Lead with the best version of yourself.

#AUSADIGITAL: Social Media and the Future of Leader Development


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By Joe Byerly

In 1920, as commander of 3rd Squadron, 3d Cavalry, then Colonel George S. Patton Jr. held a series of sixteen lectures in which we he imparted the lessons he had learned from a mixture of self study and his own experiences in World War I to the junior officers in his formation. When I think about these professional development sessions, I imagine Patton standing in front of a room full of officers with his notecards in hand, and the young captains and lieutenants scribbling furiously in their notebooks. Almost 100 years later, this method of imparting knowledge to the next generation of military leaders hasn’t changed much in our organizations.

While face-to-face professional development sessions are still a critical component of leader development, the social media platforms of today allow us to move beyond the Pattonesque sessions of the 1920s, and expand our leader development programs. We no longer have to get everyone in the same room at the same time to have a professional discussion.

On October 9th at AUSA’s National Meeting and Exposition, I will join a  panel of talented professionals to discuss the role that social media can and will play in developing leaders for the 21st Century. If you attended last year, our panel drew a full house and we had some great discussion! This year is no different.

I will be flanked by an all star panel of experts. Dr. Jim Greer, a retired U.S. Army Colonel brings an amazing career along with his PhD research on self development and personal learning networks to the discussion. Dr. Rebecca Johnson, of Marine Corps University, made waves in 2013 when she brought her ethics class onto Twitter, hosting what was probably the first professional military discussion on social media. And finally,  Captain Doug Meyer, who runs the popular leader development social media feed, Hay in the Barn Leader, and recently completed company command, understands the day to demands that we put on our company grade officers and where social media can fit into leader development.

If the topic interests you, but you don’t even now how to use Twitter, we are also running a workshop following the discussion on how Twitter works. You can even walk out of this year’s event with a “first tweet” under your belt!

It has been almost a hundred years since George Patton delivered his lectures from hand written notecards. Can we leverage social media to achieve the same end state? Can social media help to fill the gap that exists between leader attendance in professional military education? Whether you are a senior leader, company grade officer, a DA civilian, or in academia, we think this panel and our workshop will help you think differently about how you develop yourself, your team, and your organization.  And if you can’t make it out to the event, follow us on Twitter using the hashtag #AUSADIGITAL