Military Leadership: In Pursuit of Excellence

Military Leadership: In Pursuit of Excellence

Military Leadership: In Pursuit of Excellence

Military Leadership: In Pursuit of Excellence


The fourth edition of this classic text continues its popular interdisciplinary approach to the topic of leadership, by examining the elements of military leadership from the perspective of contributors in the fields of history, business, religion, politics, and education. The fourth edition presents a broad spectrum of ideas and perspectives relating to military leadership in the current environment. It includes multinational views reflecting the global military stage. This new edition synthesizes classic pieces from the second and third editions with contemporary readings to provide the reader with important insights into the concepts of military leadership throughout the vagaries of regional conflict and maintenance of peace. The resulting synthesis stimulates the reader to understand the complex dynamics of effective leadership in the context of military history, values, and culture.


As the international political situation has changed over the past fifteen years, we have seen substantial changes in the military. In each of the three prior editions, we developed a collection of articles and essays that reflected the military at that time. This is our objective again in this fourth edition.

With the increasing ambiguity and complexity of political, social, and technological issues, we find that there continues to be a need to study leadership. The tenets of leadership have not necessarily changed. However, the context is drastically changing, and the way leaders behave is changing all the time. For this edition, we searched the literature and discovered that nearly 150 articles and essays had been written on military leadership since roughly 1995. In examining those works, we found that the classic articles remain a solid base for understanding leadership in the military. At the same time, we found several new pieces that clearly articulate the changing environments and their impact on military leadership today.

We believe, still, that no one book or text can provide a checklist of teachable skills that will ensure that the reader will be effective as a leader. Leadership is a process of human interactions and behaviors with an infinite number of personalities and situations. We continue to conclude that there is no one right answer.

Much of the contemporary literature discusses the mixed roles of the military: humanitarian peacekeeper, combat-readiness, flexible and adaptable, and managed with an eye toward efficiency. Budgets are reduced as the "Cold War" becomes a historical term. Yet military missions continue to emerge in diverse parts of the world. Today it is Kosovo. Recently, missions have been conducted in the Middle East, the Caribbean, Africa, and Eastern Europe. Much of this has involved the active participation of NATO through the use of international forces. Thus, the complexities are increased with multicultural and multinational forces under a single command. The impact has been pronounced, and so the search for a philosophy and an understanding of leadership increases.

In Part I, we provide a set of articles that creates the historical context for military leadership as well as some reflections on how contemporary events are modifying the traditional concepts. Our objective here is to identify the unique aspects of military leadership as well as the universal constructs as-

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