Published Aerospace Power Journal - Fall 1994     Source:
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Col Donald E. Waddell III

Leadership remains the most baffling of arts . . . as long as we do not know exactly what makes men get up out of a hole in the ground and go forward in the face of death at a word from another man, then leadership will remain one of the highest and most elusive of qualities. It will remain an art.

--James L. Stokesbury

The art of leadership that Stokesbury alludes to is a subject studied more seriously in military schools than in civilian institutions. Given the life-and-death nature of our business and the importance of the military to a nation's survival, this should surprise no one. What is surprising, however, is that most Air Force professional military education (PME) schools rely almost exclusively on the civilian-oriented Hersey and Blanchard Situational Leadership® model to help teach military leadership and management.

The Air University Leadership and Management Program Advisory Group (LMPAG) recently discussed the Hersey and Blanchard Situational Leadership® model used extensively by the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), the Officer Training School (OTS), the Squadron Officer School (SOS), and the Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy (SNCOA). While most were happy with the model as presented in the various schools, the group decided to review other models to see if they might better portray military leadership. At the same time, Air War College was looking for a model to use in studying leadership in its academic program.

The general feeling was that the Hersey and Blanchard model is useful but has some significant limitations. Specifically, the model does a good job of highlighting the appropriate leadership style based on the "maturity" or "development level" of the followers but does not adequately address other military considerations. These considerations include the level at which leadership is exercised; different styles that may be required because of the demands of combat; staff versus operational leadership; or the differing styles appropriate to service, joint, or combined leadership. The purpose of this article is to suggest another leadership model that is helpful in modeling leadership situations unique to the military. While this model will be used in the Air War College curriculum next year, it has numerous applications and is particularly appropriate for midcareer officers faced with transitioning from unit-level to leadership positions involving more people and more complex missions.

Evolution of Leadership Theory

As a backdrop, we should first review the evolution of leadership theory in this century. Almost all leadership theory is based on the relative importance assigned to the leader versus the follower in mission accomplishment. Those who believe that leaders are sufficiently enlightened or heroic1 (to use Morris Janowitz's term) cite examples of bold leaders such as Napoléon, Alexander, and Frederick the Great, and they favor the authoritarian model of leadership. Those who have greater confidence in the followers' maturity, capability, and insights favor the democratic model.

Our perspective of leadership with regard to the respective roles played by the leader and follower has changed dramatically in this century. In the nineteenth century, the industrial revolution pulled many Americans out of rural areas into the city where industry was producing unprecedented wealth at the expense of the worker. Working conditions were appalling as management ruled, tyrannically enjoying enormous power to hire, fire, and generally dictate working conditions for the worker. We began the twentieth century focused almost exclusively on a leader-dominant theory of leadership that assumed a low opinion of the followers' motivation, maturity, and abilities. In the early part of the twentieth century, child labor laws and unions helped improve working conditions of America workers but also exacerbated the divisive relationship between management and labor, leader and follower. The military, long a bastion for authoritarian leaders, also maintained a predominantly authoritarian leadership style.

At the turn of the century, however, social scientists began to be interested in the worker as a means to improve production. In Management of Organizational Behavior: Utilizing Human Resources, Paul Hersey and Kenneth Blanchard do an excellent job of tracing the evolution of leadership theory during the twentieth century. They use Robert Tannenbaum and Warren Schmidt's "Continuum of Leader Behavior" diagram to illustrate how all leadership theory is based on the relative emphasis placed on either the follower or the leader.2 I have adapted this diagram (fig. 1) by flipping it over so that the continuum evolves from leader-dominant to follower-dominant.

Hersey and Blanchard describe how leadership theory has evolved beginning with Frederick Winslow Taylor, whose scientific management movement in the early 1900s sought to improve production by increasing worker productivity through time and motion studies. In their book, Hersey and Blanchard observe that

the function of the leader under scientific management or classical theory was obviously to set up and enforce performance criteria to meet organizational goals. The main focus of a leader was on the needs of the organization and not on the needs of the individual.3

Elton Mayo shifted the emphasis to the human relations movement in the 1920s. This movement sought to examine employee needs and motivation to increase output. Mayo's best-known work was the Hawthorne Study conducted at the Western Electric Company. In this study, lighting was varied to observe its effect on productivity. Surprisingly, worker productivity was less sensitive to changing lighting conditions than it was to the perception on the behalf of employees that management was interested in studying their behavior. Hersey and Blanchard observed:

The function of the leader under human relations theory was to facilitate cooperative goal attainment among followers while providing opportunities for their personal growth and development. The main focus, contrary to scientific management theory, was on individual needs and not on the needs of organization. In essence, then, the scientific management movement emphasized a concern for task (output), while the human relations movement stressed a concern for relationships (people). The recognition of these two concerns has characterized the writings on leadership ever since the conflict between the scientific management and the human relations schools of thought became apparent.4

The depression and World War II resulted in a gap in organizational leadership scholarship, but immediately after World War II and into the 1960s, others began to seriously examine the leader-follower interaction. Studies conducted at Ohio State University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Iowa all addressed the leader's role in balancing the competing demands of mission (task orientation) and employee (relationship behavior). Each study developed new terms to describe its particular orientation, but the fundamental issue in each case was the relative authority given to the employee or the follower.

One of the more recent studies, Douglas MacGregor's Theory X and Theory Y, provides a useful framework for analyzing a leader's attitude concerning his or her followers. Theory X leaders assume followers are not sufficiently mature or motivated to be allowed much autonomy. Theory Y, in contrast, assumes just the opposite.

Figure 2 depicts a composite of these theories as they relate to leader-dominant and follower-dominant leadership styles and situations. Note the generalized chronology beginning at 1900 and ending at 1990. This illustrates how leadership theory has evolved since the turn of the century to the point where, in contrast to the predominantly authoritarian style in 1900, our leadership style today is substantially follower-dominant as witnessed by the development of total quality management (TQM) within the Department of Defense.

Hersey and Blanchard conclude that no one theory of leadership is wholly correct and therefore developed the situational leadership® model. This model holds that the leadership style used depends primarily on the maturity of the follower. They depicted their model with the diagram shown in figure 3.5


In sum, the substance of these studies and theories reflects a gradual evolution from an authoritarian leadership style based on a Theory X orientation to a democratic orientation that seeks to motivate the employee to feel that he or she is a contributing part of the organization. That evolution has culminated recently with the development of TQM and a quality Air Force (QAF) that seeks to further empower the employee. According to the total quality philosophy, "the challenge of our leaders is to invert the organizational pyramid and change the role of the leader or manager to a more supportive and empowering one."6 Compared to the decidedly autocratic model of the US military in the past, the TQ approach to leadership is just about as follower-oriented as a system can be. Gen John M. Loh, commander of Air Combat Command (ACC) and QAF advocate, articulated just how far we have come since the turn of the century when he said of the QAF environment, "No one in my organization is more important than anyone else."7

The Air War College Model

The AWC model is designed to describe situational leadership in a military context, though it can be applied to a variety of other circumstances. We can begin to build this model with a review of the definition of leadership. According to Air Force Pamphlet (AFP) 35-49, Air Force Leadership, "leadership is the art of influencing and directing people (followers) to accomplish the mission."8 I would add "to accomplish the mission in a particular situation or environment." In their book, Management of Organizational Behavior, Hersey and Blanchard suggested the above modification to the Air Force definition might be appropriate. They note that "there is no best leadership style or stimulus. Any leadership style can be effective or ineffective depending on the response that style gets in a particular situation."9 They concluded that "empirical studies tend to show that there is no normative (best) style of leadership. Effective leaders adapt their leader behavior to meet the needs of their followers and the particular environment (emphasis added)."10

In his introduction to The Mask of Command, John Keegan alludes to a similar thought when he speaks of "the particularity of leadership" or the necessity for studying and understanding leadership in "context."11 The following model stresses the components of leadership identified in the AFP 35-49 definition(leader, follower, mission) as they are influenced by the situation or context in which leadership is exercised. Thus, the AWC model looks like this:



A few observations can be made about the components of the model and the relationship of these components. First, note that the arrow from followers to mission is unidirectional. That suggests that it is the followers, not the leader, who actually do the work and accomplish the mission. While the leader may get his or her "hands dirty" occasionally, the followers do the work. It is also the followers who provide feedback to the leader on their progress in accomplishing the mission. For that reason, among others, communication between leader and follower needs to be free-flowing, unencumbered as much as possible by administrative obstacles and psychological barriers.

The bidirectional arrow between leader and followers makes this point. Communication between the leader and the followers must be in the form of a dialogue, not a monologue. Many scholars have suggested that the critical factor in determining the effectiveness of this relationship is communication. "Congress can make a general," Omar Bradley once observed, "but only communication can make him a commander."12 John Kline notes that

the importance of effective communication by leaders is demonstrated daily in all organizations. Indeed, since 1938 when Chester Barnard concluded that communication was the main task of managers and executives, emphasis has been placed on improving communications in organizations . . . not only is communication down the chain of command important, subordinates need to keep each other and their supervisors informed. In other words, to be effective, communication channels need to be open down, up and throughout the organization.13

That's why the arrow between the leader and the followers points both ways.

As outlined in the previous discussion, a major consideration in the understanding of leadership is the relationship between the leader and follower. The other major variable component (given that the mission remains a fixed component for a specific situation) is the situation, the environment, or the context in which leadership is exercised. This is where I think the AWC leadership model is most useful since it helps us understand how the dynamics of the leadership relationship change as the situation changes. For this reason, the "situation" component of the AWC model includes all the other components under its bracket (fig. 5). The various situations we will examine are:

1. The levels at which leadership is exercised.

2. Peacetime leadership as compared to wartime operations.

3. A comparison of service, joint, and combined leadership.

4. Staff leadership as opposed to leadership of operational units.

Figure 6 reveals a number of relevant observations about how the leadership equation varies as the level of leadership rises from the tactical to the operational level and above. Look first at the column under "mission." The mission is very specific at the tactical level but becomes broader at the higher levels of leadership. For instance, junior officers operate primarily at the tactical level. Their missions are specific: bomb a target, seize and hold terrain, provide support for a specific operation, and so forth.

On the other hand, higher levels of leadership have broader missions. An excellent example of broader mission tasking at the operational level was the Operation Overlord directive given Gen Dwight D. Eisenhower by the Combined Chiefs of Staff: "You will enter the continent of Europe and, in conjunction with the other Allied Nations, undertake operations aimed at the heart of Germany and the destruction of her Armed Forces."14 The model helps us see that as the leadership situation changes from tactical to operational and higher, mission tasking should become less specific.

The model allows us to visualize changes in the interaction between the leader and the followers as levels of leadership change. As the leader rises above the tactical level, the number of people for whom the leader is responsible increases. Consequently, the interaction with the "troops" becomes less and less direct. For instance, the relatively small number of people in a squadron allows the flight commander and even the squadron commander to have frequent, direct interaction with his or her people. To discuss an issue, the leader need only use the intercom or walk down the hall to talk to the person who will actually do the work.

However, as an officer becomes a group or wing commander or above, he or she inevitably becomes insulated, and communication is now less direct and more through intermediaries. Most successful leaders have attempted to reduce the effect of this isolating phenomenon by visiting their troops in the field as often as possible. Robert E. Lee was able to maintain extraordinary rapport with his troops even while serving as an operational commander. Likewise, Omar Bradley and George Patton made their presence felt among the soldiers they led. Even the aloof Napoléon went out of his way to be visible to his followers by presenting awards and visiting the troops in the field. The same principle practiced by these senior leaders applies to lower levels as well. The most effective leaders today are highly visible.

On the other hand, leaders who, as they rise above the lower and more direct leadership levels, attempt to maintain the same interaction with their followers and the same control over mission accomplishment are called micromanagers. "Micromanagementitis" may be the most pernicious disease common to leaders above the tactical level.

Instead of micromanaging, the leader needs to become an expert at what I would call "climate control." The effective senior leader controls the climate of the organization by ensuring that his or her vision, values, and vitality permeate the organization. This is achieved by defining the leader's vision for the organization, packaging it so everyone can understand it, and then communicating that message repeatedly through a variety of means. The concept of climate control includes delegating work and empowering subordinates to accomplish the mission.

As illustrated in figure 6, the changes in mission and followers associated with the rise above the tactical level force certain changes upon the leader as well. The leader at the tactical level is primarily a technician, a practitioner, who actually participates in an operation. For instance, at the tactical level a flight commander or squadron commander flies an aircraft, a submarine officer directs the navigation and employment of his weapons system, and a battalion commander leads his men into combat. As leadership is exercised at the higher levels, the technician becomes a generalist, less concerned about operations at the tactical level and more concerned about the broader application of military power at the strategic levels.

The Situation:
Tactical Level and Above

What does all this mean to the military leader? On the basis of the discussion above, we can make five generalizations about leadership at the tactical level and above.

1. Your leadership style should probably change as you move from company grade to field grade and above. We can see this by examining the Hersey and Blanchard Situational Leadership® model shown in figure 7. It is safe to say that the dominant leadership style for midcareer officers is a combination of "telling," "selling," or "participating" depending on the maturity of the followers. It is also correct to note that the leadership styles of selling and telling are less common today due to the empowering effects of QAF. As we include our youngest airmen on process action teams (PAT) and solicit their input in production and operations decisions, the S1 and S2 leadership styles will become more or less limited to basic training and other highly structured, routine tasks.


As you rise to higher leadership positions, the "maturity of your followers" (bottom horizontal line) will increase. The increased maturity of followers is associated with lower task behavior. That is, above the unit level you are less involved in "tasking" people to do things and more dependent on them to get the job done with less supervision.

As task behavior decreases there is an associated decrease in the senior leader's interaction (or "relationship behavior") with followers. According to Hersey and Blanchard, all this means that your leadership style should evolve from "participating" (the style most common at the unit level) to "delegating" (the style leaders above the squadron should adopt).15

2. Because of the greater number of followers who work for leaders above the tactical level, these leaders will have less direct contact with the majority of them. For instance, the officer in charge of a maintenance squadron has 50 to 100 people working for him or her. These subordinates have frequent, direct contact with the leader. As a result, it is relatively easy to communicate values, goals, and guidance. On the other hand, as the midcareer officer today becomes the senior leader of tomorrow, the greater number of subordinates will make frequent, direct contact difficult and eventually impossible. As a consequence, a significant responsibility of the senior leader is to create the appropriate operational and ethical atmosphere in which everyone knows what is expected of him or her--"climate control."

3. Leadership above the unit level must become less hands-on, less technical. The leader must remain firmly in touch with the mission the unit performs, but he or she is now more of a generalist who leaves the details of the operation in the hands of those most familiar with the day-to-day operations.

4. As the individual rises in leadership above the unit level, he or she is removed farther from where the organization's activity takes place, and therefore is more out of touch with what is actually going on. Consequently, decisions made above the tactical level are frequently made with less than 100 percent of the required information. In his book Taking Charge, Gen Perry Smith refers to this as the "60 percent rule," which means a leader makes a decision when only 60 percent of the relevant information is available.16 This is often a difficult step for the rising leader to take because it involves risk. It is, in many respects, a step of faith, but a step that must be taken because the consequence of not taking that step is inefficiency at best, paralysis at worst.

5. Above the tactical level, vision becomes more essential. Vision is essentially the ability to see into the future. According to Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus:

To choose a direction, a leader must first have developed a mental image of a possible and desirable future state of the organization. This image, which we call vision, may be as vague as a dream or as precise as a goal or a mission statement. The critical point is that a vision articulates a view of a realistic, credible, alternative future for the organization, a condition that is better in some ways than what now exists. A vision is a target that beckons.17

The midcareer leader's vision is near term. At one extreme, a senior captain or major in combat may be required to focus 100 percent of his or her attention on the next mission. Under normal circumstances, the outer limits of the vision of a leader at the unit level probably doesn't extend much beyond the fiscal year. As leaders rise above the tactical level, however, the time frame for which they must plan increases considerably. In his article "Building Strategic Leadership for the 21st Century," Maj Roderick Magee notes that

one of the primary responsibilities of the strategic leader is to look ahead 10 to 20 years and determine what the Army will be required to do and thus how it must be structured to satisfy national objectives. There is universal agreement that vision is a key factor for organizational success and survival. Of course, it is the strategic leader who is responsible for establishing the vision.18

Creating a long-range, strategic vision for the organization requires the leader to deal with issues that are more complex, conceptual, and abstract than the tactical concerns of a unit commander. In this respect, leadership is a more intellectual activity. Clausewitz expressed a similar thought when he said, "Every level of leadership of command has its own intellectual standard."19 Maj Magee refers to the Jacques and Jacob Stratified Systems Theory (SST) to make this point. He notes that

one basis of their model (SST) is that cognitive complexity increases hierarchically as you go up the organization and that the leader's cognitive complexity must match what is required by the organizational level. According to SST, cognitive complexity can be thought of in terms of "differentiation and integration." The complexity associated with the organizational level, or organizational strata, is based on the time span of the role the leader is in.20

The foregoing discussion was concerned primarily with helping leaders understand how the leadership equation changes as the leader moves from tactical leadership to higher levels. The model can also be used to examine other leadership situations. For instance, we can use the model depicted in figure 8 to observe how the wartime environment affects the dynamics of leadership. As a general rule, the wartime mission is more critical and the result of failure takes on potentially tragic consequences. For this reason, the arrow under the "mission" column is substantially larger than the other arrows. A unit that fails to meet its peacetime tasking may bust an operational readiness inspection (ORI) or get a commander fired. On the other hand, Desert One, Gallipoli, Gen J. E. B. Stuart's absence at Gettysburg, and the disaster at Kasserine Pass are examples of the tragic consequences of not accomplishing a wartime mission.

In time of war, the mental state of followers takes on greater significance since fear complicates their ability to perform. Leaders must take this factor into consideration when transitioning from peace to war. To compensate for fear and the greater importance of mission accomplishment, leaders may understandably become more authoritarian. The movie Twelve O'Clock High studied at various PME schools illustrates this point. As you'll recall, General Savage assumed command of a World War II bomber group whose aircrews were suffering from low morale due to combat losses. To turn the situation around, the new commander adopted a very authoritarian leadership style. The renewed emphasis on strict discipline and the resulting antagonism toward the demanding boss, led to improved mission accomplishment and ultimately higher morale.

Lest we infer too much from the above example, I would suggest that an authoritarian style is not an automatic response to a combat environment. Under normal circumstances, a leader's style won't change simply because the bullets are flying. It depends on the situation and the leader.

Looking again at the model, we can make some observations about the interaction between leader and follower in a combat environment. During peacetime operations, this interaction is complex and difficult. During war, this interaction is even more difficult since it is exacerbated by the fog and friction of war. Clausewitz's familiar observation is relevant:

If one has never personally experienced war, one cannot understand in what the difficulties constantly mentioned really consist, nor why a commander should need any brilliance and exceptional ability. . . . Everything in war is simple, but the simplest thing is difficult. The difficulties accumulate and end by producing a kind of friction that is inconceivable unless one has experienced war.21

A final "war versus peace" related issue should be addressed at this point. As we transition to a more follower-oriented, "empowering" leadership model in peace such as TQM, there are potential pitfalls for us when engaged in combat operations. The fundamental purpose of basic training over the years has been to break down the individual's civilian mind-set that is naturally resistant to following potentially life-threatening battlefield orders. In place of the civilian mind-set, we substitute military discipline during basic training, a reflexive obedience to an authoritarian leadership style. The intent of QAF is just the opposite. It seeks to transfer power from the leader to subordinates and to solicit ideas and insights from followers in a very friendly, benign environment. How will the thoroughly indoctrinated and empowered QAF follower respond if the unit's leadership takes on a more autocratic style during combat? This is an issue that future leaders, particularly at the unit level, need to address.

The Situation: Joint and Combined Leadership

Another variation in the leadership equation that will become increasingly important in today's environment involves the composition of friendly forces. A single-service operation is relatively easy to coordinate since like-minded individuals are involved in accomplishing the mission. Their interaction is facilitated by a common lexicon and a common orientation to their particular way of fighting. Once we include members of another service, however, additional considerations and sensitivities need to be addressed. Differences in service doctrine and operational methods not only frustrate working together but can have a deleterious, even fatal effect on operations. You might, for example, consider the difficulties that arose due to doctrinal disagreements between Army ground and air commanders in North Africa during World War II.

In addition, interservice rivalries have complicated and will continue to complicate mission accomplishment. The competition between Gen Douglas MacArthur and admirals Ernest J. King/Chester W. Nimitz in the World War II Pacific theater led to a less than optimum coordination of operations. On the other hand, Army general Omar Bradley and Air Force general Elwood R. Quesada worked well together.

The situation becomes even more complex when allies are involved. In addition to doctrinal and service differences, cultural and historical differences compound efforts to coordinate combined operations. In his Airpower Journal article "The `Staff Experience' and Leadership Development," Gen John Shaud noted that "the likelihood of your participation in a joint coalition staff in this post-cold war world has increased by an order of magnitude."22 He served as chief of staff for the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR) until recently and from that experience made the following observation:

On the coalition staff, as is the case with any new leadership position . . . my primary mission was to coordinate the activities of the staff. ...In addition to what you might normally expect that to entail, I found that I also had to be a negotiator, diplomat, taskmaster, and cheerleader. I learned also that on the SHAPE staff (as well as on most coalition staffs), some of the most important factors to be considered were appreciating inherent differences in culture and language and possessing a solid sense of history.23

The Axis alliance in World War II provides an example of the liabilities of coalition warfare. Germany found itself dragged into a North African campaign and into combat in Greece by its Italian allies who, according to German generals Albert Kesselring and Erwin Rommel, failed to perform effectively.24 On the other hand, Eisenhower's collegial, accommodating leadership style was a key to the success of Operation Overlord. It is doubtful that a Patton-type leadership style would have been successful.

Gen H. Norman Schwarzkopf's sensitivity to Arab culture, acquired as a child growing up in Iran, was an important factor in forging the coalition during the Persian Gulf War. "Storm'n Norman" may be the consummate practitioner of adaptive, situational coalition leadership in the recent past. In Crusade, Rick Atkinson describes Schwarzkopf as a tyrant, a bellowing autocrat who was abusive to US members of the coalition. At the same time, he was diplomatic and accommodating to most allies. One has to wonder if this wasn't precisely the leadership style that was necessary to keep the coalition together. As Atkinson observed,

In a curious way, Schwarzkopf's temper also helped quell interservice squabbles by unifying natural rivals beneath a common fear. Moreover, he prudently spared the allies his wrath. Here he showed himself most competent at that for which he was presumed least prepared by training and constitution: the muster and master of a huge coalition drawn from three dozen nations.25

The Situation:
Staff and Operational Leadership

A final leadership situation we can examine is the difference between the staff and operations environment--a key issue for midcareer officers moving above unit level for the first time. As illustrated in figure 10, leaders in operational units are probably more effective if they conform to the heroic leader style, while a staff leader's style is more appropriately bureaucratic and participative. The interaction between leader and followers is primarily verbal and informal in an operational environment but in the staff environment is written and more formal. Likewise, the followers are more sophisticated in the staff environment and the mission is more in the arena of policy and plans. In the Air Force, the further you get away from the flight line, the greater becomes the leader's challenge to keep followers focused on flying and fighting and to promote institutional, as opposed to occupational, values.

James Stokesbury called leadership the most baffling of arts, and those of us in the military would certainly agree. At the same time, our PME curricula is designed to make the art of leadership less baffling for the military practitioner. The AWC situational leadership model described above is, I think, a useful framework to assess leaders and their leadership in context. In a rapidly changing world, this view of leadership can also help you adapt your leadership style to the situation as you find yourself in more senior leadership positions. In light of unprecedented technological developments, rapidly changing world events and compressed cycles of social change, the need for adaptive, flexible, empowering leadership has never been greater.

Situational Leadership® is a registered trademark of the Center for Leadership Studies.


1. In his article "The User of Leadership Theory" (Michigan Business Review, January 1973), James Owen defines bureaucratic leadership style in terms we can all understand. Heroic or charismatic leadership is more difficult to pin down. In his book Leadership (New York: Harper Collins, 1982), James MacGregor Burns noted that charismatic leadership may mean "an emotional bond between leader and led; popular assumption that a leader is powerful, omniscient, and virtuous, imputation of enormous supernatural power to leaders (or secular or both); and simply popular support for a leader that verges on love." The sense in which I use heroic or charismatic leadership implies a leadership style that reflects a strong personality that inspires and energizes followers to accomplish extraordinary feats. In this sense, it is very similar to Morris Janowitz definition in The Professional Soldier: A Social and Political Portrait (New York: Free Press, 1964) which calls the heroic leader a perpetuation of the warrior type, the mounted officer who embodies the martial spirit and the theme of personal valor.

2. Paul Hersey and Kenneth H. Blanchard, Management of Organizational Behavior: Utilizing Human Resources, (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1982), 86.

3. Ibid., 85.

4. Ibid.

5. Ibid., 152. Depending on which edition of their book you may see different terms used to describe the Hersey and Blanchard model. Nevertheless, the meanings are essentially the same.

6. The Quality Approach, published by the Air Force Quality Center, Maxwell AFB, Ala., II-7

7. Speech by Gen Mike Loh, National Quality Month Kick-off, Hampton Roads Quality Council, Hampton, Va., 1 October 1992.

8. Air Force Pamphlet (AFP) 35-49, Air Force Leadership, 1 September 1985, 2.

9. Hersey and Blanchard, 102.

10. Ibid., 103.

11. John Keegan, The Mask of Command (Middlesex, England: Penguin Books, Ltd., 1987), 1-4.

12. Omar Bradley, A Soldier's Story (New York: Henry Holt and Co., 1951), 474.

13. John A. Kline, "Communications for the Leader" in AU-24 Concepts for Air Force Leadership, Richard I. Lester and A. Glenn Morton, eds. (Maxwell AFB, Ala.: Air University, 1990), 261.

14. FMFM 1-1, 42.

15. Richard H. Kohn, ed., The United States Military under the Constitution of the United States, 1789-1989 (New York: New York University Press, c. 1991), 220.

16. Perry M. Smith, Taking Charge: A Practical Guide for Leaders (Washington, D.C.: National Defense University Press, 1986), 108.

17. Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus, Leaders: The Strategies for Taking Charge (New York: Harper and Row, 1985), 89.

18. Maj Roderick R. Magee, "Building Strategic Leadership for the 21st Century," Military Review, February 1993, 39.

19. Carl von Clausewitz, On War, ed. and trans. Michael Howard and Peter Paret (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1976), 111.

20. Magee, 37.

21. Clausewitz, 117.

22. Gen John A. Shaud, USAF, Retired, "The `Staff Experience' and Leadership Development," Airpower Journal 7, no.1 (Spring 1993): 9.

23. Ibid., 9.

24. Norman Polmar and Thomas B. Allen, World War II: America at War, 1941-1945 (New York: Random House, 1991), 537.

25. Rick Atkinson, "Desert Storm's Angry Caesar," Washington Post National Weekly, 4-10 October 1993.


Col Donald E. Waddell III (BA, University of Louisville; MA, Troy State University) is professor of leadership studies at Air War College. A former wing commander and numbered air force vice-commander, he has served as a fighter pilot for most of his career. Colonel Waddell is a distingquished graduate of Air Command and Staff College and a graduate of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.


The conclusions and opinions expressed in this document are those of the author cultivated in the freedom of expression, academic environment of Air University. They do not reflect the official position of the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, the United States Air Force or the Air University.

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