Deliberate Development

Professional Development for the Military Leader


Career Success

Daily Deliberation: 18 May 2018

When we are starting out, we are not afraid to fail. We even have the “I’m just an Airman” mentality that gives us a pass for making simple mistakes. However, we get to the point where we are good at our jobs and others recognize our talents. We become the go-to technicians and have a reputation of excellence. It is here we become afraid to take new risks. “What if we fail? People will think we are not the best anymore.” Truth is, there is someone coming behind you not afraid to take on new challenges and they will soon surpass you. Remember you are successful because you weren’t afraid to fail in the beginning, not because you never failed.


Daily Deliberation: 17 May 2018

Lead by example is by far the best leadership advice ever muttered. We can read 1,000 books and give hundreds of great speeches; however, nothing exemplifies leadership better than quality action coming from an authentic person. Don’t fight for a duty title, fight to do the right thing in the position you are in.

Daily Deliberation: 16 May 2018

How true is this?! So often we hit a wall and take “a break”, but never start again. We know we will have to start again at the place we were stuck before. We look at starting again in a begrudging manner. Instead, we need to look at it as a challenge we can and will overcome. None of us look back on challenges we faced and overcame with regret, but regret the times we gave up all together.

3 Books You Need to Read as a SNCO

So far this year I have read several books. In fact, I have read three books that I wish I would have read before sewing on Master many moons ago. These books will help you provide feedback and assess how to approach those on your team; how to create important goals and motivate your team to meet them; and how to grow as a leader in your new role.

The first book is: Move Your Bus by Ron Clark. This book offers practical advice from an award-winning school teacher on how to assess and manage those on your team. Ron teaches us that our busses all have drivers, runners, joggers, walkers and riders. Each has a different level of value to add to the team and how to manage each. Move Your Bus is very practical and easy to read.

Many of us have employed the methods from the next book in some form or another, but it is doubtful that you have done all of the steps together. The Four Disciplines of Execution or 4DX by Sean Covey teaches leaders how to set the right goals. This book is a must read if you are leading a team and want to stop putting out fires on a daily basis. This book can feel a bit academic at times, but is packed with actionable advice all leaders should learn.

Lastly, What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith is a book that will stop you from being a jerk boss. It forces us to look at how we can improve ourselves even though we may have been promoted to a position where we aren’t required to change. This book also offers some insightful advice from an executive coach with decades of wisdom in the field.

Leaders are readers. It is vital that we push our minds out of their comfort zones and learn from some of the greatest minds out there. These books are great suggestions to get started, but there are thousands of other books out there for you to choose from. If you find it difficult to find the time to read, we are trying to get a small group of people together to do a group session and discuss some concepts from these books and more. If you are interested in this, email me at and just say you’re interested. We plan to start meeting in early June.

Daily Deliberation: 12 May 2018

I once hired a plumber to fix something I didn’t have the courage to tackle. I watched videos on YouTube and phoned a friend or two. All talked about how the job was not easy and was best to hire a pro. I did. I watched him come into my house and replace the valve in a matter of minutes and never broke a sweat. It looked so simple until I realized he had done this 100’s of times and was an expert with his tools. Don’t be afraid to practice those things that are hard to you now…they will get easier as you get more proficient.

Daily Deliberation: 10 May 2018

This is an interesting statement. Our first instinct is to shy away from something that is different from the norm. We even criticize those who have the courage to try, but then we see them start to experience some success and want to emulate them. Be willing to look at what others are trying to do before you look at them as dumb.

Daily Deliberation: 9 May 2018

Couldn’t agree more. I wish I knew why success did not come easier. Why can’t there be an actual get rich scheme or get a six pack in a week plan? I don’t know why the best things in life require the most effort, but I do know that they do take work. Stop wishing you would have started 10 years ago and start today. You will be happy you did in 2028.

Daily Deliberation: 8 May 2018

We have nicknamed ourselves a one-mistake Air Force. However, we all know many people who have made serious mistakes and are still chugging along. The “one-mistake” refers to those egregious acts that show a deliberate decision to break the law. We all make mistakes…it is ok to mess up. We need to learn from them and move on. Just like Jenny taught us in yesterday’s article…it is up to us to change the culture.

Daily Deliberation: 6 May 2018

If you are reading this, you are probably someone interested in bettering yourself. For many years, I would not discuss or share things I had learned with others. I didn’t want those I was leading to know I needed help being a leader. Once I became secure enough to admit I didn’t know it all, others felt secure enough to admit it to.

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