Deliberate Development

Professional Development for the Military Leader

Daily Deliberation: 1 December 2018

All to often we spend hours and even days on creating the perfect plan. The only problem is that plan is useless the moment it is put into action. Nothing ever goes exactly as planned and that scares us. Don’t give up making a plan, just put it into action a bit sooner. Commit to where you are heading and then take the steps to get there. Plan for the next step, not the next 50 steps. When you are committed to an end game and plan the next step and then move into action, you will succeed.


Daily Deliberation: 30 November 2018

Someone once said that history is important to learn, because it always repeats itself and the wise person will survive. The same is true with how people act and think. The same leadership principles we discuss today were in play thousands of years ago, they just didn’t have the motivational posters on the wall. Study the underlying themes and principles of those who preceded us so we can mentor those who will succeed us.

Daily Deliberation: 29 November 2018

It always makes me smile when I hear someone talking about a person or subject as if they know all of the facts. I usually just let them go on and on. Why do people feel the need to educate others on things they haven’t had the time to educate themselves on? If you want to be the person who educates others; educate yourself first.

Daily Deliberation: 28 November 2018

When we are about to step out of our normal routine, we hear voices say to stop. Sometimes it is our own voice and sometimes it is from another. Take a step back and think about what it would mean to be successful in this new endeavor and what is the worst case scenario. Almost every single time, the risk of trying something new is minimal compared to what the voices are saying.

Daily Deliberation: 27 November 2018

There is a big difference between: “I am going to read more this week” and “I set aside time on my calendar to read from 7-7:30 each day this week.” If you are not willing to make time for something, stop talking about it.

6 Books for Any Phase of Your Career

One of the questions I get a lot is about what books I would recommend for someone to read. Quick answer is any book that holds your attention is the one YOU need to read. Whether it is fiction or nonfiction, you get to take a journey into the mind of others when you read what they write. Although, I mostly read books about leadership, I have greatly benefited from fiction novels too.

Here are the books I feel are a must read for certain phases in your life/career or if you are mentoring another in these phases:

Preparing for a transition: Do Over by Jon Acuff. Jon teaches how to build a career savings account to set you up for anything life can throw at you. Even if you are not about to move jobs or careers, the advice will make you more valuable to your current team.

Finding your purpose as a leader: Start with Why by Simon Sinek. Any person or organization can explain what they do; some can explain how they are different or better; but very few can clearly articulate why. This book has changed the perspective of many and is a must read for everyone.

Facing a change: Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson. I have read this book more than any other. Every time I have made a change in my career since I made Tech Sergeant, I have re-read this or listened to it on audio. It is a great source teaching us how to view new opportunities and never to rest on our laurels.

Early in your career. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. This is one of the first leadership books that I have read and it changed my perspective in many areas. It helped to lay out a framework for me to apply all of the lessons I learned to that point and build a foundation for the future.

Stand out from the masses: Atomic Habits by James Clear. This is a newer book, but I read it twice in a row. James teaches how to change the way we look at habits and how to use them to our advantage. I am big fan of taking small steps each day toward a much larger finish line and this book is a great tool to help you blueprint it.

There are so many others, but these are the most common phases people are in and ask me about. Any others you can think about and why?

As a side note: if you buy a book from these links, Amazon pays us a commission and it doesn’t cost you anything extra. My goal is to raise enough to remove the ads from the website. 

Daily Deliberation: 25 November 2018

I remember wanting to learn martial arts as a child. I watched Karate Kid and checked out some books from the local library. After countless hours of self tutelage, I was still not an expert. In fact, I learned more in the first week of an actual martial arts class than I did in all of those books. We have to put what we study into motion. If not, it is just like a book on a shelf in our minds. The knowledge might be there, but it is useless without action.

Daily Deliberation: 24 November 2018

I have been guilty of doing this a lot. I have actually quit new endeavors before they had a chance to take hold. I have made excuses not to try something new, because I might look like an idiot. We need to stop worrying about the bad things that could happen and be present in the moment. We can actually sabotage our futures by worrying about the next step so much that we forget to do something vital now. It is like when a football player starts to run before they catch the ball. Ensure you are fully in this moment before you think about the next.

Daily Deliberation: 23 November 2018

Lately, I have been reading about Gandhi. It is amazing how he was a gentle and meek man by all appearances; however, he had the soul of a great warrior. He showed us how to win a fight was not by being the strongest, but by earning the respect of his enemy. This idea can be carried into how we deal with bad bosses or work environments. When we don’t like our current situation, we get to choose how we respond. We can’t walk in the door throwing punches, but we can work to earn their respect without sacrificing who we are.

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