Deliberate Development

Professional Development for the Military Leader


Developing Others

Honor the Supervisor-Subordinate Relationship

It is critical that leaders at all levels engage with the Airmen around us. Regular interaction allows us to connect with teammates on a human level, ensure they are well cared for and track their development. It affords us the opportunity to mentor our teams as we navigate the chaos that comes with managing a human workforce.

Open door policies, brown bag lunches, and daily drive-by visits make this a simple enough process. The challenge we face is that we bear an equal responsibility to respect and advocate for healthy supervisor-subordinate relationships. It can be tempting to solve the problem or give advice on how to meet that goal; after all, we’ve been there before and know just what to do! While this impulse is well intended (and will guarantee us an instant shot of self-satisfaction), we also cut a supervisor off at the knees and rob them of the chance to build trust and confidence with that Airman. And sadly, the interaction will likely teach that Airmen to seek counsel from outside sources in the future. Next time you find yourself in this situation, consider biting your tongue and passing those thoughts or resources on to the supervisor. Teach them to do what you can and give them the chance to shine in the eyes of that Airman.


Daily Deliberation: 11 June 2019

When was the last time you read a book or watched a video and learned something very interesting? You couldn’t wait to work it into the next possible conversation that you had. Then you realized you were not an expert or received some great questions and continued to dive deeper into the topic. Soon you were quite smart on the subject. When we learn new things, we tend to share them. When we share, we grow. Continue learning and continue sharing…you are making everyone around you better.

Daily Deliberation: 8 June 2019

I remember wanting to learn martial arts as a child. I watched Karate Kid and checked out some books from the local library. After countless hours of self tutelage, I was still not an expert. In fact, I learned more in the first week of an actual martial arts class than I did in all of those books. We have to put what we study into motion. If not, it is just like a book on a shelf in our minds. The knowledge might be there, but it is useless without action.

Daily Deliberation: 29 May 2019

Are we trying to make things around us better or simply repeating the same motions? Leaders need to stand up and silence those who are just echoing issues. We need to take ownership of the problems surrounding us and make things better.

Daily Deliberation: 26 May 2019

Leadership is like parenting. We would do anything to set our children up for success. We know one day they are going to leave the nest and be on their own and we want them to be able to function. Those on our teams are the same way. One day, they are going to leave the nest and lead teams of their own. We need to spend our days strengthening the skills of our teammates so they can succeed. Ironically, doing this makes us better leaders and prepares us for more advanced roles.

Daily Deliberation: 19 May 2019

Creating clones of ourselves is useless. In the book, Turn the Ship Around!, David Marquet talks about how he thought to be a great Navy Captain, he had to give great orders. His crew would be on the ready awaiting his every word and not move an inch until he said to. He realized he couldn’t think for dozens of people at the same time and that in order to be successful, each one had to lead themselves. We are not designed to walk and chew gum at the same time. We need to develop those on our team to do their jobs and let them go.

Daily Deliberation: 17 May 2019

I have learned we can be the smartest person in the room and have all of the right answers and still not make a difference. Until people realize we have their best interests in mind, they will never listen to what we are saying. If you want to make a difference, stop worrying about proving how right you are and start working towards a solution for your team.

Daily Deliberation: 14 May 2019

Judging by the posts popping up in my Facebook feed, we could all use this advice lately. We are wired to do something when we sense danger. The problem is that we are sensing negative posts or comments as if they are a saber tooth tiger in our caves. We feel as if we need to pounce and save ourselves by countering with vile comments of our own. We could all benefit by taking a moment and realizing we will survive if we don’t fight back. Reacting to anger with anger never works.

Daily Deliberation: 8 May 2019

I was once told others don’t remember what you say; rather, they remember how you made them feel. We have seen this in action and probably are guilty of it ourselves. I know I am. Think about someone you respect. They just forfeited on a promise they made to you. Maybe they missed a meeting or are late on something they were supposed to deliver. Most likely, you are upset, but think they missed it because something important must have come up. You made an excuse for them without knowing any facts. Now, what if it was someone you don’t like? You’re probably already typing an email to his supervisor. What changed? Nothing. Only the way this person made you feel.

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑