Adaptability: Components of the Adaptive Competency for U.S. Army Direct and Organizational Level Leaders   [open pdf - 229KB]

"U.S. Army direct and organizational level leaders faced challenges in Operation ENDURING FREEDOM and Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, which combined to create an environment permeated by ambiguity and replete with uncertainty. Although it may be impossible to predict future operational environments, it is likely that adversaries will continue to apply asymmetric warfare against the U.S. to attenuate her superiority in conventional warfare. The purpose of this monograph is to determine whether U.S. Army direct and organizational level leaders are equipped with the competency to adapt successfully in asymmetric environments. Doctrine cannot prognosticate the exact nature and form of asymmetric conflict, but it can forecast traits and conceptual knowledge required for leaders to maintain the initiative and dictate the terms of the operation. Emerging leadership doctrine should include adaptability as a competency consisting of five components. These components are: maintain situational awareness, know yourself and the adversary, take intelligent risks, exercise mental agility and demonstrate strength of character. Furthermore, the definition of adaptive leadership requires revision. This research posited a working definition: the capacity to recognize and respond to changing situations and variable circumstances within the operational environment and to proactively take steps to maintain the initiative and dictate the terms of the operation."

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