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An Undergraduate Foundation for Strategic Leaders

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Strategy research rept.

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The assumption upon which this paper rests is that the overall development of a strategic leader begins with education at the undergraduate level. It is manifestly true that a college education, regardless of its quality, cannot by itself create a strategic leader. Development of strategic leaders is a long-term process that also includes education and training in branch schools, command and staff colleges, and senior service colleges, as well as experience gained in the course of a variety of assignments. The purpose of this paper is to examine how to best approach the precommissioning component of officer education, presuming that the primary purpose of undergraduate study is to lay a foundation for future strategic leadership. As a starting point, a widely accepted model of strategic leadership is examined to ascertain the critical intellectual competencies necessary for one to develop the capacity to create and to implement a strategic vision, which is arguably the distinguishing characteristic of strategic leadership. Then, the ongoing revolutions in military and international affairs, which are currently defining the nature of the strategic environment, are considered to identify the knowledge base required for a future strategic leader to function effectively. Based on this analysis-and taking into account that time in school is limited-it is suggested that an ideal curriculum for laying the foundation for strategic leadership would be organized around following six academic goals 1 understand the philosophical underpinning of American society 2 understand how the American political system functions 3 understand the nature of scientific revolutions and how they affect society 4 understand the impact of the information age upon human psychology 5 understand how globalization affects the strategic environment and 6 understand how democratization affects the strategic environment.

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  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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