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Everything posted by Shammer

  1. not sure why this still gets asked in the media. must be the front line concept and movies theatrics that bring it up. the war on terror is pushing 20 years with no modern fight being like a front line and women are there everyday and have been. the author of that article is a bit of a clown bringing up strength, which was never the issue. plus today fitness and strength is a huge factor which led to the army finally changing their fitness requirements to something more realistic and geared towards battle and combat. as long as everyone in uniform is treated independent of the gender and equally as a soldier, sailor, airman and marine than standards will be followed and not changed to "accommodate" as that is not needed. Sure most women cannot move most men in full gear and drag them out of a vehicle. but that's not because they are women. it is because some idiot leader took a 110 pound human and made them the battle buddy of a 250lb human which is not only stupid but bad leadership.
  2. Arizona State Militia - Arizona's Premier State Guard Resource! Join Now @ http://bit.ly/2ghEMyI Watch the video to see what we're all about!
  3. Our women go through the same training and selection process as everyone else.
  4. long end of the year. i'll be around more and increase my interaction and activity. is there anything members have requested to see more of?
  5. Company Descriptions Alpha Made up of members from Pima & Santa Cruz Counties as well as outlying areas. Alpha company has a training meeting the second Thursday of each month and a training day on the last weekend and hosts our summer statewide training exercise. Headquartered in Tucson, this group is currently focused on evaluating our developing training programs and products. This is where you can meet the President of the Board and State Commander most frequently. Their training focus leans more towards large scale support activities. Bravo Made up of members from Mohave County and the outlying areas. Bravo company has a training meeting the first Wednesday of the month and a training day the last weekend of the month and hosts our spring statewide training exercise. Headquartered in the Kingman area, this group is currently focused on developing individual skills, evacuation, longterm survival and public support. This group has the most public local support of any company, has a relationship with the city and local law enforcement. They regularly participate in local parades and holiday activities as a welcome member of the community. Charlie Made up of members from Maricopa & Pinal Counties as well as the outlying areas. Charlie company has a teleconference training meeting once a month, two weekend training days a month, with occasional overnight exercises. They also host our Labor Day FTX, which is our largest statewide training exercise each year. Headquartered in the Phoenix area, this group is currently focused on collective tasks, security and community response. This is our largest group where it would not be uncommon to have 30+ members at any event. HHC The headquarters company is incorporates leaders located across the state. HHC develops the overall training focus, maintains contact with representatives from the state government, coordinates statewide activities, provides specialized training, establishes policy and facilitates statewide training exercises and real world support activity. The responsibility of the C2 element is to coordinate all facets of ASM with the board of trustees. Board of Trustees The Board of Trustees/Directors, manage the financials, public support, social media and public affairs of the Arizona State Militia. Other Locations Flagstaff, Show Low, Prescott and Yuma often have large numbers of applicants with fluctuating membership due to commitments. In Yavapai and Apache counties we have had over 25 applicants in each area during FY 2108. All applicants are informed of our intent to grow in those areas, however, most want to join a group already in progress. While understandable, that does increase the challenge of establishing the ASM in those areas. If you apply from these areas understand that most likely there is only a small number of members, or, we are currently trying to initiate membership in that area. This may take significant effort on the local memberships part to grow during the onset.
  6. ASM Training Program PurposeThe purpose of the ASM Training Program is to insure each member of the Arizona State Militia has successfully completed a course of instruction in the legal requirements, structure, policies and procedures within the organization. Successful completion of this task will allow each member to advance within the organization and assist in the continual improvement involving unit operations and community support activities.Each section of the training requirements are designed in a specific logical order to build on prior training. It is essential only specific instructors are used that are certified and/or professionally trained in the subject area. Successful operation of this course will hinge on unit sponsorship, leadership participation and the removal of personal feelings that can become training distractors.Integration Training: For new members Must complete in order to pass the probationary requirement Non-optional training Coordinated, resourced and documented by the Training NCO(s) Some classes may be waived on a case by case basis Basic Skills Training: For members assigned to the tactical platoon Team leaders and Squad Leaders are the primary trainers Evaluated by Squad Leaders and the Platoon Leader Ongoing training that should be reviewed and practiced regularly Leadership Training: For all leadership positions Specific courses for tactical and non tactical Designed to assist in successful operation of the applicable element Intent is to have classes semi-annually Company Training: Training for an entire company Must be re-trained annually Scheduled by the Company Commander Will be reviewed by the state every two years Integration Training This program contains some of the subject areas that will evolve when needed and be reviewed annually by the state and company leadership. A few of the main topics are summarized below.Legal considerations - Militia, gun, state & federal landIt is essential that the first class be conducted in a comfortable, informal classroom setting. This allows all members to meet each other and openly participate in the training. This class should be first as it will highlight individuals with a contrary personal opinion that does not fit with the organization while insuring each member has been exposed to legal considerations. This is not a subject area that should be presumed every person either knows or will learn. The training should be closed with some form of written test combing multiple choice and true/false questions numbering no more than 25, in some cases a hands on test will be more appropriate.The focus needs to be based on existing laws and their interpretation based on the courts, not an individuals biased viewpoint or uneducated personal opinion regarding legal interpretation of the law. Understanding the state laws governing the militia, officials who dictate or request militia presence, who is in command of any militia called into service, should be at the forefront of the state law discussion. The federal aspects needs to extend beyond the personal interpretation of the 2nd Amendment and focus on federalization of the militia; requirements, steps and procedure. Existing militias with stigma based on prior events, understanding federal and local law enforcement organizations the militia may come in contact with and initial exposure to the emergency management system/MEMS training. MEMS is the only recognized training program used and required by the few states that officially recognize the unorganized militia whom utilize their participation in state events and train with the national guard. It is to the ASM advantage to approach the subject by choice rather than in response to a mandate that may arrive prior to participation with the state government.Understanding federal and state land laws and the governing bodies is more significant in Arizona than most states. It is important to know what lands are controlled by what agencies, requirements or denials of firearms presence and/or usage, hunting and fishing laws and the associated lotteries, leisure activities to include, but not limited to, hiking and camping. Resulting fines, fees and legal outcomes.Weapons Safety and OperationThe safest and most practical way to approach the handling, safety and operation of firearms is to utilize our existing NRA certified instructors. These individuals have received proven training that is uniform and a necessity to insure range safety with the varying skill levels. There are several ASM members with minimal weapons knowledge and skill who have received this training and are among our safest members handling firearms. There are also members with some experience or perceived mastery of weapons handling that are habitually poor examples of safety and attempt to train in weapons manipulation using inefficient and poor methodology. This training will rectify that while requesting all members to obtain professional training. This allows for a clear delineation of liability for the individual and the organization, pursuant to any future unwanted safety incidents that result from improper and negligent firearm operations. The instructor will outline testing and performance requirements. Until an adequate NRA instructor is certified, instructors with relevant experience will cover safe weapons handling and range safety & operation protocols.MedicalThe basic required medical tasks all members should know. These subjects should be covered by trained and certified medical personnel, EMTs, certified trainers by ASM or instructors with relevant experience. These are common core subjects focusing on the IFAK, heat casualties, patient assessment, patient evacuation, ECC and related areas. Portions of this class should be closed with a written test combining multiple choice and true/false questions numbering no more than 25.Map Reading & Land NavigationThis class covers the basic map reading, polar plots, identifying azimuth, location, orientation, measurement and utilization. Additionally the 2nd half of training should be outdoor to establish pace count, basic compass usage, alternative and field expedient directional methods, and identifying terrain features.ASM Structure, policies and proceduresThis session covers the things we want to keep close-hold until it is determined every participant who has progressed to this point will be excepted, rather than excused, from the organization. Identifying the military and ASM personal structure, unit designations, identifications, locations, and leadership positions. Covering organizational polices of which there should be several designed by this point. Discussing procedures including, but not limited to, handling disputes, chain of command, the support channel, participating in public events, conduct and expectations. Issuance of any SOP that is designed and designated for the initial trainee. Also, general details about our bug out process.While many of these items may be lightly covered along the way a final blanket discussion will allow for group uniformity of training and allow time to complete this session with individual recognition by distributing the unit patch and for some, identifying a duty position and/or promotion. This will be covered by the company leadership.Course RequirementsRegardless of current, former or prospective participation in ASM this training should be considered a requirement for everyone. It is understandable that a very minimal select few may not need one or more classes as they are the individuals with that professional training and experience. Ex., An NRA instructor or graduate does not need one or both NRA courses. However, those without either certificate should be required to attend the course. Instruction should be tailored to the lowest common denominator and not to the instructor or a leaders individual desire or presumption of a trainees knowledge base. Basic Skills Training Small Unit TacticsTactical training needs to be limited to very basic buddy team and fire team operations. Appropriate subjects would be three basic movement formations, signaling, moving in formation, getting online, aid and litter, rally points, using key terrain, moving in a stack outdoors, cover & concealment, advancement and withdrawal, to name a few. This will be the first event where the trainees utilize firearms in a group and not in a range environment as well utilize communications and individual strengths to work as a team, conquering individuality, communication and personality conflict. This class should be closed with a squad leader and/or platoon leader evaluation as appropriate. A knowledgable instructor with relevant experience will be used in cases where the leadership either doesn’t exist or has not yet obtained the necessary level of proficiency.CommunicationsA broad subject requiring a narrow focus for initial training. Appropriate subjects would include basic hand and arm signals that compliment the small unit tactical training in the BST program. The use of signaling devices for passage of lines, emergency response, SAR, international marking systems for aircraft, the communication structure of ASM or the military system up to the point of any ASM communications plan development, basic encoding and cryptology, radio communication procedures and protocol. A brief discussion of the current radios in use, why those are not the only ones that will work and other choices available, the current channel designations and uses. Additionally a brief overview of amateur radio requirements and available organizations that conduct testing as well as proven current books and websites designed to properly prepare for the licensing tests. This class should be closed with a written test combining multiple choice and true/false questions numbering no more than 25. Leadership Training This training is a multi-course program designed to benefit the leadership in the construction and dissemination of needed documents, evaluation process, communication, leader responsibilities, duties and expectations of both the tactical and non-tactical leader. After the joint introductory course, follow on training is specific to the tactical and non-tactical platoon. Tactical leadership training will involve maneuvering units, mission planning, train the trainer, critical thinking, strategic planning, intelligence gathering, support requests, reporting and establishing a defensive plan. The non-tactical course is specific to the needs and requirements of the headquarters/support platoon. This involves providing mission support, operating a command posts, camp requirements specific to each duty position, defensive requirements, map tracking, mission planning, evacuation and resource management. Company Training This training is specific to the company where smaller groups would not be conducive to the subject matter. These areas are required to be refreshed annually. Examples include, but are not limited to, formations and active shooter.
  7. Shammer


  8. Some of the most valuable lessons I learned while serving in the military were the 11 leadership principles. These are a step-by-step guide to becoming a better leader in any environment, from the battlefield to the boardroom.“B Triple K Set Meds” is the pronunciation of the acronym BKKKSETMEDS and when used as a guide, can help you become a better leader.Be Technically and Tactically ProficientThis isn’t just a militaristic interpretation, it simply means know what you’re doing and have the ability to explain the reasoning behind what you’re doing. It does you no good to perform a task over and over again without seeing how it affects the bigger picture.You don’t need to be more proficient than those underneath you, but you should be able to accomplish anything they can and answer questions as to why things are done a certain way.Know Yourself and Seek ImprovementNo one’s perfect; be realistic with yourself, identify what your weaknesses are and work to be stronger in those areas. If you don’t know a certain aspect of something or are unable to perform a certain task, it’s not the end of the world.Work to become better, find the solution and go the extra mile. Always be evolving as a leader and a person.Keep Your People InformedNothing kills morale of the people underneath you faster than uncertainty. If you can’t be honest and up front with the people you lead, you can’t expect them to trust you or keep you informed.You as the leader, should be seen as stable and upfront, not as someone who hides information or retains details important to the people you’re leading. If your team didn’t do something correctly, let them know. However, be wary of falling into the trap of only pointing out failures and not successes.Know Your People and Look Out for Their WelfareThis should almost go without saying, but know the people working for you and take care of them. It could be something simple, like providing them with food or making sure they’re not having problems at home.If someone working for you had their AC go out at home, giving them the time to make a phone call to set up an appointment to fix it during working hours would go miles to endear them to you. Get to know people’s strengths and weaknesses. With that information, you’ll be able to utilize them to their greatest potential.Set the ExampleBe the person you want your workers to be. You shouldn’t expect anyone to do anything you wouldn’t or haven’t done. At the same time, you need to set the standard you expect from the people you’re leading and don’t accept less. Don’t be a hypocrite, be the person you would want working for you.Ensure Each Task is Understood Supervised and AccomplishedMost often, failure can be attributed to a lack of understanding and supervision. This doesn’t mean micromanaging or talking down to anyone. It means explaining the task thoroughly and verifying the person understands what it is you need them to do. Afterwards, ensuring the task was completed.Let the team attempt the task without your guidance if it’s not an overly complex or dangerous one. You may learn something about the job you never thought of. If you see an area where they’re struggling, don’t be afraid to step in and offer guidance. If they’re still unable to accomplish the task, they’ll be more receptive to your instruction now that they know their way wasn’t working.When this is done without any micromanaging or a “you’re doing it wrong” attitude, the result is someone that understands what they thought would work didn’t, but also that they needed to open up their mind to your guidance to learn from you.Train Your People as a TeamIn most cases, people don’t work most efficiently by themselves. By a team, I don’t mean it has to be a big hand-holding “YAY TEAM” venture. It means they’re all working towards similar goals. It means they understand that something one person does, or fails to do, can help the team succeed or can set everyone back.Using open communication throughout the team goes a long way to help with preventable setbacks. Everyone needs to be working towards the same end.Make Sound and Timely DecisionsDon’t become indecisive, or take too long to make decisions. The appearance of hesitation or display of mental weakness is something you should never show someone looking to you for guidance. If you don’t know something, don’t make something up. Let them know you don’t know, but that you’ll find out. Be sure to find the answer, follow up and tell them.If you’re unable to decide on paper or plastic, how can you expect anyone to believe what you’re saying? Think carefully about the decisions you need to make and don’t leave room for argument or misinterpretation. “We need X, Y, Z done today,” is much better than “I think we need X, Y, Z done today.” Keep your decisions decisive.Employ Your People in Accordance with their CapabilitiesMost of this stems from knowing your people. Know who can do what and what they’re best at. You wouldn’t ask a small person to lift heavy things, just like you wouldn’t want a tall person at a short desk. Some people work well in chaos, while some don’t. The knowledge of these capabilities allows you to make the most effective use of your people.Don’t burn people out and don’t let them get bored. Ask how they’re handling the task you’ve given. Not from a “I want to see if you’re just sitting on your ass all day” perspective, but from a “how is the workload effecting you” stance. It’s no good to spend all your time investing in training and integrating a person into your employ, only to have them burn out.Develop a Sense of Responsibility Among your SubordinatesDelegation is key in handling large work loads. Giving someone a sense of ownership over a task or area will work wonders. They’ll be more likely to feel a personal investment in what they produce.Encourage them to seek new challenges and help them to overcome them. Promote the development of new skills and reward successes. If tasks that were assigned weren’t accomplished, handle them and ensure the failure points are addressed.Seek Responsibility and Take Responsibility for Your ActionsBeing willing to take on harder jobs will push your potential as a leader. To grow as a leader, you need to be taken out of your comfort zone every once in a while and learn from that experience.Push out into new horizons and look for ways to assume more responsibility. Also, be willing to take responsibility not only for your successes, but also your failures. If you mess up something, be upfront about it. Address the issue, own it and learn from it.
  9. “What can I do to help you do your job?” This question is frequently asked by people in leadership as a way to communicate they care about what their employees need. It helps a leader get a sense for what someone believes their job is and the resources they think are lacking, but it really doesn’t need to be asked. In fact, good leaders can answer this question themselves because everyone needs three important things from those leading them. Too often we think the most important things we can give the people in our organization are more resources, better technology, more manpower, etc. The truth is these are all secondary to the top three things every leader needs to give his or her subordinates. In this brief article, I will explain what these three things are, why they’re important, and why we tend to shy away from giving them to people who work for us.The first thing we can give our team members is trust. We have to trust the individuals working for us because without trust we never establish a solid relationship with them. If we can’t trust someone working for us then either we need to leave or they need to leave, but trust is a fundamental element of a good working relationship. If we hired someone we have to trust our instincts that the person we hired is competent and able to do their job. If we inherited an employee hired by another person before us we need to establish a connection with them and get a sense of whether or not we can trust them to do what needs to be done. That might mean letting them make mistakes, mentoring them to improve the work they do or investing some of that precious time of ours into their professional development. Whatever we have to do we need to find a way to trust them. When people feel trusted they become more creative, try new things, and maintain an open honest communication. For most of us, trust doesn’t come easy because it makes us vulnerable. Trusting someone is making yourself vulnerable to the fact your instincts may be wrong about someone and that means you’re not a good judge of someone’s ability. That can get translated into the negative belief that you’re not a good leader. You have to be confident in who you are in order to trust others because trust is foundational for organizational success.Next to trust the second thing a leader has to give to his or her subordinates is empowerment. If you trust someone but never allow them to be empowered to make decisions, exercise their expertise, or shape the direction of their work, the trust you establish is never capitalized on and therefore all you have is a nice relationship without results. Empowering people is a way the many voices of an organization become a type of musical choir singing the organizational chorus. Everyone, in their own way and with their own talents gets to contribute to the organization when you empower employees. Sure, everyone can’t just do what they want, that’s not how a choir functions. Two people singing in two different keys are not making music, they're making noise. However, when a tenor and a soprano sing their notes in their range along with a bass vocalist you have music. Each contributes to the song in their own way, but they’re working toward a common complimentary sound. If you’re the leader of an organization you have to empower each department and employee to contribute to the organizational song which is the vision and mission of the organization. You already trust them; you know they can play their instruments, now empower them to make music. You’re the director, the conductor of the symphony, so empower them to make music. Good leadership trusts and empowers people in such a way they feel some level of ownership in what the organization is doing. ALCOA, a large aluminum company found all over the globe is a great place to study how empowerment and trust can create significant payoffs. In order to be one of the safest companies in the world, ALCOA empowered the people on their production lines and trusted them to decide if there was a safety hazard or something not right during production. Alcoa employees could stop production on the spot if something didn’t seem safe. It didn’t matter if you were functioning as a laborer, a mid-level manager, or a plant supervisor, if you felt something wasn’t safe the company trusted you to stop production and address the problem. That’s trust because if you understand how much money a company loses when production stops, you get a sense for what it means to trust and empower employees. Because of this trust and empowerment, as well as a number of other factors, ALCOA has had some of the best safety records in their industry. That’s pretty impressive. Leaders shy away from empowering others because it means losing control. It’s something leaders need to get over and recognize by empowering others we are exercising some of the most control and power a person can be trusted with. Learn from ALCOA, empowering the people in your organization simply means extending your leadership reach into places you wouldn’t normally have access to.Lastly, and perhaps even more important than the previous two ideas, a leader must inspire those they lead. For many people what they do on a day by day basis can become routine and begin to lose meaning and purpose. It’s human nature to get bored with tasks that are repetitive. Leaders can’t let that happen. Each day they need to inspire others to see the bigger picture. They have to be an incarnation of the “Why” an organization exists. People have to see that their leaders believe in the organizational mission, have captured the vision of the organization, and live by the values and ideas that reflect the reason the organization exists. Leaders have to take the time to walk among the people they lead and inspire them to realize their everyday tasks are bigger than the work that feels empty and mundane. In fact, the everyday mundane task of the leader is to remind other people what they do is not mundane or ordinary. Leaders have to be inspirational. Because the mundane work of leadership is to make organizational tasks inspirational people in leadership roles sometimes forget how important being inspirational is. That can’t happen because leadership sets the tone for the whole organization. People need to be inspired.The next time you feel compelled to ask someone in your organization what you need to do to help them get their job done ask yourself first and foremost have I trusted these people, empowered these people, and inspired them. Only after you’ve done these three things are the other potential resources you can give them going to be effective. Without trust, empowerment, and inspiration you’re not leading a team you’re simply overseeing forced labor that will only do what’s necessary to get by and leave your organization the minute something better comes along. Be the leader who can do so much more by trusting, empowering, and inspiring those you lead.
  10. Create your own reality. In every given moment, we have a choice: to be happy with what we do and where we are, or to be unhappy. Even when we can’t control our circumstances, we have that choice. In a sense, it means that we create our own reality. When you’re feeling unhappy, remind yourself that you have the power to choose happiness instead.Don’t compare yourself to others. People who have self-doubt, who lack confidence, who aren’t happy with themselves, are constantly looking over their shoulder and comparing themselves with everyone around them. When you catch yourself asking how you measure up to someone else, stop and tell yourself to look within to find out who you are. Regardless of what other people are doing, refuse to measure your success and self-worth by any standard but that of your own expectations and journey.Let go of what you can’t control. Happy people know the difference between what they can control and what they cannot. The focus on what they can control and let go of the rest. Take ownership of your happiness within your own boundaries.Choose your battles wisely. When your emotions are running strong, back up a bit and try to understand what’s triggering them. Work to control your response to your emotions, because then you will be able to choose your battles wisely and stand your ground when you feel it’s something worth fighting for.Be your authentic self. Happy people are true to themselves; they know how to express their opinions quietly and effectively, and they know how to say no graciously when someone wants them to do something that might dim their light or compromise their integrity. When you are feeling confused, take some time to review your values and your convictions—they will always help you stay grounded and authentic.Give so you can receive. Happy people don’t think only of themselves but also of how they can support and help others. Giving makes us happy and we end up receiving more than we have given. Helping someone is literally helping yourself. In a Harvard study, those who helped others were 10 times more likely to be focused at work and 40 percent more likely to get a promotion. The same study showed that people who consistently provided social support were the most likely to be happy during times of high stress. As long as you don’t overcommit yourself, helping others is sure to have a positive influence on your own happiness.Lead from within: People truly are as happy as they make up their mind to be. Happy people don’t have the best of everything; they make the best of everything. Everyone wants to be respected and admired, but often we are afraid of being perceived as too aggressive or overly confident in our pursuit of own greatness.While you can’t control other people’s opinions, you can always control your own actions. Respect takes time and effort—it’s not something you’re given but something you earn. Here are six top ways that the best leaders earn respect every day:They first give respect. Respected leaders know you must show respect before you can earn respect. They treat everyone with courtesy and kindness; even when criticizing or giving feedback, they’re always considerate and compassionate. As the saying goes, people will forget what you said and they’ll forget what you did, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel.They keep their promises. If they tell you they’re going to do something, you know you can count on them to get it done. For a leader to become known as a person who can’t be trusted is one of the quickest ways to engineer a loss of respect. The best leaders are always aware that people are counting on them, and they do everything they can to deliver on their promises and earn the respect of their people. They listen before speaking. The best leaders are typically the best listeners. Taking the time to listen instead of rushing in with an opinion shows that they’re confident in their leadership. It’s the insecure leaders who always have to speak first and signal that their thoughts are most important. Even in disagreement, everyone deserves to be heard—and a a true leader knows how to use listening, and silence, to their advantage.They ask for help. Most people see asking for help is a sign of weakness, but respected leaders are secure enough to admit they need help and view asking as a sign of strength. I always tell my clients that vulnerable is the new strong. It’s a smart leader who asks for help to learn and grow.They admit when they’re wrong. Most of us find it hard to admit when we’re wrong, but a respected leader is quick to say, “I messed up” or “I made a mistake” or “I was wrong.” It’s only the narcissistic, self-centered, egotistic leaders who they think they’re always right even when they are wrong—an attitude that costs them in respect.They serve others. Respected leaders know that nothing great can ever be accomplished alone. At its core, leadership is about serving others and inspiring them to bring out their own greatness. Great leaders inspire others by empowering and serving them.They appreciate others. The most respected leaders genuinely care about others and show admiration. These powerful traits show that they can see beyond themselves and have the emotional intelligence to celebrate others and boost the confidence and self-esteem of everyone around them. Leaders with a reputation for caring are among the most highly respected people anywhere.Lead from within: The well-respected leader knows respect is hard to attain but easy to lose.
  11. In the Army a shammer, or soneone who is shamming, is a soldier that isn’t working as hard or isn’t working/doing their job. After retirement my disability and retirement pay allowed me to travel and do what I wanted without needing to work. My closest friends would gove me crap because I’d send them pics of me drinking by a pool at 10am or visiting a location etc. They are happy for me but woyld give me crap by saying I was a shammer. A poke at me because they still need to work, mainly because they have families. Among my many nicknames I kept that one when I joined an organization wanting nicknames for its members
  12. The Arizona State Militia. Azstatemilitia.com
  13. Shammer

    I need this patch

    Search “beard patch” on eBay. Don’t know if this one is still there but a lot of similar ones
  14. I imagine the most common pros and cons you have thought of. I think it’s like most gun arguments, “what is the best...” I don’t believe there is a best anything with firearms that applies across the board. But I do believe there are “best” for the individual based on their wants needs and desires. If your excited about it and want to try it out then you should. You can either wish you would have, or be glad you did.
  15. until
    Concept of the Operation: The assessment process will identify individual, team and unit participation, strengths and weaknesses. At all times, regardless of schedule and activity, ASM leaders will be constantly evaluating ASM members and units. Commander’s Intent: The state command will evaluate unit readiness for tactical operations at the team and squad level. Areas of evaluation include, but are not limited to; Tactical communication, movement and maneuver. Additionally, areas such as; teamwork, organization, decision making, field craft, OPSEC, security, planning, and other areas will be evaluated. Force on Force Saturday morning will begin with rehearsals and mission planning. Units will be provided assistance and coaching by combat veterans to prepare and refine their drills, movement, maneuvers and plans. Saturday afternoon will be scenario based training. One or more scenarios will have Observer/ Controllers (OC) that will operate the exercise. The OCs will create casualties and chaos to the situation in order to provide a learning experience. This may also. Be done in response to lack of decision making, lack of movement, lack of communication. Scenario 1: Attack and Defend 2: Escort and pursuit 3: Force on force Classes: Gun Trusts and Tax Stamps: Instructor is the owner operator of a gun store with extensive knowledge of the process to purchase and identify firearms and attachments requiring tax stamps as well as obtaining a gun trust. Using firearm examples, you will learn how to identify modifications requiring registration, learn the process of purchasing and registering any item meeting this criteria. Additionally, what a gun trust is, how it benefits you and how to get one. First Aid Kit Scenario: Instructor is an EMT with relevant experience. Groups will be provided a scenario and 20 possible first aid items. Each group will be allowed to select 10 items. Discussion will follow to determine why each group chose their specific items and why not the others. Knot Tying: Instructor is an Army Ranger that passed the knot test in ranger school. Common knots will be covered to use in everyday situations such as; tying down gear, securing equipment, rigging tents and tarps or other similar situations. Students will be provided the materials to learn the knots and will be evaluated on tying at least one knot using the Go/NoGo standard. Bushcraft Fire: Instructor Is an outdoorsman and bush-crafter continually perfecting his survival skills. Part 1. How to make an effective birds nest. Along with tender materials. Part 2. Proper use and care of a Ferro rod. Part 3 Flint and steel. Part 4. Magnifying glass. Part 4. Making charred material. And easy to make homemade fire starting media. Cotton balls and Vaseline. What Instructor will provide for the class. Birds nest material, and tender materials. Ferro rods as loaners. If they wish to purchase one they can. I will provide flint and steel as loaners. Cotton balls and Vaseline. Charing material. What students need to supply is an empty Altoids/ Snus / small tin that shuts tight and is no larger than say 5x5x2 inches no hinged lids must be press shut. Magnifying glass or frensel lens. This should cost less than 7 dollars to purchase. Please note that good will and the salvation army are great sources for both and could bring down the cost. Trapping: Instructor is an avid hunter and Trapper here in Arizona. Materials will be provided showing different types of traps, materials (both purchased and scavenged) to construct traps and how to set the traps. Students will work in small groups with some being able to attempt to set an appropriate trap or snare for small game. 2m Antenna Kit: Instructors are Extra Class amateur radio operators involved with multiple organizations and support operations using ham bands. They have spent the last year obtain their license, building antennas and expanding the capabilities. All materials will be provided. Groups from each company will learn how to construct, use and disassemble a 2m antenna. Each company will be able to keep one antenna to add to their supply inventory. This is the first step in expanding our radio capability and usage as we begin to venture in to amateur bands. Surveillance: Working in small teams groups will surveil an area and document everything they see. If you have a non-weapon mounted optic feel free to bring it along. This exercise is timed and will be explained in detail. After completing the task the groups will be shown where everything is and be provided instruction on how to better observe and identify. Field Expedient Antenna: This class is TENTATIVE. Instruction on using common materials to make two types of antennas to increase radio range. The purpose of these antennas is to demonstrate methods that will work better than what you have even if you have no existing knowledge on bandwidth, antenna types and uses, formulas or other specifics to the frequencies you are attempting to operate on. These antennas are in common use within the United States Military on VHF bands. These will work well on the 6m band which is commonly used by search and rescue. Vehicle Assault and Search: Instructors come from the military and law enforcement with varied experience and training. Methods and techniques used to assault a vehicle safely and effectively. How to properly search a vehicle to find smuggled items, PIR, intelligence and develop the information into questioning. Personnel Search Comply/Non Comply: Instructors come from the military and law enforcement with varied experience and training. Methods and techniques used to search personnel safely in a myriad of situations. This will include verbal commands, search techniques, control techniques and how to vary those techniques based on the level of compliance. Weapon Lights: Using pistol and rifle mounted weapon lights to effectively search and engage a target. Multiple lights will be shown as well as mounting techniques and pro vs con of placement. How to use the light tactically and non tactically, avoiding blindness, chopping light pattern, beam strength and identifying your target. Shotgun: Instructor is a competitive shooter and National Sporting Clays Association Level 2 Instructor. Intro: Safety, gun types, checking, operation, loading Ammunition Types: Shot size classification, specialty ammo Methods of achieving lead: Swing through, pull away, maintained Setup: Breakpoints, foot position, hoped points, line Mounting Techniques: High and low Two 12 gauge and one 20 gauge shotgun will be provided.
  16. What is a WFR?WMI Wilderness First ResponderA Wilderness First Responder, sometimes referred to as a “woofer,” is an individual trained and certified to provide extended emergency medical care in a wilderness setting. In comparison think of an urban first responder as focused on providing care during the “golden hour” – that critical hour of support before definitive care arrives, usually in the form of an ambulance carrying equipment, EMTs and paramedics. By definition a wilderness setting is more than an hour from care and depending on the remoteness of the setting and communication systems available, it may be days or weeks away. The nature of the wilderness activity may also limit the equipment and resources available. For example long distance backpackers, mountain climbers, and whitewater kayakers do not usually have readily available things like traction splints, backboards, spinal collars, blood pressure cuffs, or automated external defibrillators (AEDs). A Wilderness First Responder has to be very creative and resourceful when providing extended care.Who is a WFR?Woofer’s are usually individuals who are in leadership positions for outdoor adventures such as backpacking, mountain climbing, river rafting, skiing, and similar remote activities. They may be in roles such as trek leader, river guide, or ski patrol. Many reputable outdoor organizations now require Wilderness First Responder certification for their outdoor employees.Who certifies WFRs?There is no one certification body for Wilderness First Responders. A variety of medical and wilderness training organizations appear to have co-operated fairly well in creating training and testing standards. A typical WFR certification requires 72-80 hours of classroom and practice training, as well as both a written and practical exam. Although all certified individuals are called WFRs, the actual certification is controlled and tracked by the organization providing the training. Most require re-certification within 2-3 years, and not all organizations recognize the others certification for re-certification, although the major players (such as NOLS/WMI, SOLO, and WMA) appear to play nice.What content is covered?Each training provider’s website offers a detailed course outline, but some common themes include: Patient Assessment System CPR Head and Spine Injuries Bone and Joint Injuries Soft Tissue Injuries Shock Common Illnesses Treatment Planning Evacuation Topics are covered with a combination of lecture and mock rescue practices, some of which are very elaborate and surprisingly realistic.What is the difference between the organizations?Because the schedule and location worked for me, I certified through NOLS/WMI. They are the only organization with which I have first hand experience, but during my research I found very strong advocates for each of the major players and some of the smaller ones. I suspect their curriculum and exams are similar. One piece of advice I got early on was to focus on the quality of the instructor, as that would potentially have a greater impact on my experience. Although I agree, I am not sure how practical that is to implement. I lucked out and ended up with an excellent instructor.I recommend you do your own research, but to help you out I offer these potential major providers and their own website positioning statements: National Outdoor Leadership School – Wilderness Medicine Institute https://www.nols.edu/en/coursefinder/course_search/ “The nationally recognized standard in wilderness medicine education” Remote Medical International http://www.remotemedical.com “We are a medical and rescue services company specializing in remote areas.” Stonehearth Open Learning Opportunities (SOLO) http://www.soloschools.com/ “The oldest continuously operating school of wilderness medicine in the world.” Wilderness Medical Associates http://www.wildmed.com “The definitive wilderness course in medical leadership and critical thinking for outdoor, low-resource, and remote professionals and leaders.” You should also consider quality smaller regional providers, although cross-organizational re-certification options may be more limited. As an example, in the San Francisco Bay Area Foster Calm has an excellent reputation. There are probably others in your area. Foster Calm http://www.fostercalm.com “First Aid and Leadership Training” ConclusionAfter experiencing through mock rescues and practice the wide variety of things that can go seriously wrong in the wilderness, I find myself wanting to add more and more things to my first aid kit. The reality, of course, is that my pack has limited space, but my brain is still relatively empty. The sign of a good “woofer,” I guess, is a continued focus on practice and skills rather than gear. I think being a Wilderness First Responder is a life long journey, but one I am willing to undertake. Besides my kids would probably say, a life long journey for me might not in fact be all that long. I may now be a First Responder, but somehow the my kids always have the last response.
  17. Leaders tend to be people who feel comfortable with change. That doesn’t mean they’re risk-takers, who thrive on change for the excitement it brings. Neither does it mean that all leaders will drive substantial change within their own organizations. What it means is that to be a leader an individual needs to feel comfortable with the idea of negotiating their way through the unknown. That unknown ranges from the day-to-day shift in market conditions to the unknown of launching a new product or expanding into a new country. The degree of change differs but the fact of change is still there, hardwired into the leader’s role.To take that on — to become a leader — is suggestive of certain personality traits. These include an individual’s confidence in their ability to deal with the unexpected; belief that they can rise to new challenges and an attitude that views challenge as a way in which to grow. Without these levels of determination, confidence and optimism, it’s unlikely that someone would become a leader. But the very qualities that equip them to lead can make it hard for them to empathize with other peoples’ fear of, and resistance to, change.Some people view change through a very different lens to that of the leader. Instead of an opportunity to gain new skills and to grow, they see a threat. Will the change make their skills redundant? Will adapting to the change be something they can’t do? Will the change cost them — emotionally/mentally/financially? Leaders need to acknowledge that change can be a genuine threat. In some circumstances it will cost people responsibilities or prestige. In others it can cost people their jobs, with all the attendant threats that brings: potentially adversely impacting on relationships, finances, mental health.So, fear of change isn’t unfounded. And neither is this response simply a question of personality type. It also reflects the difference in position between a leader and an employee. When large-scale or structural change happens, it’s driven by the leader. In many situations they have identified the need for the change, assessed how the change should be implemented and brought the change about. In other instances, the need for change may have been thrust upon them, but they still have the power to decide how to respond to that situation. Employees, on the other hand, have to adapt to imposed change. They are not determining their own destiny. That lack of control affects how they feel about what is happening.There are a series of steps leaders can take to help make change easier: Recognize that while resistance to change may occasionally be driven by apathy – or by antipathy to the individual leading the change – its root cause is more likely to be fear of the consequences of change. This recognition allows leaders to tap into what is really driving employee behavior and find effective ways of tackling it. Rather than planning change behind closed doors – and then launching the new regime, as far as possible keep employees informed about what is happening. Unsurprisingly, research shows that employees feel a greater sense of job satisfaction when they feel that they know what is going on. Be clear about why change is needed. If you want your workforce to buy into how things are going to change, they first need to buy into why these changes are needed. Be open and transparent about why change is going to be implemented. Be active in showing people how they will be supported in managing the changes. That may be via training, or by implementing changes one at a time, so that old ways of working can run alongside the new ways of working for a time. Allow employees to express concerns over the changes. Listen to them, make sure you understand what they’re saying and respond honestly. Even if you can’t do anything else, you can express your desire to help them adapt to the changes. If the change is going to mean job losses, be open about that and make the necessary decisions quickly. Drawn out or staggered job cuts lead to greater anxiety and discord. Be aware that while a change is taking effect people have to work harder while they get used to the changes. The routines that allow them to get things done easily and efficiently are being disrupted. Acknowledge what the teams are doing. Recognize that people change and accept ‘the new,’ more readily and with higher commitment when they know ‘what’s in it for them’ – the personal benefits to be realized. Especially when large scale changes occur ensure higher levels of support and management presence in the work-place, even for experienced and more highly skilled staff. (In practice the opposite is often true and we leave people feeling isolated — which leads to more rumors, uncertainty and anxiety developing.)Change is inevitable. Small but significant changes occur when a colleague leaves. Huge changes occur when a business needs to be re-structured. But the key to handling the whole spectrum of change is to understand how employees may feel threatened by the shifts that are occurring. Understand the anxiety it can cause and try and find the best way of providing reassurance. When leaders do that, changes really can be for the better.
  18. Sometimes, leaders bear more responsibility than they want to because they expect to make all of the strategic decisions and take on all of the risks. But this isn't always necessary, especially when other people down the corporate hierarchy are ready to offer experienced help. I always wonder if companies with shocking bankruptcy stories like Lehman Brothers and Enron could have avoided their downfall had they empowered more people down the line.Executive coaches have a responsibility to help leaders realize they need to give up some of their decision-making power to their followers. We, as coaches, should question the power distribution within the hierarchy of any corporation to ensure it works in favor of the longevity of the business. Right now, figures prove that we mostly focus on employees in leadership rather than followership positions. Executive coaching has hit an average of 63% purely for top-line and senior managers globally. So what does that leave for the masses, the followersThere are two main internal, invisible powers in a corporation:1. The power of authority (leaders): This is a natural right for people at the top of the corporate ladder. They have a say on many decisions that will affect the lifetime of the business and each employee in the organization.2. The power of majority (followers): This is the power of the people. Although highly underestimated, this power does, in fact, have a huge indirect influence on a business. When the masses are ignored or belittled, they react together. They may not perform their best, waste time and resources, lash out on one another, or even go on strike. Your clients can sense it too. They could end up giving angry feedback because they claim they weren't appreciated by the corporation. When leadership doesn’t kick in with followership, a lack of satisfaction emerges and gets transmitted all the way down the line.Leaders should avoid monopolizing their decisions through their authority-making power. Company policies shouldn't merely serve the purpose of the leader, especially if it goes against the best interest of the business. For example, policies shouldn't allow for limited meeting points to gather feedback from subordinates about their leaders or build a system that reprimands voicing of group think. Leaders need the loyalty and followership of their subordinates. They are the ones who will expand their vision to truly make the business thrive. Remember: Leaders are not gods, they are only people who need other people.Deep down in your heart, you must truly believe that if you give power to the masses — allow them to vote on their leaders and long-term business decisions — you'll get the outcome you want. Before you hire a new executive, let your people approve the decision. Same when you allow them to demote a boss who is not fit for a leadership role. Enlist their help to replace him/her with a competent successor. Both ways, you guarantee you have satisfied the masses, who need to approve of the leader they are following before they can give their all.Here are some tips on how to make a leader/follower relationship work:• Define "followership" in your organization.• Promote the importance and power of followership. Direct it to middle management down.• Assess if employees are natural leaders or followers.• Allow meetings between business owners and followers on a quarterly basis at least.• Create anonymous voting systems for employees to vote for or against the leaders in their company.• Allow followers to contribute in board of directors meetings (even if this is done virtually).• Have followers form change-control committees based on their technical expertise. They will be entitled to enforce emergency change at any point in time.• Circulate a transparent weekly memo with news updates to be distributed across all levels.• Externalize training/coaching and allow coaches direct contact with top-level managers and business owners when necessary.• Protect the privacy of people feedback by meeting 1-on-1 and signing a propriety agreement.• Immediately promote and embed succession planning systems to make it easy to replace a leader expelled by the system for not supporting his/her followers.In the end, coaches need to do whatever it takes to bring awareness to followership and view it as the true key to the continuity of any business. Pump up the egos of your followers, making them proud of who they are and what they do, and give them a bit more of what they love: power.
  19. So what is Situational Awareness?If you really want to know what it is, forget all the technical garbage. Situational Awareness is simply the ability to assess your environment for threats so that you can either avoid those threats or control the situation and start stacking things in your favor.That’s it! No flow charts, no color codes, just awareness!So what’s all the hype?Well, from a preparedness perspective, I hope it’s obvious. There simply isn’t a more important survival skill that you can possess. If you can identify a threat before it becomes a threat, you put yourself ahead of 99% of the public, and you go a long way to ensuring your safety and security.Unfortunately, in today’s world, this is a skill, or better yet a mindset that most people simply don’t have.We live in a world where people live in a contact state of distraction. From walking around with their heads buried in some electronic device to stressing out about their day or trying to recall yet another thing that slipped their mind, most people are blissfully ignorant to the world around them.So what should you do then, live in a constant state of paranoia?This is an argument that you will often hear from people who are not prepared. Rather than do the work, they just claim that it’s paranoia. I mean why worry about what could happen, right? All joking aside, when it comes down to it, it’s the people that do prepare who are the ones that are least likely to live in fear, or succumb to fear when things go bad. It is the preparedness minded individual, who is confident in his ability to assess threats on a subconscious level, who can walk through life without having to even consciously think about what problems they may face.They don’t have to live in fear because they are confident in their ability to detect threats when they arise.Why is Situational Awareness Important?Well, let’s look at a couple of different scenarios.You are at a theater watching a movie with your family, and the fire alarm goes off. A number of things could be happening right now. It could be a false alarm, it could be an actual fire, or even worse there could be an active shooter picking people off in the theater right next door. That’s the world we now live in.In this situation, most people are going to panic.You’re in a dark theater, children are probably crying, and adults are probably stampeding the aisles not knowing exactly what to do. But you, if you’re a situationally aware individual, already left ahead of danger. You smelled the smoke, heard the gunshots, or recognized the threat before the alarm was ever even pulled.And if it was a false alarm, you weren’t injured by the panicked crowd because you calmly headed to the exit point that you instantly identified as you walked into the theater. While everyone else was running for the main entrance, you quietly and calmly helped your family slip out that little noticed side exit.Criminals are experts when it comes to situational awareness!We live in a world where it cannot be ignored; criminals and violent criminal attacks.Unfortunately, when it comes to situational awareness many criminals are damn good at it; but even worse for you, is they are good at spotting people who are not! These people come into a situation with the upper hand; in most cases, they have diligently planned for what they are about to do, and they took the time to select the target that they felt was most vulnerable to an attack – usually the guy who is walking around totally oblivious to the world around him!Listen, self-defense training is great; knowing how to use a firearm is a skill everyone should have, and I highly advise you go out and find a good self-defense school. That being said, none of it means anything without being aware of your environment. Any self-defense school that doesn’t stress that fact is a school you don’t need to waste your money on.Your only real chance of not being targeted by these people is to be able to perceive the threat before it becomes a threat: Situational Awareness.What can you do to Develop Your Situational Awareness?Situational Awareness isn’t the supernatural ability that some Hollywood movies make it out to be; in fact, I believe it can be learned. Remember, in real-life Jason Bourne is an Anti-Gun Jackass who couldn’t fight his way out of a paper bag, let alone recognize a threat!Listen, I’m not going to lie to you and tell you this is something that is going to be easy. It’s not. But if you take the time to start looking at the world around you and running through some of these drills, you will start to develop the background skills you need to protect yourself.Did you notice the word background in that last paragraph? Again, this is not living in a constant state of fear and paranoia. I know I said this wasn’t a supernatural skill, but it is a subconscious mindset that allows you to know when something isn’t right.It’s that gut feeling that most people have been conditioned to ignore.Step one: Mastering MindfulnessOk, I’m not going to go all hippie new age guru on you, but there is a concept that can help tie things together. Buddhists, and those who are into meditation practices, call it Mindfulness. But don’t worry, in the context of this article, it’s not a religious thing. What we are looking at here is the concept of releasing your stress, and fully becoming one with your environment. Simply put, you are present in the moment.A lot of stress release and anti-anxiety therapies are built around this concept because it allows the person to stop thinking about their fears and anxieties and instead just live in the moment, really taking in the world around them – the sights, the sounds, and the baseline world. That is what’s important here.It’s about recognizing that baseline. That state of how things are in the world when things are normal. By understanding your environment and being able to recognize the baseline realities of what’s going on around you, your subconscious mind will instantly be able to pick out what doesn’t fit and what things signal danger ahead.Mindfulness, from a therapeutic standpoint, is simply the mental state achieved by focusing your awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting your feelings, thoughts, and bodily feelings. Simply taking the time to release your anxieties, to relax, and just take in the world around you can do wonders for your overall situational awareness.Step Two: Honest Analysis and Identifying ThreatsSome of this information isn’t going to be politically correct, but if you’ve followed this site for a while you know that I excel in offending people! I don’t do it to be provocative; I just don’t live my life pussyfooting around other people’s P.C. bull crap or emotional insecurities.I’m a realist. And I realize that we live in a world that has made people weak; a bunch of precious snowflakes who are so offended by everything in the world that they have become unable to recognize the real dangers in life and in our society.Profiling people is an acceptable reality!It’s not racist, sexist, islamophobia, or any other label that you want to attach to it; it’s reality.The fact is criminals do fit certain profiles. Profiling has nothing to do with race, but it does have everything to do with appearance. Think about it; who is more likely to rob you, the 80-year-old black grandmother in the wheelchair or the teenager sporting gang colors and gang tattoos? Was the skin color important, or was the person’s overall appearance important?Some of this stuff is just common sense, and some of it requires ignoring what the media tells you is wrong and right.Step Three: Situational Awareness Drills, Games, and TacticsSo now to the meat of the article; the real-world things you can do to help develop a situational awareness mindset.Before it can become part of your background thought process, or your subconscious mindset, you are going to have to be purposeful and do things to hone your skills. Play games with yourself; if you have kids include them in the process. When you enter a store, see how many exit points you can immediately identify. Look for obstacles, threats, or anything that could hinder your escape should something go Start watching people. Try to notice how people normally behave; what’s normal, what’s not? One of the best ways to spot trouble is to be able to read people’s behavioral quirks. I’ve never been in a fight that I didn’t see coming, and I’ve avoided quite a few because I picked up on things like body language, emotions, and changes in a person’s voice that told me something was about to happen. Limit outside distractions. When you are out in public you need to put down the phone, leave the electronic distractions at home, and really spend time being one with your environment. Start trusting your gut! At first you may be wrong, but in the end, you need to beware of those primal instincts that are built into your very being. The fight or flight response is a very real thing, something that can be used to your advantage if you can learn to control it and not give into the fear aspect which so many people in today’s society seem to be overwhelmed with.
  20. 1. Lack of TransparencyStaff can tell when you’re not being completely honest with them. There’s rarely a reason not to be entirely transparent with your team, especially at a young, growing company. Your team will appreciate understanding exactly where the company stands. This will help everyone come together as a team, focused on the problems that need solving for the long-term benefit of the company. Lack of transparency can result in a lack of trust. —Mitch Gordon, Go Overseas 2. Not ListeningListening to all employees as often as possible is so important to building a loyal and faithful team. Everyone needs to be part of the process and bigger picture. Interacting and listening to your team is something that is too often forgotten by CEOs, with the hustle and bustle of job and travel schedules. It shouldn’t be. —Jason Grill, JGrill Media | Sock 101 3. Dismissing Ideas Other Than Your OwnI didn’t realize how toxic this behavior was until it was pointed out to me. Your employees should never feel like they’re pitching you in a way that makes you (as the CEO) think you’re spinning the gold. Understanding a good idea, helping to develop it and providing strong praise and credit where due is incredibly important. —Jeff McGregor, Dash 4. Valuing Experience Over PotentialCEOs should be careful not to value experience over potential. Some of our best employees haven’t been the most experienced. What they do have is something that’s impossible to train or develop—it’s a fire in their bellies to deliver world-class products to our clients. You can’t teach that. —Chris Cancialosi, GothamCulture 5. EgoThe best leaders are ones who accept blame when things go wrong and give credit to their team when things go right. In order to be a true visionary leader, you need to let go of your ego and focus on your people because without them you would be nowhere. —Nick Friedman, College Hunks Hauling Junk 6. Working 24/7I asked a fellow entrepreneur about his weekend plans a few weeks ago. His answer: “I work all weekend.” I understand the ownership and passion that comes with running a business, but you have to set the example for your team, have other interests and learn how to take a break. Otherwise everyone will assume they have to work that much and burnout of the entire team is inevitable (and a toxic culture will follow). —Susan LaMotte, Exaqueo 7. Lack of EmpathyLeaders must understand the problems their team faces, and then begin doing anything to remove barriers to entry so their team can do the best job possible. In my experience, these barriers include a lack of resources, a lack of direction and a lack of culture. —Adam Root, Hiplogiq 8. Forgetting About Leadership DevelopmentEducating and creating a growth plan for your employees is one of the things that should never be ignored but often slips through the cracks. Having a growth and education path not only increases employee retention but makes for a smarter and hungrier team. If you think about it in reverse, can you afford for your team not to learn or grow? Imagine if your marketing team was doing the same things they are now in four or five years. —Sujan Patel, When I Work 9. Being Overly ConservativeModern leaders must be absolutely tenacious in getting the results they desire—from themselves, their organization, their team, even their customers. Get rid of overly conservative notions. You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take. If you don’t take that risk, you’ll never know what that opportunity would be. You’ll never have to say “would’ve, could’ve, should’ve.” Use your guts, and in my experience and in the end, everything works out well. —Scott Petinga, The Scott Petinga Group 10. Permitting Negative GossipSpreading any sort of negative gossip about others sends a signal that it’s not safe to be around that person. Trust is immediately shattered, and people fear that what they are saying may be shared behind their backs. Leaders who either gossip or don’t take measures to eradicate it are harming more than just company morale. They are impeding the flow of honest feedback and communication throughout the organization. —David Hassell, 15Five 11. Poor Communication of StrategyCEOs tend to map out ideas in our heads but don’t share the process. Then, when the team starts making suggestions that you’ve already eliminated through thoughtful internal deliberation, they get angry. But no one knows you’ve already done that—so both sides get frustrated. My co-founder would tell me this all the time, so I started writing ideas and plans out to make sure my process and conclusion are easy to understand. —Benish Shah, Before the Label 12. Closed-MindednessIt’s crucial as a CEO to be open-minded and listen to feedback and ideas from others. Being closed-minded and unwilling to change your perspective will cause issues with both your employees and the success of your business. —Josh Weiss, Bluegala 13. Assigning BlameTake responsibility for any of your team’s failures. At the end of the day, you ultimately hold all the responsibility anyway, so let your team know you understand that things didn’t work out the way they should have. Then propose solutions instead of assigning blame. —Lane Campbell, Syntress SCDT 14. InconsistencyI have often been blamed for sounding like a broken record but it is a record that my staff, clients and vendors know and can count on. Too often I see CEOs who are inconsistent and change their minds, which leads to confusion and mixed signals among everyone around them. Sticking to your guns and accepting the fate (even if it’s bad!) will lead to opportunities to continue learning while building trust in others. —Kim Kaupe, ZinePak 15. Being Too Slow to AdaptSuccessful startups grow rapidly. CEOs who fail to keep up risk being clueless, close-minded and arrogant. A lack of knowledge leads to indecision and fear and can cause employees to quickly lose trust in their leader.
  21. Coaching matters more. You might be tempted to think this matters less, after all now you are coaching people who have already been promoted to a supervisory or leadership position – you have the cream of the crop, right? That might be true, and, the need for coaching does grow. Because your leaders need to be better and better leaders, not just great individual contributors, your coaching is critical to helping them. Not only that, but as you already know, the role of leadership is complex and we all need support and a coach or mentor to help us when we have challenging situations. Thinking matters more. Chances are you are running hard to balance your to-do list and juggle your calendar. If that is true, you need to refocus and re-adjust. Your organization needs you to do more than do more work – it needs you to think. The popular word for this is to strategize – but I actually mean that and more. For leaders to really lead, we must make time to think about the direction of the team, the opportunities and challenges in front of them and what they personally need to be doing. You can’t do these things well in five minutes between meetings and while answering your email. Your example matters more. As you advance in the leadership ranks you may think you need to improve your presentation skills and you would be right. And, people are doing more than listening to your words, they are watching you. And as a leader further up in the organization, more people are watching, both directly and indirectly. Is your example the one you want people following? Time spent thinking about this and being more intentional about the big and little things you do (and yes, say), will have a significant positive outcome for your team. Conversation matters more. Not more meetings – more conversations. There are likely some meetings you don’t need to go to – have you delegated effectively? And during the meetings you are attending – are you doing more talking or asking? Ask more, talk less. Shut up and listen. People have heard you talk, but have they seen you really listen? Conversations are created by an open exchange of ideas, challenges and opportunities. Your team needs you to do this – and model it for others. Influence matters more. When you are a supervisor of a team, you can influence them more directly – you are interacting with them regularly. As you move up in the organization, your influence has greater reach and leverage, so it becomes more important. People are looking for those to influence them. Make sure it is you, and your influence is appropriate and positive. There are other skills that may become more important to you as well, and this is a very important starter list. Take a minute, regardless of your leadership level, to think about: which of these could I, and those I lead, most benefit from my further development.
  22. 1. Not Providing Feedback Sarah is a talented sales representative, but she has a habit of answering the phone in an unprofessional manner. Her boss is aware of this, but he's waiting for her performance review to tell her where she's going wrong. Unfortunately, until she's been alerted to the problem, she'll continue putting off potential customers. According to 1,400 executives polled by The Ken Blanchard Companies, failing to provide feedback is the most common mistake that leaders make. When you don't provide prompt feedback to your people, you're depriving them of the opportunity to improve their performance. 2. Not Making Time for Your Team When you're a manager or leader, it's easy to get so wrapped up in your own workload that you don't make yourself available to your team. Yes, you have projects that you need to deliver. But your people must come first – without you being available when they need you, your people won't know what to do, and they won't have the support and guidance that they need to meet their objectives. Avoid this mistake by blocking out time in your schedule specifically for your people, and by learning how to actively listen to your team. Develop your emotional intelligence so that you can be more aware of your team and their needs, and have a regular time when "your door is always open", so that your people know when they can get your help. Once you're in a leadership or management role, your team should always come first - this is, at heart, what good leadership is all about! 3. Being Too "Hands-Off" One of your team has just completed an important project. The problem is that he misunderstood the project's specification, and you didn't stay in touch with him as he was working on it. Now, he's completed the project in the wrong way, and you're faced with explaining this to an angry client. Join the Mind Tools Club Today! Many leaders want to avoid micromanagement But going to the opposite extreme (with a hand-offs management style) isn't a good idea either – you need to get the balance right. 4. Being Too Friendly Most of us want to be seen as friendly and approachable to people in our team. After all, people are happier working for a manager that they get on with. However, you'll sometimes have to make tough decisions regarding people in your team, and some people will be tempted to take advantage of your relationship if you're too friendly with them. This doesn't mean that you can't socialize with your people. But, you do need to get the balance right between being a friend and being a leader. 5. Failing to Define Goals When your people don't have clear goals, they muddle through. They can't be productive if they have no idea what they're working for, or what their work means. They also can't prioritize their workload effectively, meaning that projects and tasks get completed in the wrong order. 6. Misunderstanding Motivation Do you know what truly motivates your team? Here's a hint: chances are, it's not just reward! Many leaders make the mistake of assuming that their team is only working for reward. However, it's unlikely that this will be the only thing that motivates them. For example, people will be motivated by factors such as achievement, extra responsibility, praise, or a sense of camaraderie. 7. Hurrying Recruitment When your team has a large workload, it's important to have enough people "on board" to cope with it. But filling a vacant role too quickly can be a disastrous mistake. Hurrying recruitment can lead to recruiting the wrong people for your team: people who are uncooperative, ineffective or unproductive. They might also require additional training, and slow down others on your team. With the wrong person, you'll have wasted valuable time and resources if things don't work out and they leave. What's worse, other team members will be stressed and frustrated. 8. Not "Walking the Walk" If you make personal telephone calls during work time, or speak negatively about your leader, can you expect people on your team not to do this too? Probably not! As a leader, you need to be a role model for your team. This means that if they need to stay late, you should also stay late to help them. Or, if your organization has a rule that no one eats at their desk, then set the example and head to the break room every day for lunch. The same goes for your attitude – if you're negative some of the time, you can't expect your people not to be negative. So remember, your team is watching you all the time. If you want to shape their behavior, start with your own. They'll follow suit. 9. Not Delegating Some leaders don't delegate, because they feel that no-one apart from themselves can do key jobs properly. This can cause huge problems as work bottlenecks around them, and as they become stressed and burned out. Delegation does take a lot of effort up-front, and it can be hard to trust your team to do the work correctly. But unless you delegate tasks, you're never going to have time to focus on the "broader-view" that most leaders and managers are responsible for. What's more, you'll fail to develop your people so that they can take the pressure off you. 10. Misunderstanding Your Role Once you become a leader or manager, your responsibilities are very different from those you had before. However, it's easy to forget that your job has changed, and that you now have to use a different set of skills to be effective. This leads to you not doing what you've been hired to do – leading and managing. Key Points We all make mistakes, and there are some mistakes that leaders and managers make in particular. These include not giving good feedback, being too "hands-off," not delegating effectively, and misunderstanding your role. It's true that making a mistake can be a learning opportunity. But, taking the time to learn how to recognize and avoid common mistakes can help you become productive and successful, and highly respected by your team.

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