A Sense of Purpose: The Bedrock of the U.S. Nuclear Deterrent
[Technical Report, Research Paper]
AIR FORCE FELLOWS PROGRAM MAXWELL AFB AL
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A recent study found clarity of purpose to be the basis of verifiable mission success, purposeful leadership, and esprit de corps, which suggests that clearly communicating the higher purpose of their work to Airmen would help them find meaning in their tasks.3 A sense that their work is meaningful, the result of internalizing a higher purpose, underpins the safety and security cultures critical to a successful nuclear enterprise. This paper will build on their findings by focusing on five leadership principles, which, if collectively and effectively implemented, would provide the bedrock for safe, secure, and effective nuclear operations. The following principles have broad application to organizational leadership studies as a whole, but are specifically relevant to themilitary1. Develop and consistently communicate purpose, vision, and mission statements.2. Establish and observe priorities, goals, objectives, and tasks.3. Balance positional and personal power in order to achieve active followership.4. Acknowledge the role followers and contexts play in nuclear operations.5. Divest control in order to foster genuine empowerment.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics