STRATEGIC LEADER COMPETENCIES Essay

STRATEGIC LEADER COMPETENCIES Essay

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In December 2001, the Chief of Staff of the Army tasked the Army War College to produce a report which identified Strategic Leader Competencies for the post 9/11 Army. Dr. Leonard Wong and four U.S. Army War College students prepared a report under the direction of the Director of the Strategic Studies Institute. That report produced a list of six meta-competencies.3 Although the title of that report and the materials presented here have a similar name, that report dealt with soldiers operating in a strategic environment, where tactical and operational level decisions can have strategic ramifications. This paper addresses more broad-based attributes, which in some instances are complementary to several characteristics described in the Chief of Staff of the Army's report, but this paper will be more focused on strategic leaders at the strategic level. The strategic leaders discussed here are those who deal with resourcing, policy, structure, and a host of other strategic issues.
Strategic leadership is about cause and effect on a grand scale, especially in a fluid and unpredictable environment. This concept has been discussed in numerous military and academic publications. A literary review produces hundreds of works on the subject, which address in detail the requirements associated with developing strategic leaders. However, regardless of the source, there seems to be a familiar theme when describing the critical attributes for successful strategic leaders.
Prior to analyzing the characteristics, specifically the knowledge, skills, and abilities required by strategic leaders, this paper will briefly discuss the concept of strategic leadership and later explore those attributes that best characterize the s...


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...d attributes listed in this paper described the qualities which best enable future strategic leaders to be successful in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environment. Also addressed was the need to cultivate future strategic leaders; this method conflicts with traditional methods of placing individuals in strategic positions without utilizing a vetting process. Therefore, it should be concluded that strategic leaders should be developed and identified through experience and training and lastly channeled through a tailored education process. It is also important to note, that they need to know where they're going, (vision) they need to actively communicate (communication skills) this to both their subordinates and especially to those outside the bounds of their organizational structure all while having the fortitude to see thing through (persistence).

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