each has to be applied appropriately in a given situation” (p. 167).

While in the military as a platoon leader, Sean used the directive leader style. On a daily basis he would assign objectives and give directions to his followers.

As a school teacher, Sean adopted a different leadership style because he was in a different work setting. As a teacher, Sean used the supporting style of leadership. He utilized supportive behaviors to encourage his followers.

Sean seamlessly incorporated authentic leadership traits with his situational approaches. Sean used his listening skills with the supporting style of leadership and demonstrated integrity while utilized the directive leader style in the military.

As a leader, it is important to “recognize and incorporate elements from various leadership styles to apply to unique situations in leadership positions” (Whitlock, 2017).


Blanchard, K. (n.d.). Because One Size Does Not Fit All. Retrieved from

Northouse, P. G. (2018). Leadership: Theory and Practice. Los Angeles: SAGE Publications. 

Whitlock, D. (2017). Types of Effective Leadership Styles in Schools. Retrieved from

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