ISSP Leadership Forum
THE INTERNATIONAL SECURITY STUDIES PROGRAM (ISSP) LEADERSHIP FORUM The International Security Studies Program invites five senior U.S. general and flag officers to share their experiences operating at the highest levels of military command, defense strategy, and military operations. Leaders will converse with a select group of 20 graduate students and military fellows in the International Security field of study during a two-hour seminar on Zoom in a “fireside chat” format. The intent is to provide students with an intimate setting to learn from the experiences of senior leaders and to exchange ideas – a hallmark of the Fletcher experience. Fletcher professors Abigail Linnington and Richard Shultz will facilitate a discussion where invitees will share personal stories related to six dimensions of strategic leadership: problem framing, design, risk, tactical vs. strategic leadership, institutional leadership, and the civil-military dialogue. We would request that each leader who takes part in the program consider the following questions below within the context of addressing one specific security challenge (e.g. Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq and Syria) or in leading an organization during a specific period of command (e.g. Chief of Staff of the Air Force; Commander, U.S. Forces Korea). • Problem framing: What is the process by which you assessed a new security challenge or a new organization and mission? How did you develop a good team to help you? Did you bring in outside perspectives to test your ideas? • Strategic design: How did you set and communicate priorities? What methods did you rely upon to develop a strategy and communicate that strategy inside and outside your organization? • Risk: How do you define and assess risk? How do you create a culture that manages uncertainty, bureaucratic tendencies for risk aversion, and the need for innovation and bold decision making? • Tactical vs. Strategic Leadership: How does leadership differ between the tactical and strategic levels of command? As part of your answer could you include discussion of working with U.S. allies and the challenges coalitions presented to you. • Institutional leadership: Describe your organization and what institutional change you led during your tenure. How and why was the change necessary? What obstacles or resistance did you encounter and how did you ensure the execution of your strategy? • Civil-military dialogue and interagency relationships: What were the primary avenues for civil-military dialogue during your time in command? How would you characterize that dialogue? How did it affect your goals and mission? The ISSP leadership forum is a unique and impactful opportunity for Fletcher students to hear personal stories and to engage in sequential, small group dialogue with senior military leaders to learn from their experiences. Conversations will be recorded and maintained by the professors to facilitate the writing of a study highlighting lessons in strategic leadership. In the event of publication, authors will request speakers’ permission to attribute any specific comments. Professors Linnington and Shultz would welcome a conversation with you in the near future to answer any questions and recommend a specific topic of discussion. Our military fellows are also available to provide assistance in preparing for the seminar.