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Deliberate Development

Professional Development for the Military Leader

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Leadership

Daily Deliberation: 17 January 2020

What does this quote from Alexander the Great mean to you? To me, it means we have to be strong as leaders. We can’t be afraid to stand up for our team and to our team. I recently watched as a supervisor chastised his subordinate and then flip-flopped when he got push-back. If he could not even stand firm with his troop, how in the world is he expected to stand firm when talking to someone higher in the food chain than himself. Being a lion means we have to protect the team and also ensure we are handling issues on the team too.

Daily Deliberation: 16 January 2020

The first piece of leadership advice I have ever received was from my father when I was maybe 6-ish. He told me to “lead by example” and it is something I have considered and pondered my whole life. Sometimes it means to show others how to do the task and sometimes it means to roll up the sleeves and get dirty. However, it always means to exhibit strong character. When things are going downhill, your team is watching how you react. When there is a failure or success, your team is watching. Your actions teach your team what a leader is capable of, so make sure you are leading by example.

Daily Deliberation: 15 January 2020

Until we realize what we don’t know, we can’t learn anything new. When we start a new hobby or read a book on a new topic, we have no problem admitting we don’t know about it. However, we have a lot of trouble admitting we don’t know something about an area we are an “expert” in. Take a look at your strong areas and ask someone who is new to the area and someone who is more advanced about how they do things. I promise you will gain some new insight.

Daily Deliberation: 13 January 2020

We set out as leaders to make our teams better. We want to improve the organization overall. However, many of us do not take the time to improve ourselves first. Our team can only go as fast as their leader. Invest in the betterment of yourself and then use that to serve your team.

Daily Deliberation: 10 January 2020

I am a firm believer that most of the world’s issues are the way we treat others. People go out of their way to impress the boss, the cool kids in school, the neighbors, and anyone else we look at favorably. However, we ignore the person sitting alone at lunch, we ignore the peer who may be struggling to get their work complete. We make excuses in our minds that they are lazy or anti-social, etc. Instead of making up a story for them, why don’t we learn what their story actually is.

Top 3 Books of 2019

Reading a good book is food for our minds and our souls. Although, I admit a book does not have the power to change you, they do have the power to plant the seeds in your mind and light the fire within to drive you to change. This past year I was fortunate enough to read 30+ books and most of them I would highly recommend; however, I am forcing myself to call out just three and one I am very excited to see hit the market this month:

The Little Things by Andy Andrews. This book pushes us to break the conventional thinking of “don’t sweat the small stuff” and realize how the little details in life can really add up to affect the big picture. Short read, but definitely a great read. Side note: I would recommend as an audiobook because Andy Andrews is a riveting speaker and his story telling ability take the book to a whole other level.

Radical Candor by Kim Scott. I will be honest, I have judged this book by the cover for a couple of years and figured it would just tell me to be honest with others…I was wrong. I was very pleased after finally reading it and kicked myself for taking so long to get to it. It was a book about being honest, but so much more. It was a crash course on how to be a supervisor willing to challenge those on your team. The recurring theme of “care personally, challenge directly” is an area where all of us can improve and our teams will benefit from it immensely.

The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek. This new book by one of my favorite authors challenges us to look towards the future and to think in a transformational way. We are all leaders and we are leading teams. Most often it feels like the goal is to accomplish the mission at hand. This is the cost of admission. A real leader is developing those on her team to lead the next generation of leaders. Simon teaches us to think generationally and not just in the moment.

In addition to these three, I am adding a book that will release this month. I have been fortunate enough to get an advanced copy and am 80% through it. The book, Welcome to Management by Ryan Hawk is going to be the one book that I recommend to ALL NCOs. Ryan covers how to lead yourself and others. This book articulates and teaches through the challenge we all face as new leaders transitioning from technicians to leaders of people.

These are must reads for all leaders and you should add them to your reading lists.

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Daily Deliberation: 7 January 2020

I am not a fan of personality tests because I think they place labels on us that we allow to define us: “I am an INTJ; I am a Green; etc”.  However, I do love the insight they provide in a nonthreatening way. Some people will actually reflect on what they learn and try to improve things they don’t like. It is vital for leaders to know what makes them tick and where they are weak if they are to be productive.

Daily Deliberation: 1 January 2020

We made it to another year and a whole new decade. Still hard to fathom it being the year 2020. I can still remember how it felt when we all hit Y2K and how we imagined in the year 2020 there would be robots walking the streets along side of us and aliens in line next to us at Starbucks. Although, this has not happened, it is quite fun to imagine what the future holds.

In fact, many of us will create resolutions for the new year. I am personally not a resolution person, because reality is we will make a mistake and break the resolution. Then instead of picking ourselves right back up, we just quit. Set goals for the year instead. A goal is something to work towards where a resolution is something you are working against. A goal allows you to make a mistake and start fresh the next time.

Happy New Year everyone and thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts with you each day!

Daily Deliberation: 31 December 2019

Have you ever asked yourself how a toxic leader is able to succeed? Most likely they are getting the results that their bosses are looking for. Their leaders assume their teams must be on board because the results are good and the team is working hard to not fail. It can take years before one of these leaders is discovered for their true colors. What if their people rated on them instead of their bosses? I approach every leadership position with that thought in mind. Am I getting the results for my team that they expect? Would I want to work for me?

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