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Critical Thinking For The Military Professional

Document created: 17 June 04 Air & Space Power Chronicles by Col W. Michael Guillot In a previous article on Strategic leadership I described the strategic environment as volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA). Additionally, that writing introduced the concept of strategic competency.2 This article will discuss the most important essential skill for Strategic Leaders: critical thinking. It is hard to imagine a Strategic leader today who does not think critically or at least uses the concept in making decisions. Critical thinking helps the strategic leader master the challenges of the strategic environment. It helps one understand how to bring stability to a volatile world. Critical thinking leads to more certainty and confidence in an uncertain future. This skill helps simplify complex scenarios and brings clarity to the ambiguous lens. Critical thinking is the kind of mental attitude required for success in the strategic environment. In essence, critical thinking is about learning how to think and how to judge and improve the quality of thinking-yours and others.

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