'The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because He loves what is behind him.' -G. K. Chesterton

05 October 2009

Leadership 101

I've taken some time off from commenting on current affairs. I haven't stopped reading and watching, I've just been listening, absorbing and considering. Still, I am The Six and it's obvious to me that some leadership is in order here.

Almost 9 years in the Army and reserves. 24 years as a cop. That's 33 years in one uniform or another. A long time in anyone's book. In those 33 years I've learned a thing or two about leadership. And the lack there of.

I have been a leader and I have been led. I have served under great leaders and terrible ones. I have been a great leader and a terrible one (one must sometimes fail to see the path to success. Failure is not a sin, not learning and improving from a failure is).

So, I have a question for president obama. Where are you?

We have men dying in Afghanistan and the military leadership asking for direction. Health care and Cap and Trade are crises needing immediate solutions but Afghanistan is not?
We have a crushing national debt (that is growing literally every day) and China is playing games with the IMF.
Iran is going nuke any minute. They have lied and obfuscated until we are now faced with 2 choices, a nuclear armed Tehran or another front in The Long War. That clenched fist will very soon be holding a nuclear weapon.
America has spoken out on Health Care but is being ignored while you and your cronies prepare to ram it down our throats.
The U.N. is preparing to sell our country down the drain to Africa The Copenhagen Climate Change Treaty Draft – wealth transfer defined, now with new and improved “dignity” penalty « Watts Up ... 
Race relations haven't been this bad since Jim Crow.
Your own homeland security is branding veterans, Christians and the loyal opposition as terrorists while the actual terrorists are being feted as returning heroes and sent to tropical isles.
American Somoa is in ruins.
Trust and confidence in government is at all time lows.

The Olympics? Really? The 2016 Olympics aren't even a blip on the horizon. If we, if you, don't get a handle on our domestic problems and return America to a semblance of sanity we may not even be a country in 2016.
I saw you do a commercial for a new comedy show on tv.
You have almost daily press conferences where you say....nothing.
You focus on the trivial and when you don't you focus on things a majority of Americans oppose.
You're obsessed with yourself, to the detriment of your country. You act like a celebrity and not the leader of what is still the most powerful nation on Earth.

You are a leader, it's time you started acting like it.

Here's a clue from my military and police background. Leadership is the process of influencing others to accomplish the mission by providing purpose, direction, and motivation.
Got that? Purpose, Direction and Motivation.

Here's a primer on basic military Leadership. Read it and in the name of all that's holy, learn from it.

The basic responsibilities of a leader are: Accomplishment of the mission and the welfare of the soldiers. This applies to you too, you are the Commander in Chief. The mission is the advancement of America (That's America in case you missed it, not europe or the middle east or bumfuckistan. America) and the welfare of it's citizens.

The Professional Military Ethic is:
-Loyalty to the nation, the Military, and the unit.
-Selfless service. Selfless service is defined as putting the needs and goals of the nation, the Military, your unit and your soldier ahead of your personal needs and interest.

The four individual values that all soldiers are expected to possess are:
-Courage: overcoming fears of bodily harm and doing your duty (physical courage), and overcoming fears of other than bodily harm (moral courage) while doing what ought to be done.
-Candor: is being frank, open, honest, and sincere with your soldiers, seniors and peers.
-Competence: is proficiency in required professional knowledge, judgment, and skills.
-Commitment: means the dedication to carry out all unit missions and to serve the values of the unit, Military, and the country.

The four actions that should be taken in assuming a new leadership position are:
-Determine what is expected of your unit.
-Determine what is expected of you.
-Determine the strengths and weaknesses of your subordinates.
-Determine what other key people whose willing support is necessary to accomplish your job.

There are 23 Traits of Character:
Bearing, Confidence, Courage, Integrity, Decisiveness, Justice, Endurance, Tact, Initiative, Coolness, Maturity, Improvement, Will, Assertiveness, Candor, Sense of Humor, Competence, Commitment, Creativity, Self-discipline, Humility, Flexibility, Empathy/Compassion.

There are eleven principles of good leadership:
-Be tactically and technically proficient
-Know yourself and seek self-improvement
-Know your soldiers and look out for their welfare
-Keep your soldiers informed
-Set the example
-Ensure the task is understood, supervised and accomplished
-Train your soldiers as a team
-Make sound and timely decisions
-Develop a sense of responsibility in your subordinates
-Employ your unit in accordance with its capabilities
-Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions

Leadership Principles are used as general rules which have guided the actions and conduct of successful leaders in the past. The decision-making process is a conscious process for selecting a course of action from two or more alternatives for the purpose of achieving a desired result.The principle forces you should consider when making an ethical decision are:
-Legal standards
-Basic national values
-Traditional Military values
-Actual Military values
-Individual values
-Institutional Pressures

The seven steps in the decision-making process are:
-Identify the problem
-Gather information
-List courses of action
-Analyze and compare courses of action
-Make a decision; Select a course of action
-Make a plan
-Implement the plan

Actions that good leaders avoid are: Violation of dignity to individuals, mass punishment or ridicule of the troops, hurry-up and wait formations and similar drills that waste time, resting before his men, shirking the responsibility of checking his men's position, blaming the next higher in command for a rough and unsuccessful mission, blaming subordinates for a squad's failure in satisfactorily completing a specific mission, eating before his men have eaten, favoritism and moral weakness.

A good leader must have a thorough knowledge of command essentials. The command essentials are: Command policies, authority, responsibility, chain of command and other channels, military rank, military discipline and conduct, and the enlisted aspects of command.

A leader must BE, KNOW and DO. Defined, this means:
A leader must BE:
-A person of strong and honorable character
-Committed to the professional Military ethic
-An example of individual values
-Able to resolve complex ethical dilemmas
A leader must KNOW:
-The four factors of leadership and how they affect each other
-Human nature
-His/Her job
-His/Her unit
A leader must DO:
-Provide direction
-Provide purpose
-Provide motivation

A leader provides direction by:
-Knowing and maintaining standards
-Setting goals
-Making decisions and solving problems
-Supervising and evaluating

One of the essentials of leadership is to seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions. Defined, this means to take the initiative in the absence of Orders and accept the responsibility for your actions.

Supervision is keeping a grasp on the situation and ensuring that plans and policies are implemented properly, including giving instructions and continuously inspecting the accomplishment of a task. The danger of too little supervision is that it can lead to miscommunications, lack of coordination, disorganization or the perception by subordinates that the leader does not care. The danger of too much supervision is that it stifles the initiative, breeds resentment, and lowers morale and motivation. Morale is the mental, emotional, and spiritual state of mind of an individual. It is how a soldier feels. High morale strengthens courage, energy and the will to fight. Esprit is the spirit, the soul, and the state of mind of a unit that the soldier identifies with.

Read this next section carefully. Maybe even more than once. It's important.
Integrity is the utter sincerity, honesty and candor. It is the avoidance of any kind of deceptive, shallow, or expedient behavior.

Justice is the fair treatment of all people regardless of race, religion, color, sex, age, or national origin.
Tact is a sensitive perception of people, their values, feelings, and views which allows positive interaction.
An unselfish leader is one who avoids providing for his own comfort and advancement at the expense of others.
Ethics are rules or standards that guide a individual or a group to do the moral or right thing.

Some of the pressures to be unethical are:
-Pressure from self-interest
-Pressure from peers
-Pressure from subordinates
-Pressure from a senior

I found these as I browsed the collected wisdom of various Military leadership teachings. Some I remembered and some I re-learned but none of them were foreign concepts to me and they damn well shouldn't be to you either. I know these are from a primarily military point of view but they work in policing and in daily life as well. Especially when that daily life is being the President of The United States of America. I'm just a dumb cop and I know these things, why don't you?
I learned them from instructors who were passing along the collected wisdoms from generations of good military leaders. I learned them from police instructors who were trying to make me understand the awesome responsibilities I was about to undertake. They've been gussied up and translated into new speak but if you read them carefully one thing will leap out at you.

All good leaders follow these basic guidelines
And trust me when I say that they are the basic course only.

Mr. President, you are failing at these most basic of leadership precepts and you are destroying my country in that failure. Go to West Point, the Naval Academy, the Air Force Academy or the Coast Guard Academy. Attend OCS, or one of the NCO courses. Go to CGSC. Hell, go to a good Police Academy but go. Not as CinC but as a student. Listen and learn. If you have the time to lobby the Olympic Committee you have the time to attend leadership classes.

I am a proud American, a supporter of the Constitution and all it means. I love America and all she stands for. You, Mr. President, must exhibit the leadership this country needs in order to preserve her for those who come after us. You can do this. You must.

And If you need advice, The Six stands ready to supply that assistance. I know one or two people who could give you that leadership primer you so desperately need. At no charge.

But quickly please. It's not too late but it's getting there in a tearing hurry.

The Six

1 comment:

Sew Bee It said...

Amen Papa...

Now, if only he weren't so arogant as to think he's better then all this.