Deliberate Development

Professional Development for the Military Leader


Developing Others

Daily Deliberation: 22 July 2019

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.


Daily Deliberation: 21 July 2019

We need to nip problems in the bud. When we see someone doing something they are not supposed to, we need to call them out and correct it immediately. Walking past a problem is like stepping over a piece of trash. When our team sees us doing either, we are setting the example that we welcome this behavior. However, when we ensure a culture of dignity and respect, others will notice it too. They will enforce our standard even when we are not around.

Daily Deliberation: 9 July 2019

Doesn’t this sound so simple? When we refuse to climb aboard the negative train to nowhere, we are already a step ahead of our peers. No one wants to follow a leader who is negative…it is like trying to walk through a muddy field with flip-flops. Be the person who talks about solving problems and not the one who just points them out to others.

Daily Deliberation: 6 July 2019

I have told my children about the importance of learning since day one. There is nothing more important in life than to learn how to learn. You can’t better your relationships with others, help others, make dinner, or do anything without learning. We all are so eager to learn until we think we have it all figured out. We never have it all figured out…keep learning!

Daily Deliberation: 2 July 2019

AZ Quotes

We as military members often fail to tell others how well they are doing and how important they are to the team. The slightest notion that we care about others goes such a long way. I have told so many when they make a mistake and so few how important they are to the overall success of the team. Tell someone today how important they are and one specific thing they do that is amazing to you.

Daily Deliberation: 25 June 2019

Listening is one of the things I am working on as a leader. I have the tendency to offer advice when someone brings me an issue. This is typically what they want, but I find I am not listening for the true root of the issue and only solving a surface symptom and not the actual problem. Actually, I have learned that my advice rarely solves another’s true problem. What helps is when I listen and ask them questions that help us both understand the problem better. By the time we get to the root of the issue, they already know what to do.

Readers Wanted:

The value of reading can’t be measured. The challenge is finding the right book and I am always leaning on others for suggestions for my next book. If you are a reader and would like to share your suggestions, let us know. Even better, if you would like to provide a short (or lengthy) book review, we would love to post it. Email me at if you are interested.

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.

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