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Deliberate Development

Professional Development for the Military Leader

Daily Deliberation: 4 April 2020

This quote was written on the white board across from my desk as a reminder to get up and insert myself into where the work was being completed. I saw what it looked like when leaders made decisions without exploring the 2nd and 3rd order effects and this was a deeply rooted fear. By seeing firsthand the struggles and successes of our team, we learn their true needs. Only then, can we make decisions that better enable them to complete the mission.

Daily Deliberation: 3 April 2020

Be visible, be interested, and be involved is my formula for trust. We can never truly know what our team brings to the table until we go where they are and experience what they are doing. Even though I worked the flightline for years in all of the elements and under harsh conditions, I still found myself humbled years later when I would go out with the team. Hanging out with them as they worked in the 110 degree desert sun, showed me a lot of opportunities to make their lives better. It gave me perspective when making decisions in the future. Just because you or I had to struggle, doesn’t mean we have to let others do the same. We know the value of each drop of water, of each effort our team delivers…let’s prove it to them.

Daily Deliberation: 2 April 2020

Hard work does pay off; however, a lot of our hard work can be eliminated or reduced if we look to solve problems. When we take the time to solve a small problem in our area, it makes our lives better. I remember this cord that stretched to the desk many people used. If we moved anything near the cord, it would come unplugged. We all learned to work around it and “avoided” this problem. Eventually, someone replaced the short extension cord with a longer one and rerouted the cord. This was no longer a problem. Something so simple and yet no one else thought of how to solve the issue, instead we were simply looking for new ways to live with the problem. Solve problems, don’t nurture them.

Daily Deliberation: 1 April 2020

So many of us get placed into situations that scare us. We are asked to brief the boss on a plan or a problem. We are asked to take over a shop that is failing. We are asked to supervise an amazing team. Change and the unknown scare the crap out of us. However, I bet if we all looked back on similar moments in our past, there were other times like this. Each time we did survive and we learned something valuable. Give it a go and be confident you will survive!

Give it Your Best

When I was an Airman, my first duty assignment was on an Army base and we were a tenant unit.  All of our support functions (FSS) were 90 minutes away and the FW’s leadership changed out, so the Command Chief came TDY to work with our leadership, see how they have been supporting us, and asked to do a lunch with the Airmen.  The unit rounded up 10 or so of us to go have lunch. 

Chief started the conversation by asking about how life was here and the struggles and so forth.  After a while, we got onto the subject of attitude, and he asked the group, how many of you wake up, roll into the restroom, start getting ready, and look yourself in the mirror and say, I’m going to do a bad job today? The room sat quiet.  He broke the silence telling us no one does that.  We all look at the mirror and tell ourselves to go get it and do the best we can. Starting the day off with the right attitude helps your overall mindset.

That lesson stuck with me over the years about how attitude sets the tone. I recently started a one-year remote tour and before I was leaving most people were surprised that I was excited to go.  I knew what this assignment had to offer me: opportunities.  My attitude is that I take any opportunity the AF has to offer me because those opportunities are how we grow as people. The opportunities for me broke into this is the first time being on a flying base, new food, new culture, new friendships, new challenges, and new goals. 

Every opportunity will have their upside and downside, how you tackle them starts with your attitude.  For the past 13 years, on the days I think are going to be hard, while I’m standing there shaving, I can hear that voice reminding me to go give it my best.

Make it Happen.

Daily Deliberation: 31 March 2020

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: 30 March 2020

Ever see those people who have something to say at every meeting? Most of the time they are not adding an ounce of value and usually derailing the conversation. Why? So often we feel the need to chime in because we want to contribute. Next time you are about to speak out, think about if the group could still succeed without that comment. If they can, no need to say anything.

Daily Deliberation: 29 March 2020

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: 28 March 2020

I wish I was strong enough to never have negative thoughts about my own abilities. If I were, I would be writing and mentoring others full time. Our thoughts control our attitude and our attitude controls our actions. Driving negative thoughts from our mind is much harder than most of us would like it to be. However, we all know the other side of the coin is much shinier.

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