Dr. T. O. Jacobs

Senior Fellow-
Strategic Leadership Assessment and Development

Dr. T.O. Jacobs is presently a senior fellow for executive leadership assessment and development for FutureZero. 

From 1996 to 2005, he held the Leo Cherne Distinguished Visiting Professor of Behavioral Science Chair at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University. There, he taught courses in strategic leadership as well as creative and critical thinking. He also created and directed the College’s Executive Assessment and Development Program. 

From 1974 to 2005, Dr. Jacobs served in a series of assignments with the U. S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, where he completed landmark research on strategic performance requirements and the developmental processes required to produce strategic leadership skills. 

With Dr. Jaques, he developed an adaptation of Jaques’ requisite organization structure that specifies (a) critical performance requirements at the various levels of a requisitely structured organization, and (b) the critical cognitive skills which must develop over time to enable successful performance. The structure identifies developmental targets over time and constitutes a theory-based template for development of leadership within large-scale organizations. 

The conceptual base for this structure has been widely adopted by the military senior service colleges. He began research on leadership in 1957 with Carl Lange, developing a social learning theory-based concept of the functional roles of leaders in groups. This was among the first formulations of leadership incorporating the concept of “value added” (exchange theory), which provides a broad conceptual framework within which to view leader functional roles, leader “value added,” organizational power dynamics, and organizational pathology stemming from inappropriate leadership. 

Dr. Jacobs received the B.A. and M.A. degrees from Vanderbilt University, and the Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of Leadership and Exchange in Formal Organizations, and Strategic Leadership: The Competitive Edge as well as eleven book chapters, 28 reports, and other articles.
His most significant recent publication was as leadership section editor and chapter contributor (with Jaques) in Handbook of Military Psychology. He was the year 2000 recipient of the John C. Flanagan Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Psychological Association Division of Military Psychology and is a Fellow of both the American Psychological Association and the American Psychological Society.

His experience, research and thought leadership have been published in a number of publications, including:

  • Jacobs, T. O. (2005). Strategic Leadership: The Competitive Edge (manuscript) (Revised 20.). Washington, D.C.: Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University.
  • Jacobs, T. O., & Jaques, E. (1987). Leadership in complex organizations. (J. A. Zeidner, Ed) Human Productivity and Enhancement (Organization and Personnel, vol. 2). New York: Praeger.
  • Jacobs, T. O., & Jaques, E. (1990). Military executive leadership. In K. E. Clark & M. B. Clark (Eds.), Measures of Leadership (pp. 281–295). West Orange, NJ: Leadership Library of America.
  • Jacobs, T. O., & Jaques, E. (1991). Executive leadership. In R. Gal & A. D. Manglesdorff (Eds.), Handbook of military psychology (Vol. Handbook o). Chichester, England: Wiley.
  • Jacobs, T. O., & Lewis, P. (1992). Leadership Requirements in Stratified Systems. In R. L. Phillips and J. G. Hunt (Eds.), Strategic Leadership: A Multiorganizational-Level Perspective (Vol. Strategic). Westport, CT: Quorum Books/Greenwood Publishing.
  • Markessini, J., Lucas, K. W., Chandler, N., & Jacobs, T. O. (1994). Executive Leadership: Requisite Skills and Developmental Processes for the U.S. Army’s Civilian Executives. (ARI Research Note 94-26). Alexandria, VA: United States Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences.
  • Mumford, Michael D., Zaccaro, S. J., Harding, F. D., Jacobs, T. O., & Fleishman, E. A. (2000). Leadership Skills for a Changing World: Solving Complex Social Problems. Leadership Quarterly, 11(1), 11–35.
  • McGee, M. L., Jacobs, T. O., Kilcullen, R. N., & Barber, H. (1996). Conceptual capacity as competitive edge: Developing leadership for the new Army. U. S. Army Leadership Symposium, March 27-29, 1996. Chicago, IL: Cantigni Conference Center.


  • Leadership and Exchange in Formal Organizations
  • Strategic Leadership: The Competitive Edge


  • BA and MA degrees, Vanderbilt University
  • PhD, University of Pittsburgh.