Eisenhower's Pursuit of Strategy: The Importance of Understanding the Influence of Leadership Styles on Strategic Decision Makers
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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Eisenhower preferred to build consensus for his military and national strategies by using multiple communication techniques to convey his intent. If consensus was not achieved, and his intent was not carried out, he would aggressively move to eliminate the source of friction. This monograph will analyze four case studies to demonstrate that it is critically important for subordinates and peers to understand the influence of leadership styles on strategic decision makers. The first case study is Eisenhowers fight to control Allied strategic bombers to support Operation Overlord in 1944. The second is his fight to develop, implement, and defend his New Look National Security Strategy in 1953. The third is how Eisenhower defended his administrations Middle East foreign policy, and the fourth is his strategy to seek a peaceful solution to the Suez Canal Crisis of 1956. Three frameworks are used in the construction of each case study. The first framework explains the reasons why Eisenhower pursued his strategies, how he communicated his intent, and how he would put together a team to build towards a favorable consensus. The second framework shows how some of Eisenhowers key subordinates and peers resisted his intent, and at times would either actively deceive him or attempt to subvert his strategy. The final framework demonstrates the actions that Eisenhower took to eliminate those sources of friction. The monograph contains four conclusions. First, Eisenhower believed strongly in the reasons behind his strategies, which provided the motivation to pursue their implementation. Second is his preference for a team and consensus-building approach to strategy development. Third is that Eisenhower used multiple methods to communicate his intent and the importance of his strategies. Fourth is that if subordinates or peers did not support his strategy, he would try to persuade them to agree, but if they did not see his vision, he would eliminate the threat to his strategy.
- Administration and Management
- Government and Political Science
- Humanities and History
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics