Deliberate Development

Professional Development for the Military Leader

Daily Deliberation: 9 January 2020

I read in a Harvard Business Review article about the power of appreciation. The author said that those who don’t feel appreciated at work have a 30% higher rate of coronary disease than those who do. We are literally killing our teammates by not appreciating their efforts or listening to their concerns. Now, think about all the times you felt valued at work and how much harder you worked for that team. Why not create the same environment where you work?

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: 8 January 2020

I am the youngest of five siblings. I learned very early on that I do not have to make the mistakes to learn from them. I can easily learn from the mistakes my siblings made. However, I also realized we all seem to learn from failing more than we do from succeeding. I am not sure why we have to experience pain or witness it in order to truly learn, but we do.

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: 6 January 2020

In the early days of Internet blogging and chat rooms, I wrote a lot of articles and held many debates on religion. This is when I learned you can’t change another person with a well thought out argument. You can even refute all their viewpoints; however, when it comes to most topics, our minds are already made up. There is nothing wrong with having a conversation about things we care about, but don’t expect to change others…only they can change themselves.

Daily Deliberation: 5 January 2020

There is a saying that conflict reveals character. This is also true of authority. Watching how someone acts when they are in a leadership role says a lot about their character. I have seen people who burned down every bridge to get more for their team, I have seen those who beat their team into the ground so they look better and I have seen those who have led with humility and integrity. Reflect on how you act in positions of authority and you will see who you really are.

Daily Deliberation: 4 January 2020

Over the years, I continually hear great leaders compare being a leader at work to parenthood. We love our children and want them to succeed. We don’t alienate them or label them as losers when they mess up. They always know they have a place on the team even if they mess up. However, we also are willing to correct them and offer growth feedback because we want them to succeed, not because we want a “world’s best parent” coffee mug. We care more about their success than about being a friend. How is this any different than being a leader?

Daily Deliberation: 3 January 2020

This has been my method of learning something new for as long as I can remember. I wonder if I learned this from studying Bruce Lee or somewhere else, but it is a very effective model. When learning something new, look at what is working and what will work for you. Get rid of the extra steps and then find a way to make it your own. You will create routines and systems that work for you.

Daily Deliberation: 2 January 2020

I have told my children about the importance of learning since day one. There is nothing more important in life than to learn how to learn. You can’t better your relationships with others, help others, make dinner, or do anything without learning. We all are so eager to learn until we think we have it all figured out. We never have it all figured out…keep learning!

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