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Canadian Military Journal

Persuasion as an Element of Leadership: General Hillier as Commander ISAF

Roy Thomas
Roy Thomas
Abstract :

“Persuasion” is one of the elements of leadership listed by Field Marshal Slim in a post-war lecture to the Camberley Army Staff Course.1 General Hillier, during his tenure as Commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), provides an example of this element of leadership in action. He had to persuade others, over whom he had no command authority, to subscribe to an Afghan strategic vision, and to agree to undertake activities which would contribute to achieving a mutually desired end state in order to design an operational campaign for ISAF.

The need for some form of strategic template had already been articulated. At a meeting preceding General Hillier’s assumption of command of ISAF, President Karzai, identified “… the absence of unified action by the multitude of governments and organizations in Afghanistan had resulted in a dissipation of development efforts, and correspondingly, the potential effects” as the most pressing of four major concerns of the Afghan Transitional Authority (ATA).2Karzai’s worries are best understood by looking at the situation in Afghanistan confronting ISAF in 2004.

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Persuasion as an Element of Leadership: General Hillier as Commander ISAF

Date Deposited : 08 Apr 2015 10:45

Last Modified : 08 Apr 2015 10:45

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Volume 11, Number 1, - 2011

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