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Deliberate Development

Professional Development for the Military Leader

Author

Joe Lawrence

Joe is passionate about developing others using the lessons he has learned from education, mentors, military and life. His personal mission is to serve others through mentorship so they can grow into their full potential as leaders.

Daily Deliberation: 8 December 2019

The Navy SEALs coined an ideal that we do not rise to the situation; rather, we fall to the level of our training. Basically, we do not get magic super powers when we are faced with a challenge. Instead, we rely on our preparation. Whenever I have planned out a certain event, it never went as planned. I always had to enact at least one of the contingencies we built into the plan. However, there have been situation where there was no contingency for that specific issue and it was not pretty. I didn’t magically make it happen. Prepare for what you expect to happen tomorrow now and you will be ready.

Daily Deliberation: 7 December 2019

Being a leader is not about getting a fancy duty title or fringe benefits. The 1950’s model of leadership was to have the minions serve the boss. They would run in front of him and remove the obstacles in his path, they would lay their jackets over the mud hole so his boots wouldn’t lose their luster. That is an archaic view and completely opposite of what a leader is. A leader should be looking for and destroying the obstacles in the paths of his team members so they can do amazing things for the organization. When this happens, there are hordes of people achieving goals for the team not multiple people serving the whims of one person.

Daily Deliberation: 6 December 2019

I always used to laugh when people would say the smartest person in the room is the one who asks the most questions. I would instantly think of all the commander calls where the wing commander would be asked about why the eggs were “tepid” at the chow hall. I thought, “no, the one who asks the most questions is the most annoying one.” It is about those who ask questions that further the conversation and clarify something others may want to know. Ask questions that matter and be willing to look the fool.

 

Daily Deliberation: 5 December 2019

We are horrible managers of our own time. Case and point, we have no problem staying up just five or ten minutes longer to do something seemingly useless like scroll our phones or watch a fidget spinner infomercial. Then we fight the alarm clock the next morning because we are too tired to wake up. And that is how we start our day. If we look at the other areas of our lives, we will find a similar pattern. A time waste here prevents something else there. Look for those lost minutes in your day and spend them on something that matters to you.

Daily Deliberation: 4 December 2019

Why do vegetables taste worse than candy? I have wondered my whole life why the hardest thing to do is often the best…like eating vegetables in lieu of candy. I am not sure of the reason for this, but we all know it is better to do the hard things over the easy things most of the time. Don’t let fear or laziness hold you back; just go out there and make it happen.

Daily Deliberation: 3 December 2019

There is a saying in politics that goes something like, “never waste a good crisis.” When something big happens, these leaders are looking for ways to make things better. For example, WWII led to the creation of the UN. If it hadn’t been for that, the UN may have never been. When things are falling apart, look for the one thing you can do to make something better. Does anyone have an example of a time they did this or saw it in action?

Daily Deliberation: 2 December 2019

One of the greatest lessons I ever learned was from a martial arts instructor. This man was very talented, a proven champion, high-ranking and the owner of the school. However, he never referred to any of the students as “students.” We were fellow martial artists, workout partners, teammates, etc. He was clearly the leader of the school, but he viewed those on his team as equals; he just held the leadership role. It was such a powerful lesson in humility.

Daily Deliberation: 1 December 2019

“I can’t do that right now.” How many times a day do we say this to our team or to our families? It saddens me to think about all the times I put off time with my kids for something that doesn’t matter in the long run. “After I reorganize this sock drawer, I will play catch with you.” My sock drawer isn’t going anywhere, but my boy will eventually leave home. We do the same thing to those we work with. That mountain of emails will be there tomorrow and even if we clean out our tasker list, it will come back. Take the time to invest in your team first and then alphabetize your socks.

Daily Deliberation: 30 November 2019

When I took over my current role, I noticed my team was afraid to make mistakes. They would strive for compliance and rarely attempted to innovate anything. They were afraid of failing and the kick-back from leadership. It took me about 5 months to earn their trust and show them I would not fatten their PIF if they tried something and failed. Don’t be afraid to fail or to let your team fail when it comes to them trying to make things better for the next generation.

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