Adaptive Leadership

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Adaptive leadership is becoming widespread in the United States Army amongst junior officers in leadership positions that require quick thinking and innovation. Leonard Wong discusses how the versatile and unpredictable enemy and situations in Iraq produces adaptable junior officers. These officers are learning to make decisions under chaotic conditions and are becoming more mentally agile. The Army is changing. The Army is transforming its capabilities in the war in Iraq to be effective and successful. General Schoomaker states that we will not accomplish our goals as a nation in the 21st century unless our Army becomes much more agile but with the capacity for long term, sustained level of conflict. The Army is in the process of eliminating its old ways of war, it has to become somewhat of a decathlete. Trained for multiple events across a broad spectrum not just one event like a track athlete.

Leadership in the Army in a broad sense can be related to the National Basketball Association. Athletes are becoming more and more versatile and new ideas and strategies are being developed. The new fast paced tempo is requiring all positions on the court to be capable of carrying out all skills of the game. Dribbling, rebounding, and shooting are no longer left up to just the point guard, shooting guard, or the two big men down low. At anytime any player on the floor can find himself in a situation where he might be required to perform these tasks. Thus this makes the team more effective and skilled to handle unpredictable circumstances on the floor while the game is in process.

Another aspect that Leonard Wong touched on was that because our country is in war this is the reason why so much adaptive leadership is being produced. The war in Iraq is very complex and therefore requires leaders to step out of the box and make decisions on the fly. While in garrison leaders are in a sense hindered due to complex issues such as personnel, logistics, or training...
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