A qualitative study of General (Retired) Gordon R. Sullivan, former Army Chief of Staff.
It may sound melodramatic, but leadership without commitment from others is like a tree falling in the forest without anyone hearing the sound. Leadership requires people and actions more than words. Leadership and team performance are so interconnected, you simply cannot have one without the other. Exemplary leaders are able to unlock the door to unused potential and transform potential into reality. Leadership is far from an exact science, nevertheless, there seems to be common threads that run between exemplary leaders and effective organizations or teams.Data analysis continued using a cross-case analysis that compared the experiences of the participants. Narrative descriptions were developed from data collected through elite interviews, questionnaires, archival information, articles, books, researcher notes, audit trail, and document analysis. The results identified recurring patterns or themes. The transformational model as proposed by Bennis & Nanus (1997) served as the conceptual framework for this study. Findings are presented using each of the four competencies that these researchers identified as transformational and that contributed to the organizational change process in the United States Army. The overall findings of this study demonstrated that General (Retired) Gordon R. Sullivan facilitated changes within the United States Army utilizing the aspects of transformational leadership identified by Bennis and Nanus (1997) as competencies of vision, communication, trust, and self-development. The data also identified several strategies for implementation of change as recommended by subordinates that worked under Sullivan's command as well as recommendations for being an effective leader. Recommendations for further research and practices are also proposed.The purpose of this study is to examine the leadership skills during a time of organizational change of General (Retired) Gordon R. Sullivan, former Army Chief of Staff, utilizing the conceptual framework of transformational leadership by Bennis and Nanus (1997). The research study focused on one specific question: What effect did General (Retired) Gordon R. Sullivan's leadership have on people under his command? Specifically, how did his leadership impinge upon other people to develop their leadership skills and make change within the organization? The research study was conducted with General (Retired) Sullivan and five of his subordinates that were under his command during the time of transformation of the United States Army (1991--1995). The data gathered in this study utilized the qualitative cross-case analysis research design. Individual case studies were constructed that drew upon the data gathered from each participant. The case studies provided an opportunity to gain an in-depth appreciation of the perception, thoughts and opinions of each participant.
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