Essay about Operational Leadership

Essay about Operational Leadership

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Leadership at the operational level requires the ability to link tactical actions to meet strategic objectives. In his book, Joint Operational Warfare: Theory and Practice, Professor Milan Vego provides a framework for the tenets of operational leadership. These tenets of operational leadership combined with the essential qualities required of an operational commander presented in Field Marshal Slim’s essay “Higher Command in War” present a snapshot of what it takes to be a leader who can successfully accomplish the determined strategic objectives. British commanders of the Gallipoli Campaign, Admiral Carden and General Sir Hamilton will be compared and contrasted with the German commander of the Turkish forces, General von Sanders using selected elements of Vego’s and Slim’s philosophies of operational leadership and command.
Before defining the elements that will be used to compare the leaders of Gallipoli, it is prudent to explain the difference between “command” and “leadership.” Slim describes characteristics necessary to successful command at the operational level of war while Vego proposes leadership tenants he believes are essential to the successful achievement of operational and strategic objectives. However, concepts of operational leadership and operational command should be intertwined. Simply put, to apply Vego’s tenants of operational leadership, command at the operational level requires the personal character traits described by Slim.
Vego identifies 15 tenants that are important to operational leadership while Slim describes five personal qualities associated with operational command. , Many of these tenants and qualities overlap, so to concisely identify the differences in operational leadership for...


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...lied by Cardan and Hamilton, and they did not acknowledge their shortfalls in these areas. The successful Von Sanders was able to employ the same elements because he had a clear understanding of the operational leadership elements that were essential to successfully meet his objectives. A great senior leader can identify and apply the right mix of operational leadership elements to match the character of the war.

Works Cited

Vego, Milan. Joint Operational Warfare: Theory and Practice Field Marshal Slim. "Higher Command in War"

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