Developing Adaptive Leaders: The Crucible Experience of Operation Iraqi Freedom

Developing Adaptive Leaders: The Crucible Experience of Operation Iraqi Freedom

Developing Adaptive Leaders: The Crucible Experience of Operation Iraqi Freedom

Developing Adaptive Leaders: The Crucible Experience of Operation Iraqi Freedom

Excerpt

The euphoria over the exceptionally successful combat operations of the Iraqi War has subsided as Operation IRAQI FREEDOM shifted to the long, hard tasks of nation-building and counterinsurgency. By all accounts, the process of assisting Iraq in becoming a secure, stable democracy has become much more complicated than originally believed. Yet within the complex environment of postwar Iraq, Dr. Leonard Wong argues that junior officers are being developed into creative, innovative, and independent leaders. He attributes this unique leader development opportunity to the ambiguous, complex, and unpredictable environment of postwar Iraq.

The implication of so many of the Army’s junior officers being developed into adaptive leaders is significant. For several years, the leadership literature in both the military and civilian arenas has been replete with calls for adaptable and innovative leaders. The U.S. Army is transforming as its lowest officer ranks are filled with leaders who have learned to deal with ambiguity, change, and complexity. It is now the Army’s responsibility to leverage this newly developed cohort and continue to develop the confidence and creativity of tomorrow’s senior leaders.

DOUGLAS C. LOVELACE, JR. Director Strategic Studies Institute . . .

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