Deliberate Development

Professional Development for the Military Leader


Developing Others

Daily Deliberation: 18 March 2018

This is a very powerful notion for NCOs and SNCOs. We spend more of our time focussed on ensuring our teams are doing the right things. If we spent more time developing our teams, they would be better equipped to take care of the mission. Develop your team and let them do the rest.


Daily Deliberation: 10 March 2018

This is such a simple concept for leadership. We can all do this. We don’t have to have the charisma or even the experience. We just need to be humble. Not the type of humble that people like to trample on, door mats are not humble. We need to take action to help others succeed. Everyone can focus on one person and just one thing that can help them get just one step further.

Daily Deliberation: 22 February 2018

For several decades, our nation valued a top-down leadership approach where the bottom-dwellers sole purpose was to follow orders and make money for those in the C-Suite. However, this was never the best approach and simply will not work today. For starters, it was a waste of talent and secondly, people don’t have to stay at the same company for 30 years anymore. Look at those on your team and see if they are given a voice to share their great ideas and then empower them by allowing them to try something new.

Daily Deliberation: 18 February 2018

I don’t think I could any wisdom to the Dalai Lama. I do think this is a great mandate for those with any form of leadership role. We have to set them up to be successful without you and still seek ways to continue to add value into their lives. I love how this is an on-going challenge that pushes them to grow and doesn’t allow me to get lazy.

Daily Deliberation: 17 February 2018

Leaders are not leaders if no one is following. You could become the most powerful and most successful person on the planet, but if there is no one to fill your void or to walk alongside you, are you really a success? I am a firm believer that a leader is only as good as their team. When you invest in your team to make them come together and develop their abilities and pour all you have into them…they grow. It is our job as leaders to get them one step further than we have gone.

Daily Deliberation: 8 February 2018

This is something so few of us will actually try. Two things have stopped me in the past: fear of what lies ahead. Will I fail? What would others think? AND lack of experience. We can’t forge new paths if we don’t have the knowledge and training. The experience and courage to make new paths comes from trying; failing; learning; trying again. What could you do to gain experience needed this week?

Look Like You are Born to Lead

Several weeks ago there was a post about developing SNCO skills, titled: The 4 Areas Air Force SNCOs Must Master, and one of the points on there was about leading people. I had someone reach out to me and ask for some more actionable advice on this. Here is my attempt to satisfy that request.

Ever since I have began my study into leadership, a particular question arises: “Are leaders born or are they made?” I am a firm believer that there is an art to being a leader, but there is also a science as well. Some people simply seem to be better suited as leaders because of their personality and natural gifts. However, there are some things that those of us without natural ability can do to better lead others.

Dr. Gary Yukl, an organizational psychologist teaches that we lead others in four main areas: Making Decisions; Influencing; Building Relationships; and Giving/Seeking Information. Using this, we can strengthen our leadership muscles. Let’s see an example in motion:

If I want to focus on feedback with my team, I go into each situation with it on my mind. Every interaction I have, I am looking to infuse feedback into it by implementing one of Dr. Yukl’s methods.

Giving / Seeking Information: As I am having a conversation with a teammate and they talk about a problem they are having with another. I can ask, “have you given them feedback on what you expect?” I can then go on to mentor them on the benefits of feedback and provide information on how to offer quality feedback.

Building Relationships: As I see someone in my sphere who looks like they may not be appreciated, I can pull them aside and provide feedback on all of the great things I have seen them do. This little gesture will help foster trust and build a relationship with a teammate who may otherwise think I am not interested.

Influencing: In terms of feedback, we can influence the behavior and outcome of a project by providing our thoughts and learning more about what is happening. Our feedback has the ability to alter future decisions and build or tear down the other person.

Making Decisions: No decision should be made without seeking feedback from those who will be impacted. Getting the inputs of as many teammates as possible is vital.

This is just one example. You can pick any skill or leadership trait and find a way to work it into one of these four areas. Eventually, it will become second nature and appear as if you are “born” with the ability to lead.

Daily Deliberation: 21 January 2018

I will end this week with the same quote I started with. We often get too concerned with timing. I can’t tell him he is not doing good at work right now, he was just written up. I can’t deliver this piece of bad news to the boss, her week has been terrible. Yes, compounding bad news is never fun. However, bad news and problems never get better with time. Do not be afraid to act on what is right. Integrity First.

Daily Deliberation: 19 January 2018

Have you ever disliked someone at work? It is a chore to be in the same room. I would have to go out of my way to be professional and yet make sure I was not being nice. It took so much more energy and their lives were typically un-phased by my efforts. It is better to just love on everyone and look for the common ground in those you dislike. Hate never wins.

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