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Leadership of John A. Winslow and Raphael Semmes: A Comparative Case Sudy.

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Technical Report,14 Aug 2017,15 Jun 2018

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US Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth United States

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The Leadership Requirements Model LRM provides a framework for evaluating the leadership of two 19th century naval commanders, John A. Winslow and Raphael Semmes, who engaged in battle off Cherbourg, France on 19 June 1864. Their vessels, the USS Kearsarge and the CSS Alabama, which were comparable in size, manning, guns, and speed, traded fire for over an hour. The historical analysis of this battle, as well as the careers of both naval officers, shows that both Winslow and Semmes demonstrated the attributes and competencies of the LRM. Their character, presence, and intellect formed the foundation of their leadership successes. Their warrior ethos and commitment fueled their intensity, while sound judgment guided their actions. Although they had different styles, they both showed presence. Both leaders earned the respect of their sailors and prepared their men for battle. Winslow and Semmes also showed resilience, learned from experiences, and achieved results. While both commanders committed temporary lapses in judgment, overall, their actions exemplify the LRM and provide valuable lessons for todays military leaders.


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