Lead with the best version of yourself.

The One Thing Series: Mentoring Through the Gauntlet

The One Thing Series: Find a Mentor

By Marc Meybaum

Mentorship is the voluntary developmental relationship that exists between a person of greater experience and a person of lesser experience that is characterized by mutual trust and respect.” 

AR 600-100: Army Profession and Leadership Policy

As a young leader I had heard leaders implore my peers and I to seek out mentorship, yet I was reluctant to do so. There was the fear of approaching a person who was older, wiser, and more accomplished  and asking them to mentor me. Also, early in my career, I had a limited professional network and was still cultivating relationships; I was simply not sure who to ask. This is not to say I did not learn from more experienced professionals around me. I have benefited tremendously from the formal and informal counsel of commanders, supervisors, senior NCOs, and others. However, I could not yet fully appreciate the benefits of having mentors who not only know you but know your strengths, your weaknesses, and your character. Despite these early shortcomings, mentors found me. At crucial moments, the people I most admire in this profession took it upon themselves to foster this relationship.

The One Thing Series: Sharing the Profession with Department of the Army Civilians

By Tom Dull

 “The Army profession develops Soldiers and Army civilians who demonstrate character, competence, and commitment through career-long training, education, and experience.”

ADP 6-22: Army Leadership and the Profession

In the past year I have had the privilege of working with several Department of the Army (DA) Civilians in a variety of fields and expertise while serving at the United States Military Academy at West Point. These civilians work hard, share responsibility, and make monumental efforts to support Soldiers, Noncommissioned Officers, and Officers. However, I was surprised to learn that many of our civilians were unaware of the fact that they are active members of our Profession. For those who did understand this responsibility, they conveyed timidity to exercise this responsibility alongside their military counterparts. I learned that it was important to discuss, educate, and coach these tremendous colleagues on their responsibility within our great profession and  convey to them that they are absolutely valued and welcomed members in our community.

Operationalizing Individual and Team Development

by Scott Nusom

The field grade officer’s chief responsibility is to operationalize guidance and intent. However, often overlooked is how field grade leaders can just as effectively operationalize individual and team development. Simply stated, field grade leaders can build a useful framework for individual and team investment around teaching, professional development, team building, counseling, and influencing the organization.

Urban Combat Fitness: Preparing Today for Tomorrow’s Fight

by Benjamin Phocas

Urban warfare is a costly endeavor with a broad litany of demands. Among these vitally important demands, one that requires months if not years of preparation, is physical fitness. 

The physical toll of combat has long been a known quantity. However, the nature of urban terrain means that warfare conducted within its environs presents more physical challenges compared to other environments. A useful starting point to better understand the demands of urban warfare is 9/11. Firefighters moved as fast as they could up 110 flights of stairs, wearing up to 75lbs of gear. Anyone who has replicated this grueling physical event as part of a memorial workout knows just how physically taxing this can be without gear or the added physical stressors of combat. In a modern urban battlefield, soldiers will be doing this with all the added stressors of combat, day after day, potentially week after week. 

It is time to seriously consider how we prepare soldiers for the physical challenges of urban warfare. 

The Quarterback, the Commander, and the CEO: The Art of Gratitude

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By Joe Byerly

In 2005, my commander did something that had a profound impact on the next 14 years of my life: He wrote me a short note. He said that he appreciated my hard work, it was being noticed, and that he thought I was going to make one hell of a leader.

From that day forward, I realized that short handwritten notes can have powerful effects on people. This kind of thoughtful act can make people feel appreciated and that their contributions matter. It can pick a person up who’s having a bad day. And, the show of appreciation makes people more invested and engaged in the organization.

I’m not alone. Peyton Manning also learned the impact of a note firsthand. In a 2011 Los Angeles Times article he said, “I remember when I got my first handwritten letter from Bobby Bowden, telling me he enjoyed watching me play. Boy, it had an impact on me. He took the time to write that letter. I knew it wasn’t from his assistant.” Throughout his career, Manning wrote notes to coaches, teammates, fans, and retiring players. He said he learned the practice from his mom, who made him and his brothers write notes to thank relatives for gifts. The short video below highlights the appreciation from those who received his letters. 

Ten Important Lessons I Learned as the S3/XO

Ten Important Lessons I Learned as the S3/XO

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By Jason Gallardo

1.Build relationships- your ability to succeed will depend on your aptitude at working with your sister BNs, BDE, DIV, and post agencies.

You have been told throughout your career that relationships are everything, but it becomes even more vital as a field grade officer. If you try to go at it alone, you will fail. Be genuine and always be the first to help your peers when you can. This will make it far easier to ask for help when you need it. Remember that you are the face of your organization and how you interact on post can determine the reputation of your unit.

2. Your commander’s priorities are your priorities- but it is your duty to ensure those priorities are balanced with his/her boss’s priorities. Never let them run counter to each other.

Remember that command is very personal for your boss, and while you are 100% invested in your organization, this isn’t just a BN/SQDN fight. You are a part of larger organization and it is your duty to remain objective to ensure that you don’t let your boss counter any priorities or initiatives of your next higher boss.