Phase 1.1 – Article – Developing Strategy Leaders

The size and complexity of modern organizations operating in turbulent, even chaotic, environments has put a premium on competent strategy leaders. This is particularly true in midsize and larger organizations who must prepare the next generation of leaders well in advance to take the organization forward. Looking at this challenge from a longer term perspective it is clear that managerial excellence alone is no longer sufficient for sustainable success. Military schools long ago recognized rapidly changing events on the battlefield required leaders not managers. Remember the old adage: Would you rather be managed or led into battle? They recognized that leadership development could not be left to chance.

The West Point Military Academy curriculum and the full range of 24/7 campus life activities are designed to develop future officers that have the ability to lead upon graduation. This is hardly the case in business schools, where the emphasis is on understanding a body of knowledge and developing skill in how to use it. Of course, managerial and interpersonal skills are developed, but there is scant attention to the development of leadership attributes and skills. This is left to the graduating students and the organizations that hire them. This pattern of education results in the development of a world full of excellent managers, with little or no substantive strategic leadership experience, and no organized approach to developing leadership qualities in their management team‐‐ and certainly not strategy leaders.

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