Issue 43: Weekly Training Tips Newsletter

Weekly Training Tips Newsletter from

Issue 43: June 21, 2012

Inside this Issue:

  • Army National Guard Good Ole’ Boy System
  • Leadership Tip of the Week
  • Book of the Week
  • Quote of the Week
  • Final Thoughts


Army National Guard Good Ole’ Boy System

Is there a “Good Ole’ Boy System” in the Army National Guard?

You bet.

In fact, every organization in the world has some type of “Good Ole’ Boy System.”

Some organizations might deny having this type of system in place, but the truth of the matter is “they do!”

How it Works

It’s a proven fact that people take care of, or give a preference to people they know, like and trust.

This is frequently referred to as a network of people.

We all belong to different networks of people and have a “status” within each of those networks.

This includes friends, family, work, extra-curricular activities, and even in the military.

And we all do our best to take care of people who are in our network; especially if we know, like and trust them.

The Myths

The biggest myth with the “Good Ole’ Boy System” in the Army National Guard is that if you are not part of the of the “good ole’ boys” you will get left behind.

I disagree.

While I do think that it is important to network with your peers and superiors in order to build solid relationships, the Army has done a wonderful job to promote equality.

I know plenty of people who get promoted who are not part of the “Good Ole’ Boy System.”

And I know plenty of people who blame the system when they don’t get promoted, or don’t get what they want.

Is the military system perfect?

Of course not.

But the Army National Guard has standard practices and procedures for just about everything you can imagine.

There are policies in place concerning promotions, assignments, advancements, and schools.

You simply need to educate yourself on these things to make sure you are QUALIFIED for them.

And you can improve your chances of success by being “likeable” with people who make the important decisions.

How it Applies to You

The truth of the matter is, you already have your own Good Ole’ Boy System” right now.

You have people that you know, like and trust. issue 43

And you will probably do your best to make sure these folks are taken care of.

Personally, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, either.

It’s just human nature.

There’s a good chance that you would go out of your way to make sure one of your exceptional soldiers gets promoted, gets a school they want, and advances their career.

This doesn’t mean you would discriminate against a poor performing soldier.

It just means that you are more inclined to take better care of your best performing soldiers.

And if there is a peer you like, trust and respect, there’s a good chance that they will be the FIRST person you tell about an open job assignment that they might be qualified for.

As I mentioned earlier, we all participate in many networks.

What our peers, subordinates, and superiors think about us determines our “status” in these networks.

What You should Do

I say this time and time again.

If you want to move up in the world, you need to network.

No, I do not mean “kiss butt.”

You don’t need to kiss anyone’s butt.

But, you do need to “stand out in the crowd.”

You need to “promote yourself” with your peers and superiors.

Also, you need to let them know what you bring to the table.

You need to educate them about what makes you unique.

You can do this by participating in networking events, doing an exceptional job with your duties, introducing yourself to superiors when they present themselves, helping out your peers, and acting like a leader at all times.

Simply put, be good at what you do and work on your people skills.

Final Thoughts

The “Good Ole’ Boy System” exists in every organization, including the Army National Guard.

We all have our own “Good Ole’ Boy System” where we go the “extra mile” for people we know, like and trust.

It’s just human nature.

If you want to advance your military career, you need to be exceptional at what you do, and then you need to build strategic alliances with other successful people.

It’s not about kissing butt either.

Instead, you simply need to let people know what you bring to the table, so when opportunities are available, your name will be mentioned. 

Other Posts You Might Enjoy:

  1. Army Issued PT Shoes…Good or Bad Idea?
  2. How Do You Track Soldier Issues?
  3. Discipline in the Army: Common Army and Military Discipline Issues
  4. Issue 54: Weekly Training Tips Newsletter
  5. Issue 53: Weekly Training Tips Newsletter


Leadership Tip for the Week

My leadership tip of the week this week is to “keep an idea pad” with you at all times.

I carry around index cards or a small notebook with me everywhere I go.

Whenever I come up with a new idea I write it down.

Each week, I probably come up with 20 to 100 new ideas.

Some are horrible ideas, some are okay, and a few are exceptional.

At the end of each day, I review the ideas I brainstormed that day.

I take the best idea and implement it (or do additional research).

The other ideas get filed away.

At the end of each month, I review my ideas for the month.

Some get discarded.

Others get acted upon.

It will amaze you how many ideas you can come up with when you carry an “idea pad” with you at all times.

Try this for a week or you will never revert back to your old ways.


Book of the Week

My book of the week this week is “Now Discover Your Strengths” by Marcus Buckingham.

This book is a masterpiece.

It’s an in depth study of different personality traits.

Mr. Buckingham will teach you how to identify your core strengths.

The book comes with a personality test that you can do online.

After reading the book, you should clearly be able to identify what makes you, you.

This is a must read for any part-time military leader.

It’s a great book for an OPD/NCOPD session, too.


Quote of the Week

“No good decision was ever made in a swivel chair.” ~ General Patton

My Take: The best way to make decisions is to get out of your office and get your eyes on the objective.

What you might think is a great idea, might turn out to be a horrible idea for the people who need to execute your idea.

Talk with your troops and subordinate leaders.

When possible, run some of your ideas by them and get their input.


Final Thoughts:

I appreciate you visiting my website to read our weekly newsletter – Issue 43.

I would love to have you share your thoughts and ideas by leaving a comment below.

Tell us what you think.

Give us suggestions to write about.

Or just share your thoughts on what we wrote about today.

Thanks for serving.

Have a great week.

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Chuck Holmes, Webmaster,

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Chuck Holmes

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(352) 503-4816 home office

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6 thoughts on “Issue 43: Weekly Training Tips Newsletter

  1. Jeff Ferry

    There are 2 types of good ole boy systems. The ones that actually exist and the ones people pretend exist so they have an excuse when they don't get promoted.
    Now, they do exist and they can be a legitimate issue depending on how entrenched the people are and how exclusionary they are.
    However, I have seen people who weren't making rank either because of their own failings or just the lack of a spot and have blamed it on the good ole boy club. Normally if you attain excellence it doesn't matter what obstacles are in your way.

    1. Chuck Holmes Post author

      If you are at top 20 percenter, you will get promoted and move up. When you are good at what you do, good things happen. I’ve never met a superstar that couldn’t get promoted.

  2. Patrick

    What you said here is the key to advancement and breaking into the good ol boy network. “If you want to advance your military career, you need to be exceptional at what you do, and then you need to build strategic alliances with other successful people. It’s not about kissing butt either. Instead, you simply need to let people know what you bring to the table, so when opportunities are available, your name will be mentioned”.

    “Be the grease not the squeak”


    1. chuckholmes Post author


      I love your quote “be the grease not the squeak.” That holds true in anything in life. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and wisdom. All the best.


  3. Mike

    I am a 1SG with a Battalion Headquarters Company, in a State Defense Force (or Sate Guard) organization. While I agree networking is not only natural, it is required for successful careers. The issue I find with the ” Good Ole’ Boy” system, is one of degree. When those at the top of the network apply their position to leverage or compel their version of good behavior, then the organization suffers from a form of strangulation. This often leads to command stagnation.

    I believe that proper vigorous reinforcement of leadership doctrine and principles is the throttle by which the network excels and nurtures the organization to grow.

    Thank You for an excellent web site sir.


    1. chuckholmes Post author


      Thanks for your comments and thanks for visiting my blog. I agree with you that we are all responsible for our own careers. Have a great day. All the best.



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