Deliberate Development

Professional Development for the Military Leader



Daily Deliberation: 24 June 2017

Why is the fear of failing so gripping? I had a lot of fear when starting this blog. Putting myself out there in front of my peers thinking I could look like a total fool. I currently have fear about the next steps I will take after I retire next fall. The chance that we may fail scares us to no end. Over the years I have learned, it is scary to try something new; however, it is scarier to think about would could have happened if I only tried.

Daily Deliberation: 22 June 2017

I never understood why I would prefer to talk about doing great things as opposed to actually doing them. “I am going to get back in shape, starting tomorrow.” Or some other worthy goal. It is easier to just talk about it now, but it is much more difficult to deal with the regret of not meeting the goal in the future.

Daily Deliberation: 21 June 2017

My father once told me that if I want to be a champion, I have to run with champions. Back then I took it literally and sought those who were the fastest in my school and hung out with them. I eventually carried this habit into other areas of my life and realized true champions do something differently than everyone else. In fact, what makes them champions is that they do what others are not willing to do. While everyone else was out partying, they were in college classes. They stayed after the unit PT sessions and worked out some more. They waited a couple of extra months to save for something they wanted instead of charging it their card. Basically, if you are tired of not succeeding in some area of your life, look for something new to try.

Happy Father’s Day

Hero-Dad-On-Fathers-Day-With Father’s Day being right around the corner, I can’t help but reflect on some things my father taught me and things I hope to be able to pass on to my children. One of those vital lessons came to me around my 15th birthday. He told me, “You are a man now. What you do or don’t do is your choice, but you have to own the consequences of those choices.” This is a moment, I will never forget and one I revisit often although I certainly am not perfect and haven’t owned every consequence as I should have, but I do recognize this and strive to grow when I see it happen.

A deeper rooted theme in this message is one we face often throughout our lives and careers. We come to many forks in the road and our decisions can ultimately steer the directions of our families. We can choose to sacrifice time with our loved ones to chase money, notoriety, rank or a position to become somebody our families are proud of. The path where our end goal is become somebody important can lead us to sacrifice our values, kiss butt, or step on another to get closer to that goal. This could very well get you to that coveted title or position, but is it something you earned? Can you look yourself in the mirror and face yourself knowing the truth of what you did to get there?

The other option is to do what is right. To own your integrity. To solve problems that raise others up. To build bridges for those who will come behind you. To let your works speak for you and elevate those around you. You will eventually be so good that others can’t ignore your talent. They can’t deny your passion for others. Most importantly, they can’t question your values. This is the person I want to become. This is the person I would like my children to see. If it those great positions and titles follow, great. However whether they do or not, this is a choice with consequences I would want to own. To me there is no greater duty title than when my kids call me, “daddy”.

I encourage you to remember and honor your fathers or whoever that father figure was for you this weekend.

Daily Deliberation: 17 June 2017

I have noticed this throughout my career. Once I learn my job, I grow to complacency as I go through the motions of my day. I build controls into my day to prevent me from getting too comfortable. To do this, we could take on a challenge we know will push us harder. We can ask someone on the team to hold us accountable by looking over our work. Take a look at your daily routine and see if there are ways to stretch your abilities. If you don’t seek ways to progress, those on your team won’t either.

Daily Deliberation: 16 June 2017

So often we look at what could happen and let all of the “what ifs” control our actions. We become crippled with the fear of something that isn’t even real. Statistics stop us in our tracks. Numbers on paper or a trend from the past. Sometimes there is not even a historical basis for our fear; rather, the ramblings of some idea fairy. It is very important to plan and seek the smartest route for our time and resources. Once we come up with a solution that is in-line with our core values, pull the trigger and go for it. Learn to recognize actual dangers and escape from the “what if” fantasy world.

Daily Deliberation: 13 June 2017

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.

Daily Deliberation: 10 June 2017

I remember being a flightline expediter and thinking I was doing a great job because I was able to get the required number of people onto the job in a timely manner. However, my chest thumping was short-lived when I would realize they were not making things happen like I had hoped. I learned it was not their fault, I had failed to give them direction or express the big picture of where we were going. Once I learned to provide this for them, only then could they harmonize their talents to accomplish the mission.

Daily Deliberation: 8 June 2017

Sadly, most of our career goals are time-centered and not quality-focused. For example, we have X number of months to get signed off on 5-Level tasks or X number of months to complete EPME. We are even encouraged to only have certain duty titles for a limited amount of time. The reason is because time is something that can be measured and monitored easily; however, we all know a date on the calendar doesn’t make us better, our continuous efforts do. Strive to master your craft by working on it daily and not just “leveling-up” then moving on.

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