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General Petraeus the Servant Leader who Rebuilt MosulGeneral Petraeus’s embodiment of servant leadership directly led to the United States Army’s success in rebuilding Mosul. His success can be correlated to his use of effective listening, commitment to growth of people, foresight, conceptualization and persuasion to achieve his goals. To understand how he achieved his success it is important that you first understand what is a servant leader. A servant leader provides purpose, direction and motivation to accomplish the mission. This leader seeks to involve others in decision making, and enhance the growth of workers while improving the organization. In addition, this type of leader also embodies the two constructs of servant leadership which are concern for individuals personal and professional growth and ethical behavior in accordance with the 10 unchanging principles. Those principles are stewardship, healing, awareness, persuasion, empathy, building community, listening, conceptualization, foresight and the commitment to the growth of people.On March 21, 2003 the 101st Airborne Division and their commander Major General (MG) Petraeus crossed into Iraq and joined the United States led invasion to topple Saddam Hussein’s regime. A mere 19 days later April 9th Hussein’s regime had collapsed with the pentagon announcing the end of major hostilities on April 14th, 2003. On April 22st, 2003 the 101st Airborne Division began the “longest air assault operation in history as they moved to secure Mosul, Iraq” (Lowary, 2017). Upon arriving in Mosul MG Petraeus discovered that the vast city was in-complete disarray with no municipal leaders or services.Commitment to the growth of people and listeningMG Petraeus utilization of the servant leadership principles of commitment to the growth of people and of listening gave him an advantage in his initial dealings upon arriving in Mosul. The principle of commitment to the growth of people refers to the leader’s belief that all people have value. Also, the leader will have the drive to grow an individuals personal, professional and spiritual aspects. While the principle of listening refers to the ability to utilize the three types of listening which are informative which is listening to gather information, critical which listening to make judgements to make a decision and empathic which is listening to emotions and feelings. These two principles combined were the key methods which MG Petraeus used to develop Ghanim Sultan Abdullah Al-Basso the Governor and mayor of Mosul. On May 5th, 2003 the people of Mosul democratically elected Al-Basso to be both the Mayor of the city and the Governor of the surrounding Nineveh province. Al-Basso was “a former general in Saddam’s army who fell out of favor and was imprisoned by the former regime” (Gaviria, 2003). Despite Al-Basso’s checkered history MG Petraeus understood that the former general had value and just needed a nudge to get his personal and newly acquired professional life back on track. A key example of this commitment to growth was MG Petraeus resolute principal of allowing Al-basso to make his own decisions unless he requested assistance. This ensured the citizens of Mosul understood Al-basso was in charge which resulted in Al-Basso becoming more influential throughout the province. In a relatively short time Mosul “was hailed as Iraq’s model city, with thriving shops and businesses, a functioning local government and police force, and a low crime rate” (Hammer, 2004).Foresight and ConceptualizationWith the city beginning to flourish MG Petraeus noticed that despite all the progress Mosul had made a large portion of the citizens were due substantial backpay. Utilizing the principles of foresight which is the ability to analyze events from the past to compare them against what is currently happening and then using this information to predict future outcomes. He realized that the citizens of Mosul will eventually force the newly established local government and the American forces out of the city if a solution did not present its self. Utilizing the principles of conceptualization which is the ability to step outside the normal day to day rhythm and focus on what could or might be. MG Petraeus had heard of a rumor that a local bank had hidden a substantial amount of money shortly after the fall of the previous regime. He realized that if that money was located it could cover the backpay owed to the local government employees. MG Petraeus directed soldiers to locate the former bank manager to determine if the rumors were true. After locating the bank manager, he confirmed he had hidden approximately 32 million dollars in cash when the previous regime had fallen. With the infusion of cash into Mosul all municipal employees to include the police received backpay and police wages increased to $100 a month to entice citizens to become police officers. PersuasionAs the Commander of the 101st Airborne Division MG Petraeus had approximately 20,000 soldiers under his command in Nineveh province. Despite the sheer might at his disposal he routinely chose to utilize the principal of persuasion to convince others to his points of view instead of using force. In the early summer of 2003, Mosul was a becoming a prosperous city with nearly all the municipal service functioning smoothly, the university reopened and students filling the classrooms and with most of the civil servants receiving a regular paycheck. The one thing that Mosul was lacking was a study supply of goods due to issues at the Turkish border and with the Syrian border sealed by the United States. The critical shortage of goods and steady flow of money created a recipe for disaster as inflation would occur. If inflation occurred this would destabilize the city and allow the insurgent forces to regain control of the city.MG Petraeus realized the dilemma he faced he needed to get supplies from somewhere and the only viable option was from the established trade routes through Syria. But this created additional problems as the United Nations did not want the border open due to an embargo in effect on Iraq. Additionally, the United States Congress feared that opening the border would empower Syria who had an anti-American government. Despite all the constraints placed against him MG Petraeus was able to reach an agreement with Syrian border officials and the governor of Nineveh on an acceptable code of conduct for border crossings. With this agreement in place the last stakeholder to convince was the State department. On the early morning of May 14th, the 1st truck carrying goods bound for Mosul crossed the Syrian border into Iraq. In a matter of a few weeks approximately 500 trucks a day were crossing the border bringing much needed supplies into Mosul. None of this would have been possible without persuasion as no one had full authority to reopen the border and instead several different parties had to be convinced of the dire need to reopen the Syrian border.ConclusionGeneral Petraeus’s embodiment of servant leadership directly led to the United States Army’s success in rebuilding Mosul. His success can be correlated to his use of effective listening, commitment to growth of people, foresight, conceptualization and persuasion to achieve his goals. Without these principals to guide General Petraeus’s actions then Mosul would not have experienced the rapid turnaround from a war-torn city to a beacon of hope for Iraq in 2003. His commitment to personal growth took a disgraced general and elevated him to governor of the Nineveh. That same governor then rebuilt the cities police force and the citizens trust in it and in doing so significantly dropped the crime rate. His ability to foresee how things may play out allowed him the insight to chase down a way to provide backpay and better wages. Persuasion ensured the city did not run out of food and goods by creating a path to opening the Syrian border. ReferencesGaviria, M. (November 17, 2003). Democracy 101; retrieved via https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/beyond/dispatches/3.htmlHammer, J. (January 28, 2004). Our Man
in Mosul; retrieved via http://www.princeton.edu/paw/archive_new/PAW03-04/07-0128/features2.htmlLowary, J. (August 11, 2017). Timeline: The 101st Airborne Division’s history; retrieved via https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2017/08/10/timeline-101st-airborne-division-history/553827001