No matter your level of Army leadership, there are some common mistakes that are made. We really do not have to state this is just Army leaders either. These mistakes happen in civilian leadership channels too.
In today’s post, we are going to look at 12 common Army leadership mistakes. I will also tell you some ways to overcome these mistakes.
There is always the possibility that you have already made these mistakes. I suggest you just recognize that they have been made, and make a conscious decision to change. We all make mistakes. It is how we overcome and move on after those mistakes that judges what type of person we truly are.
These are in no particular order. They are mistakes made by leaders that need to be recognized and overcome.
1: Not Setting Proper Expectations
This is probably one of the most common mistakes that leaders make both in the Army and in the civilian world.
It is easy to recognize where problems are happening, and also easy to say what needs to change to fix those problems, but what often happens with leaders is: they point out both of those items, but they do not give a plan on how to institute that change to fix the issues.
Just as an example, we will say a certain unit has a high percentage of soldiers not up to snuff in the physical fitness areas. The Commander just simply tells his subordinates that their needs to be more physical fitness training, and expects them to institute it.
What that Commander actually needed to do was explain in depth what he expected his subordinate staff to attain, and a plan on how to attain it. By not giving them clear-cut directions, the odds of failure are high.
2: Making Promises That May Not Be Able To Be Kept
This is a very common mistake. When you tell a soldier they are going to get a certain award and then they are turned down by your superiors, who is the one who looks the worst? You are. Unless you really know that it will happen, don’t make promises.
3: Excusing Subordinates From Their Responsibilities
It is a team mission, and if one person is not following through with their responsibilities, it will make the whole team look bad. It must be mandatory that you have every person perform their duties. Allowing one person to get away with less than average tells the rest that you may be playing favorites.
4: Not Delegating
It is common that since leaders were used to doing the work themselves, they tend to figure they will do it better than anyone they would ask to do it. So, the leader turns into a “burned out” mess because they are trying to do it all themselves. The reason why you are a leader is to delegate the responsibilities.
5: Being Their Friend Instead Of Their Boss
This can often happen when you are now in a leadership position of a unit in which you were just one of the men at one time. It is important that you set friendship to the side and realize that leadership is your role now. If you do not do so, you will be seen as a weak leader. You will have to make decisions your former peers will not like, but if handled properly, they will respect them.
6: Not Giving Recognition
If you are seeing a low morale within your unit, this very well may be one of the mistakes being made. I am not saying every good deed needs to have an award, but just a “great job,” with a pat on the back will give a soldier the recognition they need and desire.
What can be even worse is when a leader takes the credit for something one of his/her subordinates achieved.
As they say, don’t put off what can be done today until tomorrow. This is a common mistake of humans everywhere and as leaders, we need to show them that procrastinating is not allowed.
8: Letting Emotions Guide Decisions
This leadership mistake has actually gotten people killed. No matter what emotions you are feeling, you just cannot allow them to guide the decisions you make. If you do, logic leaves and the decision probably will not be the correct one.
9: Comparing Yourself To Other Leaders
You are not General Patton or Colin Powell; don’t even try to compare yourself with these great leaders. The fact is: you may be better than both of them. You are one of a kind, so understand that. There is nothing wrong with learning from them and even emulating them in some areas. Just don’t compare, because you are in for a let-down, because you will only see the negative side.
10: Unwilling To Make Tough Decisions
This is unacceptable for any Army leader. You must be willing to make split-second, difficult decisions. It is better to learn this while you are in a peace zone than when you are trapped in an ambush and need to decide the best course of action. Your Mommy won’t be on the other end of that radio.
11: Not Dealing With Conflicts Quickly And Head-On
As Army leaders, you are going to have conflicts. When you have multiple soldiers interacting you are going to have conflicts. As a leader, you MUST confront these conflicts immediately. You may not be liked for your head-on approach, but trust me, you will gain respect.
12: Dwelling On Mistakes
I spoke about this at the start of this post, but I feel it needs to be reiterated. You probably have made 1 or more of these mistakes, but dwelling on it is not the answer. Just do it different next time. Yes, it is that simple.
We are all human, we make mistakes. We will pay for our mistakes too. But we can also learn from our mistakes and find ways to overcome them.
What are your thoughts?
Please leave your comments and questions below. Thank you.
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Not too long ago, a person shared a link on the Part Time Commander Facebook page about stopping G-Rap injustice. I had caught some brief news about this, but I had not researched it completely, so I essentially had no opinion regarding it.
Yesterday, I was reviewing various Army National Guard news sources and I happened upon a script from a 60 Minutes news documentary called After Shock. The script was titled Backlash from Army’s largest criminal investigation and you can view it here.
While trying to stay as unbiased as possible on both sides, I am going to try to explain this whole situation. It seems that overall that G-Rap had good intentions with a terrible outcome.
What Was G-Rap?
G-Rap stood for Guard Recruitment Assistance Program.
The National Guard created the program in 2005. Since many Army National Guard soldiers had been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, numbers were down, and there needed to be high recruitment figures.
Any Army National Guard soldier could participate in the program. All that they had to do was get the name, social security number, phone number and address of a possible recruitment prospect and turn it over to a National Guard recruiter. By having this information, the soldier could turn it in and be paid a bonus.
It seemed like easy money to many National Guard soldiers, but was it really easy? Or did some soldiers falsify information? Each recruit a soldier brought in gained that soldier $2,000.
Keep in mind that the prospect was to be told that the soldier would receive a bonus when they turned in the information to a recruiter. So it seems managing such a program would be as simple as asking the prospect who referred them, but that was not done.
The Indictments Come
It was determined years later that many soldiers turned in names and numbers of people they had never met. In total, over 100,000 soldiers received bonuses under the G-Rap program.
The investigations started and nearly 150-200 soldiers have been indicted. Some of those soldiers have just pleaded guilty and dealt with their punishments. Others have been offered plea bargains in which they have to pay back a set amount. But many are claiming they did nothing wrong.
Several Soldiers Who Faced The Judge
Master Sergeant Jerry Wilson went to trial for theft against the Army National Guard. Wilson has over 20 years of service. Jerry was found not guilty, but he has discovered the Army believes differently. The Commanding General of the Colorado National Guard put a reprimand in Jerry’s file which gives him no chances of further promotions.
Jim Root was also found not guilty, but the Army told him he needed to get out, so he ended up taking a medical discharge.
Major John Suprynowicz has been under investigation and he claims that the Army and the CID agents are trying their hardest to ruin his career.
Every single one of the soldiers who received any bonuses through G-Rap have been investigated. While some of these soldiers have admitted to doing wrong and have paid the penalty, those who have been found not guilty under a court of law have still been attacked.
And, from what I have reviewed, none of those who were in charge of the whole program have been investigated.
Was Investigation Money Well Spent?
So thus far, we know that the Army National Guard developed this program with good intentions and it came out with bad actions by a few. The Army took it upon themselves to investigate every one of the soldiers who collected bonuses from this program and so far, over 100,000 of those soldiers have been cleared of any wrong doing.
It is estimated that the amount in fraud damages is approximately $10,000,000.
So, what has the Army spent on the investigation thus far?
While I completely understand that all those who defrauded the Army National Guard need to be punished, I firmly believe that if someone is found not guilty in a court of law, Army leaders can not, should not be able to punish them.
Also, what gives with spending nearly triple to catch the culprits?
It just doesn’t seem to make sense to me. What do you think?
Let the debate start.
- G-RAP Investigations Ruin Soldiers’ Lives
- Numbers show National Guard bonus scandal not living up to hype
Just this week, the United States unleashed several drone strikes against suspected terrorist targets. Reports have come in that 2 major terrorists have been killed.
Mokhtar Belmokhtar is also known as One-Eye. He lost his eye when mishandling explosives. He was at one time a leader of the Mali based Al Qaeda, but had started his own terrorist organization called Al Mulathameen. It is believed he was killed in Ajdabiya, Libya.
Nasir al-Wuhayshi was the top dog for the Yemeni Al Qaeda branch. When news of his death reached home, there were claps and yells of victory. He was the one who controlled all of Al Qaeda’s global terror attacks.
But, there are many more to go, and Al Qaeda is just one extreme Islamic organization; we must also kill some ISIS nut-bags. There are 4 of them that we must put in our immediate sights.
ISIS Most Wanted
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. He is the leader of ISIS. Currently, there is a $10,000,000 reward for information that would lead to his capture or death. It is believed he is hiding in the ISIS stronghold of Raqqah, Syria, but that is a guess. It is believed that he was seriously injured in coalition airstrikes which put the next terrorist in charge.
Abu Mohammed al-Adnani. This is another senior leader with ISIS. He is the spokesperson who makes announcements and confirms attacks. He has operated quite a lot in Iraq, so there is a good chance he is there somewhere. There is a $5,000,000 price tag on his head.
Tarkhan Tayumurazovich Batirashvili. He is better known as Omar the Chechen. He is originally from the Republic of Georgia. It is believed he is also holed up near Baghdadi in Raqqah, Syria. There is a $5,000,000 reward for this top ISIS leader.
Other Wanted Terrorists
Ayman al-Zawahiri. He probably has the biggest price tag at $25,000,000. He heads the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. He was the Doctor to Bin Laden, and he also was one of the masterminds behind the 9/11 attacks. This jerk is believed to be on the Iraq/Pakistan border somewhere.
Sirajuddin Haqqani. This terrorist is the one who keeps causing havoc in Afghanistan. He planned an assassination attempt against Hamid Karzai, the Afghan President. Thoughts are he is hiding in Pakistan. If you know, you could collect $10,000,000.
Hafiz Mohammad Saeed. He is from Pakistan and probably is blending in there somewhere. He has ordered attacks throughout both India and Pakistan. He is known for the 2008 Mumbai attacks. There is a $10,000,000 reward for him also.
Ezedin Abdel Aziz Khalil. He is the terrorist who is a mastermind at getting funding. Stopping him would put a huge hurt to the financial situation of Al Qaeda. He is probably in Iran and there is a $10,000,000 reward for him.
Abubakar Shekau. He is a key leader of the Nigerian terrorist organization called Boko Haram. He was behind the kidnapping of the 300 girls from a school in Nigeria. Tell us where he is and if we capture or kill this idiot, you collect $7,000,000.
From The FBI
There are other terrorists too that are listed at the FBI website.
Daniel Andreas San Diego. In 2003, this California native set off 2 bombs in San Francisco. If you know where he is, there is a $250,000 reward.
Muhammad Ahmed Al-Munawar. He is a member of Abu Nidal, and he played a role in hijacking Pan Am flight 73 in Pakistan in 1986. He is believed to be somewhere in the Middle East. If you have information, it could be worth $5,000,000.
Raddulan Sahiron. He is the leader of the Philippine terrorist group called Abu Sayyaf Group. He was a part of kidnapping an American in 1993. There is a $1,000,000 price tag on him.
Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah. He played a part in the bombings of the United States Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. It is believed he is in Pakistan. The reward for him is $5,000,000.
Hasan Izz-Al-Din. Probably in Lebanon, he is a member of the Lebanese Hizballah. In 1985, he took part in the hijacking of a plane and killing an American. There is a $5,000,000 reward for him.
Jehad Mostafa. He is a member of the Somalia based terrorist organization called al-Shabaab. He is a key figure in the financial gain of this terrorist organization. There is a $5,000,000 reward for his capture or death. By the way, he is a native American.
If all of us make it a mission to combat and defeat terrorism, we can win. It just has to be a concerted effort.
I am happy that we got 2, but there are many more to go.
What are your thoughts? Leave your comments below. Thanks.