Douglas Macarthur: Transactional Leadership

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Douglas MacArthur: Transactional Leadership
Madison K. Kauffman
Indiana University of Pennsylvania

American Five Star General Douglas MacArthur once stated, “A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.” General MacArthur’s desire to lead his troops and place the mission first, were all part of his development as one of the most influential transactional military leaders in United States history.
Born in Little Rock Arkansas on January 26, 1880, MacArthur’s upbringing played a prevalent role in his development as a leader. MacArthur had a genetic predisposition engrained within him to assume the role of a strong military leader. His father served as an officer, and many of his ancestors had served in the military. MacArthur spent his early years traveling to various military posts as a result of his father’s career. From a young age the military culture encompassed much of his life even before he attended West Point Military academy. MacArthur graduated in 1903 and commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. He began his military career as an engineer officer (Douglas MacArthur - U.S. Army Center of Military History).
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In his early career, he was an engineer officer in the Philippines and aid to the commander of the Pacific before attending Engineer school and becoming an aide to President Roosevelt (Douglas MacArthur - U.S. Army Center of Military History). In 1916 MacArthur became the first public relations officer for the Army (Douglas MacArthur). When analyzing MacArthur’s leadership attributes, it is evident that MacArthur was a leader of character, presence and intellectual capacity. Without these attributes MacArthur would have never been able to make such strides during the early years of his