Fixing The "IW Mentorship Problem"

Fixing The "IW Mentorship Problem"

Postby 12345qwert » Tue Dec 23, 2014 10:22 pm

In a community that values technical expertise, one could make the argument that we are NOT using modern technology effectively to help facilitate the growth of our junior officers/enlisted personnel by leveraging the expertise of our senior leaders.

"Arkad" made a GREAT point on an earlier post about the lack of mentorship within our community that resonated with me and I am hopeful many of you.

As JOs, our understanding of the IW community is often limited to the knowledge that the senior IW leaders in our commands choose to share with us (if you are not at the Big 4, this is often a handful (or less) of people), the operations/watches we support, or (as we progress in our careers) the mentors and friends that keep us dialed into important decisions/discussions/operations occurring outside of our command that effect our careers and our community. If the seniors are ill-informed, their subordinates become ill-informed. Additionally, we often serve in jobs that are geographically separated from the rest of our community. As a result, we are overly-reliant on conversations with the detailer, conversations with each other, this site and the blogs of other IW officers to keep us aware of what is going on, how to plan our career, what the future holds, etc, etc.

I work in a 1-of-1 job, but last WED, I was lucky enough to get to sit in the back of a meeting that ADM Rogers chaired and was TRULY impressed to see how he scoped an important cyber issue based on input from his staff, thought through the implications, directed his team to attack the problem, and discussed how he would hold them accountable.

I think we would all benefit from hearing our senior leaders discuss topics they think would be interesting to us.

Unlike our IDC brothers/sisters, we do not make a large investment in formal training. The last time I received "formal" IW training was 9 years ago at my 4 week IWBC course. Our community (unfortunately) RELIES on OJT and the diffusion of information through mentorship.

So, I am wondering if there would be an appetite to VTC into "IW Mentorship Discussions" open to as many stations as the ITs could handle to discuss ANYTHING – but here are some example topics:

(1) IW Career/Community Management - VTC the IW junior/senior officer/enlisted detailers and the ECM/OCM to discuss the community, where it's going, and what we can do to ensure we set ourselves and our subordinates up for success. Have seniors chime in with their own impressions (if they differ from what the detailer/CM states).

(2) USCC/NSA - VTC in senior leadership to discuss:
(a) The structure of the commands and coordination between NSA/USCC for ops/intel
(b) What the new 133 "cyber mission teams" will be responsible for - and the role IWs/IDC Officers/URLs will play in cyber
(c) The roles IW/IDC officers/URLs fill at USCC/NSA

(3) FCC/CTFs: Operational roles/responsibilities - goals/priorities for the coming years

(4) NCF: Build out of the TYCOM - goals/priorities for the coming years

(5) OSD-P/CJCS/OPNAV: How the Pentagon is looking at Cyber/EW/SIGINT

(6) NON-COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP: Leaders from the IDC to educate ourselves on what the rest of the IDC brings to the fight AND URL leaders with an understanding of how they will integrate cyber/EW/SIGINT with operations.

I am spit-balling these ideas. I am certain that if we (as JOs) went to the senior leadership and said "we are thirsty for more knowledge - please teach us!" - they would listen and be GENUINELY EXCITED to help! This would also be an opportunity for those same senior officers to hear from the officers and enlisted Sailors that they are influencing with the decisions they are making.

IWBC currently VTCs in a bunch of senior leaders to speak with lateral transfers/new accessions on topics of importance to the IW community - I think we'd all learn a lot from these leaders as well.

There are several senior officers that actively engage this forum (and we are eternally grateful), but we could do SO MUCH MORE to educate ourselves as a community - and create a sense of camaraderie up and down the ranks.

I would personally be happy to start sending emails and making phone calls to set this up, but wanted gauge interest first.
  • 2

12345qwert
Registered Member
 
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2013 11:34 pm
Reputation: 9

Re: Fixing The "IW Mentorship Problem"

Postby yoshi » Tue Dec 23, 2014 11:41 pm

I am interested. Maybe consider DCO delivery, as well, depending on what everyone is working with.
  • 0

yoshi
Experienced Member
 
Posts: 394
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2008 5:10 am
Reputation: 16

Re: Fixing The "IW Mentorship Problem"

Postby Pwlk » Wed Dec 24, 2014 1:03 am

I am for it and want to help. DCO is a good resource. All great topics as well. This has been talked about so much, let's just do it. I am going to contact a few folks for interest in being the "guest".

For a broader/unclass reach there is also Adobe Connect.
  • 1

User avatar
Pwlk
Experienced Member
 
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 4:31 pm
Reputation: 2

Re: Fixing The "IW Mentorship Problem"

Postby COMEVIL » Wed Dec 24, 2014 12:43 pm

Absolutely necessary. I think an "ask me anything" type format would work well -- broadcast live over the internet with questions posted to a bulletin board or other medium. There is actually an effort to make something similar happen over at IDCSS, but it is in the earliest stages of planning.
  • 0

User avatar
COMEVIL
Experienced Member
 
Posts: 816
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 11:54 am
Reputation: 34

Re: Fixing The "IW Mentorship Problem"

Postby Cryptonite » Wed Dec 24, 2014 4:04 pm

All, I agree that it is absolutely necessary. However, much of what was outlined is addressed in the IDMCC. I think if there was a forum to keep the discussions and relevant topics going from the IDMCC that could generate not only mentorship, but also help tackle some of the hard problems such as training and workforce development. Having recently completed the IDMCC, it was discussed that the format/curriculum would be changing in near future. So this would be an opportune time to create a COI.
  • 0

User avatar
Cryptonite
Registered Member
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 6:42 am
Location: VA
Reputation: 0

Re: Fixing The "IW Mentorship Problem"

Postby Arkad » Wed Dec 24, 2014 10:15 pm

Nice thread.

I do think that training and mentorship are two different things. True mentorship is all about a meaningful personal investment between a mentor and a protege. For example, I took a protege out to Starbucks today and we spent three hours talking through issues. I applaud what is happening in IWBC and IDMCC via VTC, but neither is truly mentorship. I train many and I mentor relatively few. Training is of value, but mentorship trumps training any day. When it comes to mentorship, I have formal contracts that result in less than meaningful interaction and I have incredibly strong partnerships with proteges and mentors alike that would be undermined with a contract. I think it comes down to a genuine desire to invest in each other. It's a two way relationship and my proteges often double as mentors (I'd like to think that at least some of my mentors feel the same about me). We all have a responsibility to both mentor and give others reason to want to mentor us. The question is are we embracing/upholding that responsibility? I hope that one year from now, each of us feels better about confidently answering yes.

As for training, keep making that a priority. It need not be a formal COI, but it certainly could. Brownbags can be meaningful and we all have some wisdom to impart on each other. Self-synchronize!
  • 1

User avatar
Arkad
Experienced Member
 
Posts: 161
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 2:07 am
Reputation: 21

Re: Fixing The "IW Mentorship Problem"

Postby Wolfpack » Thu Dec 25, 2014 4:03 pm

Arkad wrote:True mentorship is all about a meaningful personal investment between a mentor and a protege.


Again, agreeing 100% with Arkad! You cannot make anyone become a mentor, and you can only offer your mentorship to someone if you have a relationship with them. They have to develop a trust with you, and you, and the mentor, and to be willing to invest individual one on one time. I went years without a mentor, which is one of the reasons that I reach out constantly. I tell just about everyone that works for me that as soon as they or I move on, I would love to be a mentor, or will help them find one.

I have found that trying to be a mentor to someone who works for you is problematic (how do you help them if they have a crappy boss, and its you). I tell them that I will coach them while they work for me, and than mentor them afterward. Maybe a small difference, but an important one (to me).

Great thread, but mentorship relies on people, not a program, not an instruction, not training. My two cents.
  • 0

Wolfpack
Experienced Member
 
Posts: 157
Joined: Wed Sep 15, 2010 1:14 am
Location: Wash DC
Reputation: 6

Re: Fixing The "IW Mentorship Problem"

Postby Mjölnir » Sat Dec 27, 2014 4:06 am

Am all about hearing more from Community / Corps leadership on multiple issues -- all of the proposed topics pique my curiosity and beg for professional development.

As has been pointed out, mentorship and training are two different issues, and the VTC, brownbag, professional discussions are training -- and can provide valuable training to the participants. I am definitely interested if this goes forward.
  • 0

User avatar
Mjölnir
Experienced Member
 
Posts: 122
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2012 2:07 am
Location: Annapolis MD
Reputation: 21

Re: Fixing The "IW Mentorship Problem"

Postby Sum1 » Sun Dec 28, 2014 10:12 pm

DCO has both SIPR and unclass portals. To get a SIPR DCO account you have to already have an unclass account.
  • 0

Sum1
Experienced Member
 
Posts: 903
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 1:43 am
Reputation: 13

Re: Fixing The "IW Mentorship Problem"

Postby 12345qwert » Mon Jan 12, 2015 5:08 pm

Thanks for all the inputs! GREAT points – and looks like there would be some interest!

A few follow-ups AND proposed “way ahead”:

(1) DCO vs. VTC: Though I agree that DCO would be the "easiest" and allow each of us to dial-in from our desktops, I think there's a distinct advantage to gathering together to “dial into” a VTC. If this became an IW Community VTC (once a quarter?), IW officers could organize a local VTC location to use and after the VTC was over, junior/senior officers could discuss what was presented, share personal insights, and get to know the other IWs in their local area. When I was on C3F staff, we used to hold IW training and bring in all of the ships on the SD waterfront and dial-in PACNORWEST/HI. Though the training was useful for all of us, the conversations AFTER the presentation gave our staff better insight into the concerns of our ships – and allowed the ship's SSES/EWO teams and the CSG/ARG cryptologic/IO staffs to hear directly from our leadership.

DCOs, though helpful for disseminating information, do not allow junior officers to directly engage their local IW senior officers to ask personal/career related questions – or begin to create the interpersonal relationships that we’ve highlighted as being so critically important. It is also an opportunity to “see” the senior leaders/community managers/detailers and begin to put faces with the names of those who are leading our community.

(2) Training vs. Mentorship: As astutely noted by Arkad/Wolfpack/Stalwart, the topics and format discussed in this thread would be more training than mentorship. However, for some junior officers that are serving in “one-of-one” billets on the waterfront or on staffs, there are limited opportunities to develop these types of relationships. Like Stalwart noted, at the beginning of our careers (when having a good mentor from the community is CRITICAL), we often have only a few officers to seek out – not knowing the other officers that we may connect with or lacking the opportunities to create new relationships.

While I recognize that these VTCs will not “fix the mentorship problem” (apologies for the misleading title), they may arm us with the knowledge needed to better explain the direction of our community, engage in a useful dialogue with community leaders, and begin to develop important personal relationships.

(3) Way-ahead: This AM, I spoke with LCDR Smith (JO Detailer) and LCDR Yates (IW Officer Community Manager). Both are very interested in participating. Their calendars are free the last two weeks of FEB (far enough out to put the first VTC together and work through any issues). If you’d like to be a part of it, please shoot me a PM with the following information:
(a) Name:
(b) Physical Location:
(c) VTC Capabilities Locally (UNCLASS/CLASS/JWICS):
(d) All the dates you are available from 17-27FEB:
(e) UNCLASS email address/phone number:
  • 0

12345qwert
Registered Member
 
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2013 11:34 pm
Reputation: 9

Next

Return to Navy Information Warfare

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron