This essay is an evaluation of two military commanders’ leadership ability as defined by the United States Army’s definition. The first subject is Georgy Zhukov, a Marshal of the Soviet Union, responsible for the successful defense of the Eastern Front against the Nazi German offensive. After his service, he was stationed to remote parts of the Soviet Union where he had little significance to political or military matters. His strict management of subordinates and radical reforms to Soviet military tactics characterizes him as a leader. The second subject is Chester Nimitz, a Fleet Admiral of the United States Navy Pacific Fleet, largely responsible for the defeat of the Imperial Japanese through his naval tactics. After his service, he performed administrative and advisory roles for government naval departments, but nothing in the immediate public eye. His calm demeanor, vast naval engineering and tactics education, and placement of subordinates in positions that suit them best characterize him as a leader.
What does it take to have leadership? According to the United States Army, it is defined as “influencing people by providing purpose, direction, and motivation while operating to accomplish the mission and improving the organization” (AR 600-100 pg. 1). Using this definition, the two leaders Georgy Zhukov and Chester Nimitz embody the aspects of leadership that are deemed necessary, but in their own unique style. One leader was a hard-lined battle hardened, roughneck, Soviet Marshal: Georgy Zhukov. The other was a level headed, well respected, intelligent, American Admiral: Chester Nimitz. Both qualify as leaders, but they make the cut their own way.
Georgy Zhukov came from very humble beginnings, which would influence his rise through the ranks. Born to the small village of Strelkova, Zhukov’s family was dirt poor and needed his help as a worker from a very young age (Hickman). At ten years old, he went to Moscow, where...