Issue 53: Weekly Training Tips Newsletter

Issue 53: Weekly Training Tips

August 28th, 2012

Hello friends.  I’m sending out this issue of my Weekly Training Tips Newsletter a bit early this week since my wife and I are closing on our dream house in Florida this Thursday.  I hope you understand.

Thought for the Week

My thought for the week this week is to form a strong relationship with your AGR Staff.  This advice is geared toward M-Day Officers and NCOs, but I will also offer tips for AGR Soldiers.  Let’s get started.

In most units the AGR and M-Day Staff have major communication and leadership challenges among each other.  It doesn’t mean the AGR Staff (or M-Day Staff) is bad; it normally just means there are (1) undefined roles (2) poor guidance, and (3) poor communication.  As a result, there are many unneeded power struggles and personality conflicts.  And many units don’t perform at the level of effectiveness that they COULD if they were to address these issues and fix the problems.

If you are a small unit leader (M-Day) and have an AGR Staff working with you or for you, you have a few responsibilities.  First and foremost, you should sit down with your AGR Staff and explain your leadership philosophy.  Tell them what the most important things (priorities) are for the unit.  Explain their specific roles and responsibilities as you see it.  Tell them what you deem as your role, what you will focus on and what is most important to you.  Write everything down on a piece of paper, so there isn’t any misunderstanding.

Also, be proactive.  Call the unit once a day, or minimum twice a week.  Find out what the “open issues” are and see what you can do to assist your AGR Staff.  Most importantly, be a leader.  Be involved and take responsibility.  Give your AGR Staff the ability to make decisions in your absence.  Tell them what issues they can make decisions on their own and what issues they need to contact you first.  Whatever you do don’t just show up for your drill weekend like your soldiers and expect everything to go smoothly.  Invest some of your free time to help your AGR Staff Out.  And make sure you give them clear guidance and feedback.  You can never delegate your responsibility or duties, just because you are a part-time Soldier.

As an AGR Soldier, you have to remember that your M-Day Staff has a civilian career too.  So, you can’t expect them to do EVERYTHING their Active Duty Counterpart would do.  That is just unrealistic.  You need to “take charge” when they are not around and put out fires.  But, you also have to remember that the boss is still the boss, even if they are just part-timers.

If there is an issue, you need to keep your boss informed.  Give them a call.  Seek their input when possible.  And even if the boss has a different way of doing things than you do remember that they are still the boss!  As an AGR Soldier, your primary job is to do the behind the scenes stuff and support the M-Day Soldiers.  Don’t think it’s the M-Day Soldiers’ job to support you!  You have a CRITICAL role in the success of your unit.  So don’t take your role lightly.

In summary, both the M-Day Soldiers and AGR Personnel have very important jobs.  They rely on each other to get the job done.  If you are a small unit leader, it would be in your best interest to do whatever it takes to get your M-Day and AGR Soldiers on the same sheet of paper.  That way the unit can function smoothly.

Video of the Week

Here’s a motivational speech from William Wallace (Mel Gibson) in Braveheart.  This is one of my favorite speeches and favorite movies of all time.  Enjoy!

Book of the Week

The book of the week this week is “The Dream Giver” by Bruce Wilkinson.  I first read this book about 7-8 years ago. I consider the information life-changing.  Although there are a few religious references (I’m not religious myself) the information is still very powerful.

Synopsis:  Bestselling author Bruce Wilkinson shows how to identify and overcome the obstacles that keep millions from living the life they were created for. He begins with a compelling modern-day parable about Ordinary, who dares to leave the Land of Familiar to pursue his Big Dream. With the help of the Dream Giver, Ordinary begins the hardest and most rewarding journey of his life. Wilkinson gives readers practical, biblical keys to fulfilling their own dream, revealing that there’s no limit to what God can accomplish when we choose to pursue the dreams He gives us for His honor.

Are you living your dream— or just living your life? 

Welcome to a little story about a very big idea. This compelling modern-day parable tells the story of Ordinary, who dares to leave the Land of Familiar to pursue his Big Dream.

You, too, have been given a Big Dream. One that can change your life. One that the Dream Giver wants you to achieve. Does your Big Dream seem hopelessly out of reach? Are you waiting for something or someone to make your dream happen?

Leader of the Week

My featured leader of the week is Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens®.  I know he’s not a military guy, but this speech might just be the pep talk you need to succeed.

Quote of the Week

My quote of the week this week is “Are you bored with life? Then throw yourself into some work you believe in with all your heart, live for it, die for it, and you will find happiness that you had thought could never be yours.” ~ Dale Carnegie

My Take: You should try to live your life with passion.  Find something you enjoy and pursue it.  Never settle for mediocrity, even if just to pay the bills.

Final Thoughts

During the past few weeks I’ve actively been promoting my Visalus 90-Day Challenge.  This is a health and fitness challenge you can participate in to lose weight, improve your health, and even win cash prizes.  I’ve already lost ten pounds during the past two weeks myself and am looking forward to losing 10 more pounds.  If you would like to join the challenge, or learn more about it, you can visit my independent distributor website here to watch some videos and get more information.

In either case, I wish you all the best and hope you have a wonderful week.  Starting next week, our newsletter will be sent out on Thursdays again.  Take care.

If you have any comments or questions, please post them below. If you are in the mood to learn more for enlivening your military career, be sure and visit my store.

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Thanks for Your Service,

Chuck Holmes

SKYPE: mrchuckholmes
(352) 503-4816 home office
Email: chuck@part-time-commander.com

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15 thoughts on “Issue 53: Weekly Training Tips Newsletter

  1. Seth G

    Ah… Braveheart. What a movie. Think what you may about Mel Gibson, but his performances are always masterful. I haven’t watched it in a long time, but I remember it speaking to me, as did Black Hawk Down (read the book – it’s even better than the movie!). Good choices!

    Reply
  2. CBMorcom

    I really like that quote by Dale Carnegie. Ray Lewis is also an extremely gifted leader. I watched an NFL documentary on him and you can tell how hard he works. Congrats on your Visalus 90 day challenge. We all need inspiration at times and it’s good to have a couple quick resources. Thanks for posting!

    Reply
  3. Katelyn Hensel

    I know I’m a horrible person, but I haven’t actually seen all of Braveheart! This speech is quite epic though. It’s a very motivational moment about men fighting for the freedom of their country. Sound familiar? I hope the movies written about the dedication and passion of today’s military members are as wonderful at telling the story about our fight for freedom.

    Reply
    1. Charles Holmes Post author

      I love the Braveheart scene. You should rent the movie and watch it in entirety. It’s very moving and full of action. There’s also a great story line.

      Reply
  4. Andrew B.

    That book sounds very interesting. I’m not religious either, but wouldn’t mind the religious references. I find that religions often have a lot of good things to say, even if I don’t agree with the details of religious doctrines.

    Excellent idea about the challenge – I need to lose weight myself!

    Reply
    1. Charles Holmes Post author

      The Dream Giver is a wonderful book. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you should. And your point about religion is spot on. We can all learn a lot from the different religions, even if we don’t participate in the religion.

      Reply
  5. Laura

    You make many valid points regarding the relationship between the M-day Staff and the AGR staff. All of this could be applied to any leadership role, and should. Effective communication will make or break a working relationship before anything else. I also have to mention your motivational speeches and other mentions, thank you for those. We all need a bit of inspiration and you definitely have an ear for it.

    Reply
    1. Charles Holmes Post author

      Effective communication is the key to success in any relationship, whether it is a husband or wife, a military team, or a civilian company. Good leaders take the time to make sure that communication flows up and down their organization. They do back briefs, spot checks and make sure that their subordinates can speak their mind and share ideas with their leaders.

      Reply
  6. Daniel Slone

    A good working relationship with the AGR staff is crucial. The dynamic for the unit leadership is a bit different than it would be on active duty, because the AGR staffers do “Army work” every day whereas the commander and first sergeant have far less exposure. Especially for M-Day soldiers who have never served on active duty, the AGR soldiers will be the subject matter experts on administrative matters in particular. Don’t make the mistake of letting your ego get in the way if you hold more rank than one of these guys or gals; you can learn A LOT from them if you’re open to it.

    Reply
    1. chuckholmes Post author

      That’s a good point Daniel. I believe all leaders should treat their AGR staff like gold and leverage their expertise. Having a subject matter expert on your team is a wonderful thing, not something to be jealous about. As a “part-time” leader your AGR staff is your eyes and ears. Make sure you get involved and seek out their opinion and knowledge in their area of expertise. You will be glad that you did.

      Reply
  7. Lisa

    I, too, am a Braveheart fan! (Though I have to admit that I have watched this movie countless times for so much more than just the motivational speaking.) Thank you for sharing the video clip. It is good, and the message is timeless.

    Reply
    1. Bianca

      Another great newsletter, Chuck. I’m not sure how you come up with so many great ideas every week. But thanks for sharing.

      Bianca

      Reply

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