Following of orders is an essential requirement in various institutions particularly in the military. An order refers to a command given by superior officers to the other members in demand for them to follow it without thinking it through or disobeying. In institutions such as the military, when an individual receives an order, they have to obey, as various aspects depend on these orders.
First, orders instill discipline. Orders are passed from superiors to the juniors, as a way of ensuring everyone is on the same page through sharing of information with all individuals. Obedience is the following of orders implicitly and plays the role of maintaining structures in the various institution. For instance, in the military, obedience governs the effectiveness, success, and safety of the soldiers, hence when orders are given, the disciplined thing to do is follow. Moreover, it elicits teamwork and leading of the people. In case an individual decides not to follow orders given, the likelihood of failure arises whereby a gap in the delivery of services arise. Additionally, it affects teams’ relationship by making them some to react slowly or faster, thereby blindsiding others. It also leads to insecure situations that can result in detrimental effects such as death.
Secondly, following orders develop leaders. Leadership entails commanding respect and response from those under you. For one to evolve into a leader, they have to demonstrate that they have the capacity to lead others, and they show this by following orders. A good leader shows their ability to follow directions and commands quickly. If an individual does not learn the essence of following orders, development of leadership fails as the development of character-based leadership; essential in the military to lead others fails.
Thirdly, it prevents chaos. Chaos is a situation of confusion, disorderly and lack of control. Orders eliminate such situations by first, removing instances of ineffectiveness that can arise due to slow operation by a single soldier who doubts or question given orders. Second, it eliminates any guesswork, and anxiety of how to respond in case of various situations. Third, it enforces control. In a combat situation, orders determine the position of power that defines the role of each army officer and their actions. In doing so, they eliminate elements of presumption, confusion, and incidents of losses. Additionally, orders establish a control of various situations. Having a similar voice of action to follow rids out instances of second-guessing of decision, fear, and failure to heed to a course of action that can lead to chaos.
The following of orders upholds the chain of command. In every institution, individuals follow a particular existing hierarchy, from the superiors to the junior staff. In the military, for instance, the chain of command defines its leadership system. It comprises of all ranks within the organization from the lowest with no authority to the highest that is in charge of operations and the other soldiers. Failure to follow orders appear as disrespect to the chain of command, which according to the uniform code of conduct is an offense that attracts severe punishment. It may not necessarily ask or give clear or ethical orders, but the soldiers have to oblige nevertheless. Moreover, since the soldiers take an order before deployment that promises to uphold the Constitution and protect its country through showing allegiance, following of orders does just that.
The military structure emphasizes on the values and principles of discipline and respect for their absolute strength. To portray these values, soldiers have to obey and follow orders given, as they work towards achieving the mission objectives and maintaining the security of the soldiers.
Following instructions is not just an important learning skill; it is an essential life skill. Starting from coloring the correct box in preschool and going all the way to applying for social security, directions are an important part of everyone’s life. Yet, many seem to have trouble following them.
As toddlers, we are told by our parents not to touch anything that could be potentially dangerous. If we don’t listen to those directions, we either get hurt or are put in “time out” to learn our lesson.
Throughout childhood and the teen years, learning to follow directions needs to be reinforced all through a person’s education. Many activities have been designed for this sole purpose. Standardized writing exams test this skill as well, as many students fail these each year due to ‘not following the directions.’
In the traditional classroom, teachers have developed non-traditional tools to demonstrate the importance of direction following. Some teachers have had students follow a recipe for a favorite age-appropriate food while purposely leaving out an important ingredient. Others have used a simple sheet of tasks numbered one through ten with activity #1 asking the students to read all of the directions before doing anything. The payoff to this lesson is task #10 that will simply say: Now that you have read all of the instructions, please go back and just complete #1 and #2. Of course, many students have jumped ahead and have already finished all of the tasks – not adhering to the first direction to read everything first.Activities as the ones described above can be duplicated by homeschooling parents providing the same lesson to young people.
At Time4Writing, our goal is not only to assist students in improving their writing skills; we also want to emphasize the importance of following directions. There are a set of guidelines at the beginning of each course that students are asked to read before they begin. They are directed to copy and paste their assignment instructions on to their individual text boxes so that they can have them in full view while working. Students are expected to follow these directions as closely as possible.
So, perhaps in years ahead, students who have taken Time4Writing courses will not have to redo their driver’s license applications, have insurance forms rejected, or have tax returns spit out because they were not filled out correctly. They will think back to that online writing course they took that showed them how to write and how to follow instructions.