Flexible, Adaptive, and Agile Leaders: A Qualitative Case Study of Experiences in Leading and Development

Flexible, Adaptive, and Agile Leaders: A Qualitative Case Study of Experiences in Leading and Development

Author: 
Evelyn Hollis
Program of study: 
D.M.
Abstract: 
The general problem was past leader development programs prepared leaders to operate in those environments, but increasingly, changing and uncertain situational conditions need leaders that have an expanded set of skills and awareness. An inability to be agile and adaptive in complex operating environments leads to failure, which is a circumstance most organizations can ill afford. Within a qualitative single case study, data came from a purposive sample of 12 senior noncommissioned officers who had been leaders in difficult situations and had experienced growth strategies such as multisource feedback, mentoring, coaching, and self-awareness. The data from semi-structured interviews were digitally recorded and transcribed. Through finding recurrent words and phrases, five main themes emerged. The themes were characteristics, qualities, and actions; values and ethics; professional learning; self-efficacy and personal expertise; and Army doctrine. The five themes supported senior NCOs described and ascribed competencies of flexibility, adaptability and agility as well as evaluation of growth strategies.
Dedication: 
This dedication is to the people who have given a considerable amount of moral support and patience as I pursued this doctoral degree. Terrence Wright, Courtney Hollis Wright, and precious granddaughter Ava Raye backing and moral support that sustained me throughout this endeavor. I dedicate this dissertation to my namesake and mother, Evelyn Louise Hollis, a beautiful soul and my champion to the end, and my sister Sally Dee Hollis, who gave support to me as she battled and lost the fight against cancer. I often had to put off visiting my two sisters Bonnie and Renee, my brother Prince, and my exceptional girlfriends while I researched, studied, and wrote papers to meet my coursework and dissertation requirements. Thanks to all for helping me achieve such a distinction.
Acknowledgements: 
Thanks to my family, friends, peers, and supporters who played a role in this accomplishment. Thanks to Dr. Barbara Yancey-Tooks as the catalyst for this entire undertaking. I also acknowledge the University of Phoenix faculty and staff for their support and encouragement. I would like to express special gratitude to Dr. Judith Tanner, whose patience, guidance, and helpfulness were inestimable at every point of this academic journey. I am very appreciative of my committee members Dr. Clea Hollis and Dr. Robert Wyatt, for their outstanding support. I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the help of the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy for supporting the research. Lastly, I acknowledge the many cohort members and other doctoral students who supported and motivated me through this process. Thank you all.