Enabling Success, Imperatives for Strategic Leaders

  • Lieutenant Colonel Doyle R. Tuisl

Many senior leaders struggle because they do not understand their job at the strategic level. The leadership skills and processes needed to succeed change as rank and responsibility increase. As junior leaders, the focus is on the execution of tasks and is dominated by direct leadership and technical/tactical expertise. As leaders advance to more senior positions, the focus shifts to providing guidance and setting the conditions for others to succeed. Both the Army and industry spend enormous amounts of time and money on technical and tactical improvements such as developing new doctrine, weapon systems, or process improvement programs. Unfortunately, these improvements, while important, do not address the more important aspects of organizational effectiveness and efficiency. This paper will argue that effective strategic leaders must focus on three principle areas: strategic leadership, strategic planning and decision making, and organizational design.