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Deliberate Development

Professional Development for the Military Leader

Daily Deliberation: 15 April 2019

Whew! This is something most of us should take to heart. Often the first thing we do when something goes wrong is look who is to blame. We all go into CYA mode and precious time is lost. Of course, we need to figure out what went wrong and it often leads to a “who”; however, the problem still exists. And almost always, the person who messed up wasn’t being malicious, they simply made an error in judgement. instead of coaching them back to where they need to be we march them throughout the unit in a metaphorical walk of atonement. Let’s focus our energy on solving the problem, growing the individual and moving forward as a team.

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Daily Deliberation: 14 April 2019

Many of us look at being a leader like Maximus Decimus Meridius in the movie Gladiator. We lead the charge into battle and are revered for our courage and battlefield prowess. Because of our technical abilities, we are usually promoted to positions of leadership. However, if we get into the weeds too often, we are not focused on the bigger picture and not helping the whole team. We need to be involved in the daily tasks being performed, but it is our primary job to equip our team with the proper training and resources. Equipping others to fight the battle is much more valuable than your individual efforts.

Daily Deliberation: 13 April 2019

I am not sure when this shift occurred within me, but I am glad it did. For me the progression went from wanting to be the best technician to becoming the best teacher. Even though both of these are based in service, they are still ultimately based on personal accolades. Then there was the transition period where I was determined to take care of others so they could succeed. I didn’t want formal recognition; however, “hoped” others knew I was the one growing my team. Now, I am more like a proud father who gets excited when my team succeeds and my efforts are not obvious. We all know how good it feels to get the recognition for a job well done, let’s help our team experience that. I promise the reward is in their success.

Daily Deliberation: 12 April 2019

It can be easy to point out flaws about others and walk away, especially if you have no stake in their success.  Having a ‘me first’ outlook doesn’t highlight you as a leader.  Helping others and thinking ‘we’ means having concern with others and being a stakeholder in their success.  A ‘me’-minded leader thinks of things in how only they think it should be and how it affects them.  A ‘we’-minded leader looks at things from a team standpoint—‘how can I help the team’ or ‘how does this affect us’?  Pointing out someone’s flaws and not extending a helping hand speaks volumes about the kind of leader you are.  Being a ‘we’ leader helps everyone succeed.

Daily Deliberation: 11 April 2019

This is something that happens to all of us at one point. We allow our days to be ran and managed by the priorities of other people. We don’t have a sense of purpose and react to the whims of our coworkers and those around us. Sure, we have to work the mission and the priorities; however, when we do not have a set plan for our time, everything becomes a priority. Take control of your life and career by simply learning to control your day.

Daily Deliberation: 10 April 2019

I know I can’t add any value to this quote by Mother Teresa. Instead of this being a cute saying, we need to view this is a call to action. Look at all of the division in our society. We have proven for the last several decades that we can set aside our differences and come together as a team regardless of beliefs, skin color, or other unique qualities. We do it so well while we are wearing the uniform, but all bets are off when we clock out for the day. Why is it such a struggle to recognize that our differences are what make us stronger? Try this: the next time someone posts something online, look at it from their perspective. Don’t think of your argument against it, think of how you can work with them.

Daily Deliberation: 9 April 2019

This is one of the biggest challenges I have as a SNCO. I have worked very hard over the years to gain the knowledge and experiences that I have to finally make it into the SNCO tier. I figured people would be in a line with interesting problems for me to solve. However, there is no line and I typically have to seek out the issues. My biggest fear was that I was not trusted and then I learned people did not want to “bother” me with an issue and they would continue to stew in it. Use your SNCOs networks, experiences and big picture views to remove the roadblocks in your path. Rule of thumb: If it is something in your daily duties, try to solve it yourself. If it is something that involves another team, get a SNCO involved.

Daily Deliberation: 8 April 2019

I think all of our units have a mission and vision statement written or hanging on some wall. We walk past it everyday and may have caught a glimpse. Sometimes, we memorize it because the Chief has called people out during roll calls. What is the purpose? EPR/OPR bullet for our leaders? At least, that is what we tend to think. A vision is intended to paint the picture for where the team is heading. Like before we start a road trip, we know we are going to grandma’s. We need to do the same thing with our teams. Tell them where we are going and the milestones we need to hit along the way and then equip them to accomplish each. This is how you turn random words on a wall into action.

Daily Deliberation: 7 April 2019

Do you agree that respect is earned? When I first started my career, I thought this was true on an individual level. For example, “he takes care of his people, he has earned my respect.” However, if you think about it, there are two different types of respect. We respect people out of fear for their position or respect them for the quality of their character. If the wing commander was the biggest jerk on the planet, we might not respect his character, but we would still follow his lawful orders out of fear for his position. Respect is always there.

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