Principle refer to Cambridge
Dictionary is a basic idea or rule that explains or
something happens or works and the meaning of leadership is the quality or
makes a person a leader, or the position of
being a leader.
XX. Path-Goal Leadership.
In determining the best leadership principle to describe Admiral Yi
Sun-Shin, we had come across and tried several type of theory. Just to name a
few, Be-Know-How, Kouzes and Posner and Hudson Leadership Model. After taking
all the consideration and possibility, we found out that the best approach to
describe and to apply on our leader is through Path-Goal Leadership that developed by Robert J. House
in 1971. Path-Goal is a type of leadership theory that emphasizes on
establishing a clear path to goal achievement. This leadership styles that are closely
associated with four other leadership styles that are achievement-oriented
leadership, directive, participative and supportive leadership.
XX. In accordance to glorify this Path-Goal Leadership, it is a
significant method that Admiral Yi Sun-Shin took up 320 year prior. Upon his appointment as naval
commander of the western part of Jeolla-do Province, Admiral Yi Sun-Shin anticipated
that the war against Japan is inevitable and begin thoroughly prepared his
naval force from the go and led by example. He set up the Korean Navy the path
to glory holistically merely from nothing until to the extent of monitoring the
supplying foods for his soldiers and ensuring a proper war equipment and
personal gears. This kind of gesture and attention to detail behaviour boost
his soldier’s morale and had clearly demonstrated his kindness and humanity.
XX. In order to achieve the goal that he already projected, he developed
effective training strategies for the navy and produced powerful weapons based
on his assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of enemies. Such
comprehensive preparedness led him to victories in all of his naval battles. He
demonstrated his loyalty to the troops by treating them with respect and
fighting amongst them even when endangered. He also beliefs in the value of
each human life, the right of each person to be treated with dignity and the
right of each to go in pursuit of happiness.
XX. Obsession with Reward
and Recognition. During the Joseon Dynasty, generals, admirals, and
other government officials all worked to be rewarded and recognized by the
king. It was a typical culture of Joseon’s bureaucracy. In that process of
receiving rewards, conflicts among those people who achieved similar deeds
occurred frequently. Although Yi seems to be of a noble and a moral character
indifferent to rewards, he was not an exception in this struggle to be
rewarded. He also worked to be recognized by the king by often resorting to
methods unanticipated of him.
XX. The rewards at the time were given according to the reports that
generals, admirals, and officials send to the government. Especially, for
military battles, the king gave graded rewards in proportion to the number of
enemy heads each commander decapitated. Consequently, although he initially
agreed to file a report with joint signatures with his counterpart, he instead
sent an exclusive one only for himself. It can be assumed from this incident
that Yi Sun Sin was not so different from any other military officials of the
XX. In another incident, Admiral Yi Sun-Shin claimed that some of
his men infiltrated into Japanese camp in Busan and set the military
provisions, weapons, and some of enemy soldiers on fire. Nevertheless, another
report that revealed it was Lee Won Ik and Chung Hee Won who should be rewarded
by the feat instead. Yi later claimed the report might have been fraudulent
since he only relied on the words of his subordinates who reported to Yi.
Still, false report to the king was considered a heavy crime in the Joseon
towards the King and the Nation. Yi’s battle history reveals an
interesting fact. Out of the 23 battles he fought, 15 took place in 1592, 1 in
1593, 3 in 1594, 3 in 1597, and the last one in 1598. Vast majority of them
took place in the first year of the war, and Yi Sun Sin actually did not fight
many battles during the following years. This was because Yi refused to obey
the king’s order to wage battles owing to unfavourable circumstances. Yi’s action
by refusal to respond to crown prince’s call compounded to the King’s outrages.
As Yi continuously refrained from fighting battles, King Seonjo sent his crown
prince, Gwanghaegun, to deliver his order face to face. Yet, Yi impertinently
refused to even meet him. This refusal was completely unacceptable according to
the laws then. It is a blatant evident that Yi was disrespectful and disloyal
to the king and the nation.