Deliberate Development

Professional Development for the Military Leader


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: 24 April 2019

My first day of work as a MSgt, I was looking for all of my minions to serve me. Instead, I walked into the office and my boss tore into me about something that happened on the other side of the flightline on a different shift. I learned very quickly (literally day one) that I was responsible for everyone and everything in my scope. It was my job to watch over and push those on my team, not have them serve me. I do admit, having minions would be cool 🙂


Daily Deliberation: 23 April 2019

If you are not learning as a leader, you are not going to last. I remember being in a role where I thought I was the expert and stopped developing myself. It wasn’t long until I was being passed by my peers and even those on my team. I no longer had all the answers and my boss was going elsewhere to get the information. This was my wake-up call to ensure I am constantly learning about my job and the peripheral areas around it.

Daily Deliberation: 22 April 2019

I was never a credit hound, but I certainly was the guy who wanted to do it all on my own. I thought it was easier to not have to worry about other people and they often just slowed me down. This worked ok as a young Airman and early on as a NCO; however, it quickly led to burnout. We need to remember we are not in this fight alone and each of us can add value to the task. Until we learn to work with and lift up the others, we can never be a leader.

Daily Deliberation: 21 April 2019

What does this quote from Alexander the Great mean to you? To me, it means we have to be strong as leaders. We can’t be afraid to stand up for our team and to our team. I recently watched as a supervisor chastised his subordinate and then flip-flopped when he got push-back. If he could not even stand firm with his troop, how in the world is he expected to stand firm when talking to someone higher in the food chain than himself. Being a lion means we have to protect the team and also ensure we are handling issues on the team too.

Daily Deliberation: 20 April 2019

The first piece of leadership advice I have ever received was from my father when I was maybe 6-ish. He told me to “lead by example” and it is something I have considered and pondered my whole life. Sometimes it means to show other how to do the task and sometimes it means to roll up the sleeves and get dirty. However, it always means to exhibit strong character. When things are going downhill, your team is watching how you react. When there is a failure or success, your team is watching. Your actions teach your team what a leader is capable of, so make sure you are leading by example.

Daily Deliberation: 19 April 2019

How many times have we fought or stalled waiting for some organizational policy to change? We complain, argue, throw temper tantrums, and more because we are not happy with the rules, the resources we are given or the location we are placed. I have never seen this as a successful strategy for myself or others. Instead, when I adjust to the change, I typically find the success I am looking for. And…if you adopt early enough you will get a leg up on your peers who are too busy complaining, arguing and throwing temper tantrums.

Daily Deliberation: 18 April 2019

I have read in a Harvard Business Review article about the power of appreciation. The author said that those who don’t feel appreciated at work have a 30% higher rate of coronary disease than those who do. We are literally killing our teammates by not appreciating their efforts or listening to their concerns. Now, think about all the times you felt valued at work and how much harder you worked for that team. Why not create the same environment where you work?

Daily Deliberation: 17 April 2019

Over the years, I continually hear great leaders compare being a leader at work to parenthood. We love our children and want them to succeed. We don’t alienate them or label them as losers when they mess up. They always know they have a place on the team even if they mess up. However, we also are willing to correct them and offer growth feedback because we want them to succeed, not because we want a “world’s best parent” coffee mug. We care more about their success than about being a friend. How is this any different than being a leader?

Daily Deliberation:16 April 2019

Have you ever asked yourself how a toxic leader is able to succeed? Most likely they are getting the results that their bosses are looking for. Their leaders assume their teams must be on board because the results are good and the team is working hard to not fail. It can take years before one of these leaders is discovered for their true colors. What if their people rated on them instead of their bosses? I approach every leadership position with that thought in mind. Am I getting the results for my team that they expect? Would I want to work for me?

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