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General Douglas Macarthur - Emotional Intelligence (EI) Leadership Model


This leadership research essay is about the leadership experience of American General Douglas MacArthur. In particular, I will focus my research and take a closer look of his leadership as Field Marshal of the Philippine Army, commander of the U.S. Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE), and supreme commander of the Allied Forces in the Southwest Pacific Area (SWPA).

My intent is to use the Emotional Intelligence (EI) model to research on how General MacArthur used the different elements of the model in exercising his leadership on the aforementioned roles prior to and during World War II (WWII).


a. Leader. After the defeat of Spain in the Spanish-American War of 1898, the formal title to the Philippines was granted to the United States of America (USA) by virtue of the Treaty of Paris (Morton, p. 3). Prior to 1935, the Philippines had no standing army for its defense. Manuel Quezon won the 1935 presidential election and became the president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines from 1935 to 1944. Quezon sought help from the USA in establishing an army for the national defense of the Philippines. In 1935, General MacArthur became the Military Advisor to the Commonwealth Government of the Philippines (Morton, 1993, p. 9). Quezon granted MacArthur the rank of Field Marshal of the Philippine Army. MacArthur was responsible in organizing and developing a national army for the defense of the Philippine Islands. After a terrible defeat against the Japanese in 1942, MacArthur escaped to Australia and was appointed Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in the SWPA. In his first public speech in Australia, he promised to rescue the Philippines in his famous words “I came through and I shall return” (Morton, 1993, p. 389). He said that the liberation of the Philippines was a moral obligation of the United States which caused him to have a burning determination to return to the Philippine Islands (Cannon, 1993, p. 2). He remained true to his words by keeping his promise to return when he landed in 1944 in Leyte, an island in the Visayas region of the Philippines.

b. Team. In 1935, in his role as Military Advisor to the Commonwealth Government of the Philippines, General MacArthur selected Major Dwight Eisenhower and Major James Ord as his principal assistants. With them was a planning committee from the US Army War College to help them organize and develop a national army for the defense of the Philippines (Morton, 1993, p. 9). He also employed four officers from the Philippine Department in Manila. Sidney Huff, a retired naval officer, became his naval adviser. When Ord died in an airplane accident, Lieutenant Colonel Richard Sutherland was brought into the staff. When Eisenhower returned to the USA, Lieutenant Colonel Richard Marshall was chosen to replace him. Captain Hugh Casey was the engineering adviser and Major William Marquat was designated anti-aircraft officer.

In July 1941, in response to the Japanese occupation of southern Indochina, the US War Department immediately established the USAFFE, a new command in the Philippines, with headquarters in the capital city of Manila. MacArthur became the commander of USAFFE and was in command of both the American and Filipino army troops in the Philippines.

In March 1942, after the successful invasion of the Philippines by Japan, MacArthur left the Philippines and escaped to Australia upon the order of American President Roosevelt. The following month, he was appointed as the Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in the SWPA and began to launch campaign against the Japanese in New Guinea, Papua and other areas in the Pacific. He continued the Pacific campaign for over two years before returning to the Philippines in October 1944.

MacArthur sailed with the US Navy onboard the light cruiser USS Nashville on his way back to the Philippines. In October 1944, he landed in Leyte and fulfilled his promised return. His famous speech “People of the Philippines: I have returned...” has been memorialized and etched in the minds of the Filipinos to this day. After his Leyte landing, he restored civil government and went on to defeat the remaining Japanese forces in the Philippines. MacArthur and his team were instrumental in the operations to liberate the Philippines from Japan.

c. Leadership Model. The EI model was chosen to study how Macarthur applied his emotional intelligence in understanding his emotions, recognizing his feelings towards others, guiding his thoughts and behaviour, managing his emotions, adapting to environments, and achieving his goals. This model provides an effective means of looking at MacArthur’s ability to understand his own psyche as well as those around him, and how he manifested his emotions through the relationships he forged that became key to his success as a leader.

d. Main Conclusions And Lessons Learned From EI Model Application. The EI model with its five elements has enabled me to research and analyze MacArthur’s leadership experience.

His self-awareness, allowed him to correctly assess the overall battle damage and correctly made the decision to retreat due to the enemy’s superiority in numbers.

His self-regulation helped him regain his composure after hearing the news of the heart-rending terrors of the Bataan Death March.

His self-motivation to liberate the people has encouraged him to pursue his mission, use his military genius, and win battles in the Pacific regardless of his forces and resources being outnumbered.

His empathy towards the Filipinos and Americans that were left in the Philippines made him understand their collective desire for freedom from their oppressors, which allowed him to appropriately respond to their innermost feelings by quickly preparing for his return.

Upon his return to Leyte, he used his effective communication skills when he delivered his highly emotional speech that resonated with the peoples’ long-awaited desire for freedom. When he restored civil government in the Philippines, his exceptional social skills allowed him to warmly interact with the people and caused them to cheer and joyfully celebrate.


a. Leader Traits. General Douglas MacArthur was the son of Arthur MacArthur Jr., a Medal of Honor winner, Philippine War hero, and Military Attaché to Japan. (Ambrose, 1964, p. 419-420). He went to the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he excelled academically and graduated top of the class of 1903 (Manchester, 1978, p. 51). During WWI, he gained the loyalty and respect from his subordinates as well as his superiors. In 1917, he was promoted from major to colonel and became chief of staff of the 42nd (Rainbow) Division, and was one of the most highly decorated soldiers of the war (Puryear, 1971, p. 104).

In 1930, he was promoted to general at age 50, and became Chief of Staff of the United States Army. At this point in his career, he had developed few but lasting personal relationships, exhibited a disciplined external persona, became a perpetual optimist, with complete confidence in his own abilities (Puryear, 1971, p. 359). In the summer of 1935, through the recommendation of his friend, the Philippine president Manuel Quezon, he became Military Advisor to the Commonwealth Government of the Philippines upon approval of US president Franklin Roosevelt (Morton, 1993, p. 9). In 1942, after the successful invasion of the Philippines by the Japanese, he was ordered to move to Australia to command the allied Pacific forces and continue the fight against Japan. After more than two years of successful campaigns in the Pacific theatre, he returned to the Philippines in 1944 with his iconic landing in Leyte, in fulfillment of his promise to the Filipino people.

b. Team Traits. There were five main attributes and traits of MacArthur’s team: loyalty, dedication, trust, diligence, and perseverance. His loyal staff officers worked tirelessly and were very dedicated in implementing his defense plans for all the major islands – Luzon, Cebu, Negros, Panay, Leyte, Mindanao, Bohol, the Mindoros, as well as many of the smaller ones (Morton, 1993, p. 11). The district commanders trusted MacArthur's staff and diligently carried out the defense plans throughout the entire region.

The development of the Philippine Army was slow. In 1936, his team persevered and devoted the whole year into the building of camps, organization of cadres, and the special training of instructors, which were drawn largely from the Constabulary. As a result of his team’s perseverance and determination, the instructors had been trained and camps were established at the end of the year. The first group of 20,000 men was called up on 1 January 1937 and by the end of 1939 there were 4,800 officers and 104,000 men in the reserves (Morton, 1993, p. 12). The air program of the Philippine Army was slow in development as well. The first airfield was built just outside of Manila, and by the time the first runway was completed, three trainers were available for pilot training. Through the team's perseverance, they have made significant progress, and by 1940, the Philippine Army Air Corps had about 40 planes and 100 trained pilots (Morton, 1993, p. 13). The Philippine Navy fleet building program did not progress well. By the end of 1939, only two torpedo boats had been delivered from England. Another torpedo boat was locally built but with the engine bought from England. This third torpedo boat was completed in 1941. Meanwhile, with the assistance of the U.S. Navy, the training of boatmen and mechanics continued. The Philippines did not have the industrial capacity and wealth to build and support a navy, thus, naval support could come only from the United States (Morton, 1993, p. 13).

When he moved to Australia, he trusted the leadership of his regional commanders in the Pacific and established a decentralized command structure. This command structure facilitated regional decisions while maintaining the loyalty of his regional commanders. MacArthur’s performance in Australia exhibited the depth of his interpersonal skills, intellectual agility, military competence, and sense of responsibility. U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, U.K. Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Australian Prime Minister John Curtin, and Marshall were counting on MacArthur’s reputation, fortitude, and innovativeness to calm the Australian population and defend Australia (Perry, 2014, p. 160).

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MacArthur encouraged the Australian people to strengthen their will to fight the Japanese. He recruited and trained a new army and acquired resources to support the campaigns in the Pacific. He employed his innovative ideas and used his popularity to gather the support of his new team of recruits and to strengthen the coalition of the allied forces. MacArthur first worked with the Australians to stiffen the resolve of the population, recruit and train a new army, and acquire sufficient resources to enable operations (Manchester, 1978, p. 285). His team's loyalty, dedication, trust, diligence, and perseverance combined with his leadership experience had quickly enabled the Australian and allied forces to put together an army to fight the Japanese in the Pacific. Leveraging his renown in the U.S. and “his popularity among the Australians,” MacArthur rapidly built a capable fighting force (Manchester, 1978, p. 330).

c. Problem Of Defending The Philippines Against Japan. By the middle of 1941, international developments had heightened the tension between the United States and Japan and made the defense of the Philippines an urgent problem. (Morton, 1993, p. 14).

MacArthur retired from the U.S. Army in 1937 but continued being the chief military advisor to the Philippines. The threat from Japan has been quickly recognized and understood by MacArthur and therefore without delay, he presented his views via a proposal on the mobilization and training of the Philippine Army in a personal letter to the US Chief of Staff, adding that the creation of a high command for the Far East “would result in favorable psychological and morale reactions” (Morton, 1993, p. 17).

In July 1941, in response to the Japanese occupation of southern Indochina, the US War Department immediately established the USAFFE, a new command in the Philippines, with headquarters in Manila. At the same time, MacArthur was recalled to active duty and was put in command of the USAFFE. With the establishment of USAFFE, MacArthur was put in charge of leading both the American and Filipino army troops. This would involve the herculean task of mobilizing and training around 75,000 men of the Philippine Army within a short period of three to nine months (Morton, 1993, p. 16).

In December 1941, the Japanese began their attack and invasion of the Philippines. When MacArthur realized that American naval and air power had been destroyed, he decided to fall back to Bataan and fight defensively until reinforcements could arrive. With the eventual defeat of the Philippines, he left his fortress in Corregidor in March 1942 and moved to Australia. The following month, he was appointed Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in the SWPA and began to fight the Japanese in New Guinea, Papua and throughout the Pacific area of operations. In 1944, after successful campaigns in the Pacific, he was ordered to prepare a plan to return to the Philippines and liberate the American and Filipino people that he left over two years ago.


a. Description. Emotional intelligence is being able to rein in emotional impulse, to read another’s innermost feelings and to handle relationships smoothly (Goleman, 2006, p. 20). It includes self-control, zeal and persistence, ability to motivate oneself, persist in the face of frustrations, control impulse and delay gratification, regulate one’s moods and keep distress from swamping the ability to think, to empathize and to hope. (Goleman, 2006, p. 53).

The EI model has five main domains of emotional intelligence: knowing one’s emotions (self-awareness), managing emotions (self-regulation), motivating oneself (self-motivation), recognizing emotions in others (empathy), and handling relationships (social skills). Self-awareness is recognizing a feeling as it happens. It is the keystone of emotional intelligence. The ability to monitor feelings from moment to moment is crucial to psychological insight and self-understanding (Goleman, 2006, p. 62). Self-regulation is the handling of feelings so they are appropriate. It is an ability that builds on self-awareness. It is the capacity to soothe oneself, to shake off rampant anxiety, gloom, irritability, and the consequences of failure (Goleman, 2006, p. 62).

Self-motivation is the marshaling of emotions in the service of a goal. This is essential for paying attention, mastery, and creativity (Goleman, 2006, p. 63). Empathy is another ability that builds on emotional self-awareness. It is the fundamental “people skill.” Empathy kindles altruism. People who are empathic are more attuned to the subtle social signals that indicate what others need or want (Goleman, 2006, p. 62). Social skills – the art of relationships, is, in large part, skill in managing emotions in others. These are the abilities that undergird popularity, leadership, and interpersonal effectiveness (Goleman, 2006, p. 62).

b. Defending The Philippines, Escape, Return And Liberation From Japan.

1. Self-Awareness. Self-awareness—recognizing a feeling as it happens—is the keystone of emotional intelligence. It is the ability to monitor feelings from moment to moment and this is crucial to psychological insight and self-understanding. (Goleman, 2006, p. 62). It is the ability to maintain self-reflectiveness even amidst turbulent emotions. At a minimum, it manifests itself simply as a slight stepping-back from experience, and having the self-reflexive thought (Goleman, 2006, p. 67). In December 1941, when MacArthur realized that American naval and air power had been destroyed, he had strong feelings of retreating for safety. He stepped back, remained calm and made a conscious self-reflection that the Japanese army, air and naval forces were far superior to his own, being outgunned and outnumbered.

After the successful Japanese landings in the main northern island of Luzon, at Lingayen Gulf and Lamon Bay, all hopes for an American victory in the Philippines was ended because the attackers have surrounded Luzon. MacArthur gathered his thoughts and decided that he would have to fall back to Bataan and fight a delaying action there until help could arrive. This decision, made only under the greatest necessity, was the basic strategic decision of the campaign in the Philippines (Morton, 1993, p. 161). This decision to retreat to Bataan was the right decision because of two main reasons: denial of Manila Bay to the enemy and the defensive natural terrain of the region. Withdrawal to Bataan provided delaying positions along the central Luzon plain and denied the Japanese access to Manila Bay. Denial of assess to Manila Bay prevented the Japanese from pouring in more troops near the capital, Manila. Bataan's natural terrain was advantageous for building strong defensive lines which can be reconnoitered and defended. Macarthur’s self-awareness and self-reflection allowed him to clearly assess the situation and correctly decide on a withdrawal strategy to Bataan which successfully delayed the Japanese capture of Manila and bought time for reinforcements to arrive.

2. Self-Regulation. Self-regulation is the management of emotions and handling of feelings so they are appropriate. This is an ability that builds on self-awareness and includes the capacity to soothe oneself and accept the consequences of failure (Goleman, 2006, p. 62). In March 1942, after the defeat of the Philippines by the Japanese invaders, MacArthur escaped from Bataan to Australia upon receiving the order from President Roosevelt. MacArthur have suffered emotionally from the defeat in the Philippines, and the reports of the Bataan Death March have shaken him and made him feel an acute sense of responsibility (Perry, 2014, p. 206).

Bataan Death March was the 65-mile forced march of around 80,000 Filipino and American prisoners of war (POWs) from Bataan to Tarlac, via Pampanga in April 1942, where the POWs were forced to march until they died. The Japanese conquerors denied the POWs food and water, robbed their personal possessions and equipment, forced them to march under the hot sun and halt in areas where even the most primitive sanitary facilities were lacking, clubbed, beaten, bayoneted and left to die (Morton, 1993, p. 467). MacArthur held himself accountable and responsible for the terrible horror of the Bataan Death March and was ready for any consequences of his failure. He maintained his personal integrity, accepted his mistakes, and did not blame others. Although he was emotionally shaken, he remained calm, did not dwell on his failure and quickly regained his composure. He recovered quickly by successfully self-regulating himself. After his escape to Australia, although outgunned and outnumbered, he went on to win crucial battles in the New Guinea, Papua, and Pacific campaigns using his masterstroke leadership and proven experience in battle strategy and tactics.

3. Self-Motivation. The role of positive self-motivation is the marshalling of feelings like enthusiasm and confidence to enhance achievement (Goleman, 2006, p. 101). The leader needs to be hopeful and see the brighter side of things, be optimistic, regardless of the situation. When MacArthur arrived in Australia after his narrow escape from the Philippines, he was appointed Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in the SWPA. While MacArthur was presented this herculean task without an army or resources, and none forthcoming, his presence alone buoyed the Australian nation, instilling a sense of reassurance and confidence in the leadership and population (Perry, 2014, p. 161).

The source of his motivation was the high ideals of liberation and freedom. He wanted the people (whether Filipino, American, Australian, New Guinean, Papuan, etc.) to be free from the bondage of cruel invaders. He wanted to use his previous experiences and successes in the battlefield to achieve this goal. He felt the hardship and suffering of the Filipinos and Americans in the Philippines that were under the cruel hands of the Japanese.

He saw his escape to Australia as his way to regroup and fight the Japanese using a different strategy in a different front. He did not lose hope and was optimistic that even though the Japanese was numerically superior, he was inspired that he can outwit them. He demonstrated his intellectual agility and innovation by devising plans intended to out-manoeuvre the powerful Japanese forces through the skilful disposition and use of his limited resources. He first worked with the Australians to stiffen the resolve of the population, recruit and train a new army, and acquire sufficient resources to enable operations (Perry, 2014, p. 207). Even if he lacked the necessary resources, he was able to gain success in battles through his innovative long-term strategy called “hopscotching” across the Southwest Pacific, and thereby “paralyzing” the numerically and tactically superior Japanese forces on by-passed islands (Perry, 2014, p. 165). He took the unorthodox, and “shocking,” decision to launch operations into the jungles of New Guinea, which dislocated the Japanese and thereby stymied their assault on Australia (Horner, 2005, p. 124).

MacArthur used his self-motivation to encourage himself and look at the positive side that he can still win even with handicap. It was clear to him that while he lacked resources, he did not despair nor lose hope, but turned his weakness into his strength by employing ingenious strategies and tactics such as hopscotching and launching operations in the jungles of New Guinea and Papua that won him many battles. After the success of the Pacific operations under his command and leadership, when he was ordered to plan for his return to the Philippines, he was highly motivated to carry out this order because of his burning desire for the people’s freedom.

4. Empathy. Empathy is recognizing emotions in others. This is another ability that builds on emotional self-awareness. Empathy is the fundamental “people skill.” People who are empathic are more attuned to the subtle social signals that indicate what others need or want (Goleman, 2006, p. 63). Even when MacArthur was in Australia, far away from the Philippines, he was very empathetic to the Filipino people. He understood the Filipino people's suffering under Japanese rule and wanted to fulfill their desire for freedom. He knew how it felt and how hard it was to be subjected to a cruel authority. The obligation of the United States to the subjugated Filipino people could not be lightly ignored. Furthermore, General MacArthur was imbued with a burning determination to return to the Philippine Islands, liberate the Filipino people, and avenge the humiliating defeats suffered by the American and Filipino forces in 1941 and 1942 (Cannon, 1993, p. 2).

In the spring of 1944, the operations in the Pacific under the command of MacArthur were very successful. Thus, he was ordered to prepare the plans to return to the Philippines. Having been so attuned to the Filipino people's need and want for freedom, he immediately issued a plan to return to the Philippines via Leyte. In furtherance of this directive, planning officers from Washington met with General MacArthur and his staff in Brisbane in the early part of August and discussed means of accelerating the target date for Leyte (Cannon, 1993, p. 7). Full of empathy to the peoples' hardship and longing for liberation, MacArthur fully understood that the longer he waits, the more lives that will be lost. He put himself into the position of the Filipino people and responded to their feelings by coordinating his plans to return to the Philippines via Leyte so that it was executed without delay.

5. Social Skills. The art of handling relationships is in large part, skill in managing emotions in others. The skillful ability to socially interact with others undergirds popularity, leadership, and interpersonal effectiveness. People who excel in these skills do well at anything that relies on interacting smoothly with others; they are social stars (Goleman, 2006, p. 62). MacArthur praised the accomplishments of his team. He secured their loyalty because of his genuine truthfulness in his interpersonal relationships. Lt. Gen. Richard Sutherland, MacArthur's trustworthy chief of staff has been with him in the Philippines since 1938 and had worked closely with him until the liberation of the Philippines in 1944. Their friendship and professional relationship has remained intact for all those years. In 1938, Lt. Col. Richard K. Sutherland was brought into the staff and have remained with General MacArthur through the war years (Morton, 1993, p. 10). MacArthur’s emotions were contagious. He trusted his people and they trusted him as well. He had positive outlook in the abilities of his team and his team had faith in his leadership. He was authentic to his people and was able to inspire their confidence. An optimist by nature, with implicit faith in the Philippine people, MacArthur was able to inspire the confidence and loyalty of his associates and staff. His optimism was contagious and infected the highest officials in the War Department and the government (Morton, 1993, p. 64).

In 20 October 1944, when he landed in Leyte, in one of the central islands of the Philippines, he demonstrated exceptional social and interpersonal skills when he met the Filipino people again after more than two years. With his excellent communication skills, full of ardour and passion, he delivered a very touching and emotional speech, one that resonated with the people of the Philippines. In this highly emotional, biblical style address, MacArthur proclaimed:

“People of the Philippines: I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God our forces stand again on Philippine soil—soil consecrated in the blood of our two peoples. We have come dedicated and committed to the task of destroying every vestige of enemy control over your daily lives, and of restoring upon a foundation of indestructible strength, the liberties of your people. ... Rally to me. ... Rise and strike. ... Let every arm be steeled. ... Follow in His Name to the Holy Grail of righteous victory!”

(Perry, 2014, p. 289).

He understood the feeling of the Filipino people, how they have long waited for his return to liberate them from the Japanese, and this was evident in the way he delivered his speech with the words “I have returned…” and in fulfillment of his promised return which was very timely at his landing in Leyte where he was welcomed with warm hearts. On the next day, in Tacloban, MacArthur broadcasted an address announcing the restoration and establishment of the Philippine Civil Government with President Osmeña as its head. Lt. Gen. Sutherland was with him in that pivotal occasion. Information quickly spread and as General MacArthur and his party left town, the civil population cheered them. (Cannon, 1993, p. 152).


a. Key Aspects Of MacArthur’s Leadership Experience. MacArthur’s service and loyalty to the Filipino people was an enduring testament of his love and devotion to the Philippines. He was a man of the people. He was much loved, honored and respected by the Filipino people as the liberator of the Philippines during WWII.

In December 1941, when the Japanese had made successful landings and have destroyed the American naval and air power, being keen and self-aware, MacArthur made a thorough assessment of the overall battle situation. He realized that there was no chance to win against the numerically superior Japanese invading force. While remaining calm and mentally present, with careful self-reflection, he made an accurate decision to retreat to Bataan where he and his team can fight defensively until reinforcements arrive.

The cruel and inhumane treatment of the POWs in the Bataan Death March of April 1942 have emotionally shaken MacArthur. He felt a deep sense of personal accountability for the tragic event and put the blame on himself. He maintained his integrity and remained true and honest. He was able to regain his mental fortitude by successfully self-regulating himself. This was evident when he continued to fight against the Japanese after his escape to Australia and have won many battles in New Guinea, Papua, and throughout the Pacific using his military genius and emotional intelligence.

MacArthur envisioned his escape to Australia as his way to pursue his inner desire and motivation for the liberation and freedom of other people. He had left the Filipino and American people in the Philippines and he fully understood their sufferings under the cruel hands of the Japanese conquerors. Because he has been in the Philippines with his troops and the people for many years, he fully understood the anguish that they had experienced. He was very empathetic and truly understood how they were feeling because he put himself in their position. Because of his empathy, he responded to the peoples' longing for liberation by doing the necessary planning, preparation, and mobilization of personnel under his command and control.

Being moved with empathy and his motivation to achieve his goal to liberate the peoples, he devised unorthodox strategies such as hopscotching, avoiding frontal assault, and fighting in the jungles to outmaneuver the numerally superior Japanese. Even with insufficient resources, he did not lose hope, he remained positive, and utilized his self-motivation to lead his troops into victory. With the success of the Pacific operations, when he was ordered to plan for his return to the Philippines, he was highly motivated to execute the order because this would be the way for him to fulfill his promised return and to fulfill his intense desire of liberating the Filipino and American people.

In the Leyte landing of 1944, he demonstrated his outstanding social skills when he met the Filipino people again after being away from them for over two years. With his effective communication skills, he delivered a very sentimental and emotional speech that resonated with Filipino people’s desire for liberty. With his down-to-earth personality, he applied his emotional intelligence when he interacted with the Filipino people, and he communicated his eager desire and motivation to return to the Philippines to finally liberate them from the Japanese. With freedom finally achieved and civil government restored, the people exceedingly rejoiced with him at his return.

MacArthur's leadership, dedication and hard work has resulted in the liberation of the Philippines, the freedom which the Filipino people has long desired, the happiness that they enjoyed then and...even until now!

b. Conclusions From The Application Of Emotional Intelligence Model. MacArthur had successfully used the five elements of the EI model to lead his people, whenever and wherever he was, in any situation or circumstance. He utilized one or multiple elements at the same time depending on the occasion. His application of the EI elements is characterized by flexibility. He adjusted his emotions accordingly and effectively managed his use of the EI elements to resonate appropriately with the present moment. He used his emotional intelligence in the execution of his leadership and this made him one of the greatest leaders in WWII.

With his self-awareness, he was able to make a correct assessment of the overall situation of the battle damage brought about by the Japanese invasion. He was calm and collected when he decided to fall back to Bataan wherein he established defences while waiting for reinforcements.

He used self-regulation techniques to deal with his emotions when he was informed of the horrific events of the Bataan Death March. He took personal accountability of the tragic events and did not find fault with anyone. He was able to restore his mental health by controlling his feelings.

His self-motivation to bring freedom to the people kept him pushing forward to achieve his goals. Motivated by his desire to liberate the people that were left in the Philippines, he encouraged himself to carry on the fight in Australia and in the Pacific.

His empathy towards the people made him truly understand their sufferings because he put himself in their position. Because of his empathy, he wanted to save the people from the harsh treatment of the Japanese. His combined self-motivation and empathy strengthened his will to continue to fight the enemy in the islands of the Pacific and in the jungles of New Guinea and Papua in order to rescue the people from their oppressors and bring an end to their travail and predicament.

MacArthur's social skills has been exemplified by his interaction and communication to the Filipino people during his Leyte landing. His return brought freedom and a new hope to the people. In his speech, he touched the people’s inner desire for liberty when he declared “People of the Philippines: I have returned...” He communicated his feeling by the use of timely and carefully chosen words that were so appropriate to the occasion. When he proclaimed the restoration of civil government, he spoke from his heart what was truly meaningful to the hearts of the people at that present moment in time, and the people cheered joyfully with overflowing gratitude.

c. Recommendations And Lessons Learned. Listed below are the recommendations and lessons learned from MacArthur’s leadership research using the EI model:

1. Emotional intelligence is the correct and timely application of the elements of the model at any given time and place;

2. As a leader, you must be flexible and appropriately apply the elements of emotional intelligence in order to deal with different emotions of different people;

3. Use self-awareness to correctly assess the present situation to help you come up with correct decisions;

4. Use self-regulation to regain composure even when faced with overwhelmingly tragic events;

5. Use self-motivation as the engine that drives you to achieve your goals as well as fulfil the desires of others;

6. Use empathy to correctly understand the needs and wants of others;

7. Effective communication skills play an important role in meaningful social interactions; and

8. Excellent social skills will allow you to interact warmly and maintain healthy interpersonal relationships.


Action Plan To Improve My Leadership. To correctly apply any action steps of the EI model elements, my first step is to know my team. As the leader, I need to interact and get to know my team on a personal level. I will determine each team member’s individual emotional wellbeing at all times because this is an indicator of morale.

To improve my self-awareness, I will take note of important matters to keep me situated at all times. I will use tools such as notebook, calendar, planner, and organiser to help me track what is happening, in the present and in the future. When faced with strong emotions such as pride, anger, and insult, I need to remain calm, slow down, reflect and collect my thoughts first, before making any decisions.

To improve my ability to self-regulate, I need to maintain self-control and be flexible in dealing with emotional changes and psychological dynamics of my team. I need to maintain my personal values such as integrity and truth and let them guide my emotions. When I make a bad decision or a wrong action, I will take personal accountability, admit my error, and change for the better. It takes a real leader with real courage to accept a mistake and take responsibility of its consequences, but I believe that in this way will I gain the respect of my team.

To maintain a steady course towards achieving team goals, I will stay self-motivated by focusing on the bigger picture such as the mission and mandate of the team. I will stay committed to the oath that I took during my commissioning as an officer and be obligated to diligently perform my duties and responsibilities as a leader of those that were entrusted in my care. My motivation to go to work every day will be centered on taking care of the welfare and wellbeing of my people – to do everything within my disposal to provide the best support and guidance to them. I believe that by taking care of my people, I will motivate them to positively contribute to the achievement of team goals.

When something goes bad, I will seek for something good in a bad situation, learn from the error, and be hopeful and optimistic that the lessons learned will be used to improve future operations.

I will be empathetic to my team by putting myself in their situation. This will allow me to understand their feelings, their needs and wants at that particular point in time. By using empathy, I will be able to see things in other people's perspectives and be cognizant of others’ point of view.

I will pay close attention to body language and be mindful that gestures, body movements, eye movements, tone and other non-verbal communications convey real meaning and more information than what is being said in words. As a leader, I will be careful of my own body language and be attentive in reading other people's body language in order to understand what their true feelings are and interpret what is the real message they are trying to send. This will allow me to respond appropriately and correctly address any frustrations they might have or any bigger problems lying underneath the surface.

To improve my social skills, I need to work on my communication skills and interpersonal skills. I need to positively interact and create meaningful and constructive relationships. I need to provide valuable and constructive feedback, as well as receive feedback and not get offended. I will treat a feedback or even a criticism as my way of getting wiser and further improving myself. This is the truth that is being revealed in the Bible and I believe it: “...rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser, teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.” (Proverbs 9:8-9).

I need to effectively communicate in order to settle disagreements and resolve conflicts with tact and diplomacy. If a conflict is larger in nature and scope, I will point them to the right directions and send them to the right professionals that deal with conflict resolution. I believe that a peaceful workplace is a productive workplace.

I will appreciate the work of every member of my team and personally thank them for their contribution, dedication, and hard work. I will also work hard in supporting them and make every effort to maintain their morale and wellbeing to enable them to perform at their best.

I will work constantly to apply the fundamental concepts and elements of emotional intelligence as I exercise my leadership role every day. I will examine my emotions and its effect to other people to enable me to feel, think, and act appropriately in any given situation at any given time and place. I will be emotionally flexible, learn from my mistakes and the mistakes of others, and continually look for ways on how to improve my relationships with others.


Ambrose, S.A. (1964). Reminiscences: General of the Army Douglas MacArthur. McGraw-Hill Book Company.

Cannon, M.H. (1993). Leyte: The Return to the Philippines. Center of Military History United States Army.

Goleman, D. (2006). Emotional Intelligence, (10th anniversary edition). Bantam Dell.

Horner, D. (2005). General MacArthur’s War: The South and Southwest Pacific Campaigns 1942-45. Osprey Publishing Ltd.

Manchester, W. (1978). American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur 1880-1964. Back Bay Books.

Morton, L. (1993). The Fall of the Philippines. Center of Military History United States Army.

Perry, M. (2014). The Most Dangerous Man in America: The Making of Douglas MacArthur. Basic Books.

Puryear, E.F. (1971). 19 Stars: A Study in Military Character and Leadership. Random House Publishing Group.

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