Deliberate Development

Professional Development for the Military Leader


One on One Leader

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.

Daily Deliberation: 27 June 2017

As I have gotten older my mom’s “you can be whatever you want to be” advice has taken a different meaning. I am pretty confident I will never become a brain surgeon or beat Lebron James one-on-one. There are certain jobs in the military that I would not do well in either, but I am ok with that. We don’t have to be the wing commander to have a voice or be a leader. I see new Airmen and Lieutenants leading every single day. In fact, it is these “boots-on-the-ground” leaders who are the true leaders pushing the mission with a can-do attitude. I do not need rank or authority to be a leader; I need to have strong character traits. I can’t always control ‘what’ my job will be, but I can control who I am.

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: 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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