O-4 Results

Postby TarHeel98 » Sat Jul 21, 2012 4:09 pm

I agree in seeking advice and mentorship, especially from your reporting senior, but I think we tend to forget sometimes that the door swings the other way too. How much time are we-now this is really directed at senior LTs and above, really mentoring and seeking out opportunities to cultivate our JOs, especially in those unscripted moments? With the SWO community at least, this has been a real source of frustration for many a department head. They know they are ill serving their DIVOs but feel overwhelmed, overmatched, and not always supported by the greater leadership culture to really roll up their sleeves and grow holistically strong Naval Officers from the cradle. I admit, I have felt similar frustrations at times. Of course we all want to promote, excel, etc. but sometimes I really worry that we lose focus on fulfilling our mission and strengthening our Navy by not focusing on growing solid officers that will inevitably replace us.
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Postby atn » Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:24 pm

I work on a staff, and we looked around and realized that we had post-CO's and future XOs/COs working in the same organization. We recently self-organized and now hold bi-monthly leadership roundtables. They're not mandatory, but are well-attended nonetheless - tells me that some are hungry to teach and others are equally hungry to learn. We take turns offering up topics (usually centered around an article that we read before-hand). As a matter of fact, our last session was on mentoring. It's not a formal school, no-one told us to do it, but we saw the value of learning from each other, and it's been quite motivating so far. Maybe your organization could benefit from something similar.
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Postby TarHeel98 » Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:39 pm

This sounds like a wonderful idea. It is a bit hard where I am. We have a grand total of two IWs on our staff and very few Navy. We joke that this is our DON appreciation tour! We end up having to get pretty far out of the box regarding IW cultivation-still a work in progress. We do have a couple of Navy flag officers, and they are very supportive of bolstering professional and personal development. The trick is getting the buy-in at the 04 and potentially 05 ranks. There are a fair number of LTs here that could really benefit from their insights. I am hoping that we can build a greater Wardroom-like presence, but so far, still working on it!
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Postby atn » Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:24 am

TarHeel98 wrote:This sounds like a wonderful idea. It is a bit hard where I am. We have a grand total of two IWs on our staff and very few Navy. We joke that this is our DON appreciation tour! We end up having to get pretty far out of the box regarding IW cultivation-still a work in progress. We do have a couple of Navy flag officers, and they are very supportive of bolstering professional and personal development. The trick is getting the buy-in at the 04 and potentially 05 ranks. There are a fair number of LTs here that could really benefit from their insights. I am hoping that we can build a greater Wardroom-like presence, but so far, still working on it!


Our group is more focused on leadership topics vice IW topics (I'm the lone IW). We have O-2's to O-6's (URL, RL/Staff) sitting in the discussions - a great diversity of experience and thought. It's nice because we have a handful of post-command URLs who provide terrific insight without monopolizing the sessions. The URLs seem to have a more deliberate path to command (i.e. Divo -> DH -> XO -> CO). Many crave that same path for IDC (and some get the opportunity if they seek it), but our billet base (the funded requirement) is not structured that way....owing largely to our community's heritage: a Special Duty designator meant to perform intelligence-related functions. We carved out leadership billets through the necessity of the command structures that evolved over time within CNSG, but we weren't cast in the same mold as URL communities like SWO or Aviation.

In any event, it's satisfying to see officers at our command who make the time to impart their experience. I hope the recent negative publicity that Navy leaders have been getting (e.g. CO and CMC DFCs) will cause us to pause and think collectively about what we're doing to develop ourselves and, importantly, each other.
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Postby Sum1 » Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:50 am

One of the SWOs I've become really good friends with during my time on the ship is a LT who is constantly frustrated by the pervading culture surrounding new Ensigns and how they are trained (or not trained) on board. She consciously carves time out of her day to sit down in the wardroom and go over PQS or answer any questions they have. This idea's filtered into the other duty sections, and now they are all doing after-dinner mentoring/training just with their new Ensigns. It's a great time to learn and get quals signed off at the same time.

I really like the idea of passing out articles ahead of time and then scheduling an hour, perhaps once a week, where everyone can get together on a voluntary basis to talk about their experiences/opinions/insights.

And to chime in (albeit a little late), our CO does midterm counselings with all the officers. I actually just had to submit my inputs (the age-old 3 strengths, 3 weaknesses, 3 career goals) to my DH just the other day, which was slightly weird because we're both LTs :)
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Postby Arkad » Sat Jul 28, 2012 4:16 pm

Sum1 wrote: And to chime in (albeit a little late), our CO does midterm counselings with all the officers. I actually just had to submit my inputs (the age-old 3 strengths, 3 weaknesses, 3 career goals) to my DH just the other day, which was slightly weird because we're both LTs :)


Did you think about asking your Sailors or fellow JOs to give you what they perceive to be your strengths and areas for improvement?
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Postby Mjölnir » Sat Jul 28, 2012 8:37 pm

Sum1 wrote:I actually just had to submit my inputs (the age-old 3 strengths, 3 weaknesses, 3 career goals) to my DH just the other day, which was slightly weird because we're both LTs :)


When I was aboard ship, the DH and I were both LT's (I was actually the DH for 14 months before he checked aboard) and I was actually senior to him. I didn't consider it weird though since his role is to be the DH and mine was to be the ship's IW officer. We both learned from each other and in the end I think the DEPT was better off based on both of our experiences and with me not worrying about the dates of rank.
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Postby Arkad » Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:33 am

Good point Stalwart! Relative seniority shouldn't even enter our minds. I don't think about it, but our OPS DH is technically senior to our XO.
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Postby Sum1 » Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:09 am

Arkad wrote:Did you think about asking your Sailors or fellow JOs to give you what they perceive to be your strengths and areas for improvement?


I thought about asking how you enacted the 360 degree performance evaluation program at your command. I believe there to be ample untapped value in asking our juniors, peers, and DHs from other departments what they think our strengths, and (more importantly) our weaknesses are. My roommate is the CSO and SWO, so I might start with him. I don't want to come across as that guy looking to stroke his ego, so I'm wondering how to approach asking peers and juniors for their opinion without appearing as such.
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Postby Arkad » Mon Jul 30, 2012 2:35 pm

Sum1 - I am expecting to see an updated instruction on 01 AUG that takes our 360 Degree Program to the next level. Happy to share. We have found that the best way to get the feedback is by proxy. Why not have your CSO solicit the information on your behalf and ensure anonymity. I understand that nirvana is getting attributable feedback and let that be the side effect. Share your feedback with the team (or at least your Chief) and show them how appreciative you are for their interest in helping you to become the Officer you aspire to be (and of course make your improvement efforts genuine and obvious). You'll be surprised with what you get. No doubt most of what you do and who you are will be validated and the opportunity for reflection will be invaluable. I keep mine in my top drawer at work, and I know of a few khaki at our command who carry theirs around. Show that it means something to you and the trust across your team will continue to grow. Dismiss the feedback or get fired up about the areas for improvement and your team will merely wait you out.
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