Shaping military leaders

Role of character strengths and virtues

Authored by: Archana , Samridhi Ahuja , Updesh Kumar

The Routledge International Handbook of Military Psychology and Mental Health

Print publication date:  December  2019
Online publication date:  December  2019

Print ISBN: 9780367237066
eBook ISBN: 9780429281266
Adobe ISBN:


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The military is a high-risk organization that involves exposure to unforeseen, challenging and difficult situations. Such an organization demands its leaders to be robust so that they are able to deal with the complexities of military life. Character strengths and virtues play a significant role in creating this robustness. Character strengths are based on values and are necessary for leadership, adaptability and attainment of success. These strengths buffer against negative outcomes and are essential for enhancing resilience in military leaders. Military operations require their leaders to be well equipped with skills and abilities to face adversities without breaking down or giving up. Such leaders play a vital role in developing soldier's morale and character. A strong leadership encompasses strengths and virtues that can be developed over a period of time. The selection process in the armed forces uses an array of measures that includes intelligence tests, personality assessment, physical fitness test and an interview. Using character strengths in selection will be highly useful for identifying the most resilient leaders for the armed forces. The present chapter focuses on the role of character strengths and virtues in shaping military leaders.

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