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Deliberate Development

Professional Development for the Military Leader

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One on One Leader

Win the Leadership Long Game

Everyone know that guys or girl; they are the one who everyone looks to for guidance; they are reassuring, trusted, confident and display a sense of power over their surroundings. In short: people want to be like them. In a business setting these behaviors instill pride in the followers driving development of enduring leadership qualities. In this entry I will examine Idealized Influence and Inspirational Motivation, as well as ways you can use them in your work center to develop leaders.

In my eyes, Idealized Influence and Inspirational Motivation feed into one another, and there is a lot of cross over of traits from one side to another.  Idealized Influence and Inspirational Motivation are the building blocks of your leadership toolbox; a solid foundation that builds lasting competencies for your followers.  One these attributes is charisma. I think a lot of people can identify with this trait, as they are familiar with it from books and movies, whether it be in Operation Red Wings, Bengazi, Takur Ghar, or even on Wall Street, people know what charisma is, and they respond to it.   Charisma drives Idealized Influence/Inspirational Motivation, but you don’t have to be the person described in the introduction to benefit from Idealized Influence/Inspirational Motivation.

For example, lets say you have two leaders. Leader One on the surface is lights out: finishes first in every run, can bench press a car, seems like a great leader, has a Phd AND his troops win awards, and he and his flight are great at what they do, but he doesn’t actively develop his people—he just shows up and benefits from what was already there. Outwardly this person seems like a star.

Then there is Leader Two: this person pushes themselves each day, goes back for their airmen on runs, benches a smaller car, give direct guidance/benchmarks/goals to their Airmen on what they need to do to win awards/excel in their given profession. In short Leader Two drives the development of their Airmen—shows them a vision; plants a seed, provides motivation.

Who has a bigger impact? Who is ready for more responsibility? When comparing these two leaders I think that Leader One will not win the long game, because he/she will get to a point where he/she needs to develop people and he will not have laid a foundation for continued progression (i.e. did not use Idealized Influence/Inspirational Motivation), where as Leader Two did lay the groundwork for the future of his flight/squadron. Leader Two motivated his people for the better, he developed a vision and plan on how to accomplish it, and this benefited the group. That’s what leaders do. You are in a position of authority because you have proven that you put the rest of the guys/girls well-being in front of yours. You eat last; first in line for a bad deal, last in line for a good deal. In my opinion, that’s why Leader Two will win the long game.

The following is how I work leadership development into my day, and I think this method can be adapted to any situation; in any industry:

Every morning I ask myself how can I help the people assigned to me? How can I make them better at their given tasks, how can I harness their innate gifts to increase our lethality? In other words how can I deliberately develop my people? After all, this is my task. Some days this means I work on a skill I need to develop, so I can pass it on, and some days this means that I have “Sgt time” for hands on remedial training so I can solidify my team’s understanding/application of a subject. Either way, my team is getting stronger and heading in the right direction.

I hope you have found value in this entry, and more importantly it has made you think of ways you can develop your followers.

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Transformational Leadership Development: Idealized Influence

Today I would like to touch on one of the anchor points of a critical aspect of your development as a leader: Transformational Leadership (TL).

My main motivations for writing this section are two core beliefs:

  1. It is my belief that the traits that make successful leaders can be developed by focusing on the individual, while adhering to four core tenants of TL, and
  2. Leaders must lead, not manage (you lead people and manage programs)!

TL is often praised as the key to the total development of your followers; however we are not always shown “how” to lead in our developmental PME courses, and in my experience, much of the leadership development is left up to chance by letting individuals who have certain personality traits lead lines of effort—whether they are ready or not. But how do you, or your troops, develop these traits? Throughout this series I will explore the topic of TL and how you can apply it to your situation.

The first aspect of TL I would like to examine is Idealized Influence.Idealized Influence is your ability to act in ways that make you the role model— make your troops want to be like you! You are the consummate professional. You are charismatic, on-time, prepared, calm, positive, and stay true to your ethical and moral standards in the actions you take. You are honest, reliable and actively build trust with your followers. In other words you set the example; you walk the walk—but most importantly you have a vision.

You may not have all of these skills in your leadership toolbox now, but since we have identified what traits you need to practice you can start to include them in you daily interactions with your co-workers. For example, if one of your followers is having problems with a specific task you could take action by:

  1. Showing them how to do the task,
  2. Explain its importance to the overall objectives of the organization, and
  3. Highlight how important becoming proficient at this task is, and how they will be able to build a better tomorrow for their organization.

No matter how big your area of influence is, by practicingIdealized Influence, you can make an impact with your actions and foster a positive developmental environment for you troops and yourself.

In my next entry I will explore Inspirational Motivation, and how you can use it to broaden your influence and lead your teams.

Daily Deliberation: 30 January 2018

I recently heard an interview where they were discussing how Americans no longer had hobbies. He was stating that we work all day, maybe do some exercise, kid activities and then veg out to the DVR, Netflix or social media on our phone. I remember growing up and my dad would be tinkering on an old car, my neighbor would do some woodwork, etc. They honed their hobbies until they were experts…I have seen this in my own life. I think we all should just try something different and see how it goes.

Daily Deliberation: 30 December 2017

Why is it so hard to show compassion sometimes? When it is someone I care about deeply, it is very easy to care about their feelings. However, when it is someone who is a bit annoying, it is more of a challenge to have true compassion for their problems. For me, I do my best to imagine it is my child or sibling who is going through this and then try to employ the same measures I would for them.

 

Daily Deliberation: 23 December 2017

As we are enjoying the holiday break and spending time with family and friends, really take a moment to focus on your conversation skills. Most of us (me especially) think we are much better at this than we truly are. We wait for a break in the talking so we can add our “me too” story and are not truly listening. Really listen to the other person and instead of adding a “me too”; ask more about the experience they are sharing. It is so much more fun to learn from someone else.

Daily Deliberation: 21 November 2017

I agree and disagree with this one. Agree: if we want to be respected and be the leader others want to follow, we have to be respectful and earn their hearts. Disagree: there are many superiors in my past who I could not stand and hoped they would stub their toe often; however, I complied with their direction. I respected their position, not the person. We all have the option of being respected based on the stripes on our sleeves or based on the quality of our character. Which do you choose?

Daily Deliberation: 19 November 2017

We are meant for great things. However, when the finish line of the race is designed to edify ourselves, we are missing the point. We have the gifts and talents that we do to further a cause or an ideal. We will all be pushing posies at one point, but the causes we champion will continue on. I already know you are a legend, no need to prove it to anyone else. Further someone or something and your work will live on forever.

Daily Deliberation: 17 October 2017

As I am writing this, I am sitting in my home office/kid’s playroom. My daughter is playing music on her iPad for her dolls to listen to and my son is crashing cars into LEGO people with full sound effects. I haven’t heard my own thoughts in over 30 minutes. This is how we get at work as we are surrounded with all of the background noise of our coworkers, the buzzing of our cell phones from friends or spouses and it is a true wonder we ever get anything done at all. Seek ways to take advantage of the silent moments you do have and stop filling those times with more distraction.

Daily Deliberation: 13 August 2017

Have you ever thought you weren’t good enough to do something? When you thought that, it probably crippled you with fear to try something new. I know I feel that way all the time, especially with trying to start a media company. “Who am I to think others want to read my posts or listen to my podcast?” Instead we need to stop worrying about all the people who might not like it; rather, worry about adding value to the one who will learn from us. If we can help just one other person get a little further along in life, I think that is pretty amazing.

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