Leadership Ideas, Information and News

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Lean Six Sigma for Law Enforcement

On March 4, 2010, Conversations with American Heroes at the Watering Hole will feature a conversation Sergeant William Wilkerson, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office on Lean Six Sigma for Law Enforcement.

Program Date: March 4, 2010
Program Time: 1700 Hours Pacific
Topic: Lean Six Sigma for Law Enforcement
Listen Live: http://www.americanheroesradio.com/lean_six_sigma_law_enforcement.html

About the Guest
William "Billy" Wilkerson is a Police Sergeant with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and 20 Year veteran with the Florida Air National Guard. He is currently assigned to the Sheriff's Office Continuous Improvement Division along with serving as the Staff Inspections Unit supervisor. The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office has been using Lean Six Sigma to streamline its processes since 2004, with much success. Billy is a certified “Kaizen” facilitator through the Jacksonville Lean Consortium, and the US Air Force, and has received Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and Black Belt training with the Jacksonville Electric Authority. Billy has also been assisting with the Florida Air National Guard's rollout of their CPI Program (Continuous Process Improvement).

According to the Six Sigma Website, “The fundamental objective of the Six Sigma methodology is the implementation of a measurement-based strategy that focuses on process improvement and variation reduction through the application of Six Sigma improvement projects. This is accomplished through the use of two Six Sigma sub-methodologies: DMAIC and DMADV. The Six Sigma DMAIC process (define, measure, analyze, improve, control) is an improvement system for existing processes falling below specification and looking for incremental improvement. The Six Sigma DMADV process (define, measure, analyze, design, verify) is an improvement system used to develop new processes or products at Six Sigma quality levels. It can also be employed if a current process requires more than just incremental improvement. Both Six Sigma processes are executed by Six Sigma Green Belts and Six Sigma Black Belts, and are overseen by Six Sigma Master Black Belts.”

About the Host
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster was a sworn member of the Los Angeles Police Department for 24 years. He retired in 2003 at the rank of Lieutenant. He holds a bachelor’s from the Union Institute and University in Criminal Justice Management and a Master’s Degree in Public Financial Management from California State University, Fullerton; and, has completed his doctoral course work. Raymond E. Foster has been a part-time lecturer at California State University, Fullerton and Fresno; and is currently a Criminal Justice Department chair, faculty advisor and lecturer with the Union Institute and University. He has experience teaching upper division courses in Law Enforcement, public policy, Public Safety Technology and leadership. Raymond is an experienced author who has published numerous articles in a wide range of venues including magazines such as Government Technology, Mobile Government, Airborne Law Enforcement Magazine, and Police One. He has appeared on the History Channel and radio programs in the United States and Europe as subject matter expert in technological applications in Law Enforcement.

Listen, call, join us at the Watering Hole:
Program Contact Information
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.), MPA

Leaders Gather at DoD Medical Facilities Acquisition Summit

By Robert Haddix
Chief, Acquisition and Management Office, TRICARE Management Activity

Last week nearly 150 leaders in health care facility planning from the civilian sector, government agencies, academia, architects, engineers, and the Military Health System had the opportunity for “Partnering for Improved Effectiveness” through panel sessions focused on a re-examination of the current facility acquisition processes to develop ways to develop better, work-class facilities faster and at greater value.

Opening remarks and the attendees “charge” were provided by Mr. Allen Middleton (pictured), Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Dorko and John Becker. The keynote was provided by Brig. Gen. Patrick Burns, PE (USAF Retired). The summit then moved into panel presentations focused on the following key areas:

• Definition of Project Scope
• Control of Project Costs
• Innovations in Design and Construction Processes
• Reducing Project Delivery Time
• Best Practices in Acquisition Strategies

On day two of the summit the government participants worked in breakout sessions focused on identifying best practices for each of the key areas that can be directly applied to the MHS in the short-term. Opportunities for process re-engineering were presented as were tools and models that can be examined to improve facility acquisition strategies.

The participants adjourned poised to engage in additional workshops as needed that will be guided by the Proceedings and a Way Forward Action Plan. I would like to thank all of the participants for sharing their insights with us and look forward to furthering this important conversation in the coming months.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Leadership book

This is without question one of the best books on effective leadership ever written and it is profound and entertaining as one of the most unusual yet best possible analogies is used. Poker is a game that requires a combination of skill and luck, luck in the sense that the cards you receive are randomly selected and skill in the sense that the best hand does not always win. This combination is one that is directly applicable to the situation faced by leaders in that they must play the hand they are dealt. While people in leadership positions can often select the people that work under them, there are many cases where they do not. Of course they generally have little to no influence in selecting the people in other areas that they must work with or the exterior circumstances such as market forces and economic tides. The latter part is the equivalent of the cards that you are dealt, which is important but not the only factor.

Complaining about the cards you have received is a common action and quite healthy, as long as it is not taken too far. Bouncing back and forth between leadership in the workplace and the equivalent situation in a poker game, the authors write some of the best advice for leaders and just generally dealing with life ever put on paper. We are all constantly buffeted by forces and events largely beyond our control, yet the worst thing we can do is to let our complaining and blaming become a dominant force in our lives. Winners in poker examine the cards they are dealt, examine the cards that the other players have exposed, make reasonable estimates regarding the unseen assets of their opponents, examine their current financial stake, look closely at their opponents in an attempt to read any subtle signals in their mannerisms and then take a calculated risk. This is what should be done in the business world. Sometimes the cards simply aren't there yet you bet anyway just to keep the opposition confused. In the business world, this is known as strategic thinking, taking a gamble on an immediate loss with the opportunity for greater benefits in the future. If you don't lose on occasion, you are not pressing the issues as much as you should.

Many books on leadership tend to be correct in their content but dull in their delivery. In this case the content is superb and the delivery is even beyond that, the comparisons between poker and quality leadership are apt, educational and make this book one that should be read, re-read and intellectually digested.

Air Guard sponsors teen summits this summer

By Carolann Wunderlin
California National Guard

(1/27/10) -- The Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard has received funding for three AFR/ANG Teen Leadership Summits this year. Guard members can support the program by registering their teens for a summit. Also, each camp needs adult leaders to chaperone the teens.

The AFR/ANG Teen Leadership Summits are open to all 14-18 year old dependent teens of current Air Force Reserve or Air National Guard members.

Applicants will be required to complete the 2010 AFR/ANG Teen Leadership Summit application for the session they wish to attend to include essay questions, Code of Conduct and transportation form.

The application deadline is April 16. Applications and instructions as well as applications for adult volunteers are located at www.georgia4h.org/AFRANGTeenSummit.

Here is more information on each summit:

Classic Summit, 13-18 June 2010 - Wahsega 4-H Center, Dahlonega, Ga.

Attendees will be flown into Atlanta-Hartsfield International Airport. This summit will focus on developing an awareness of programs and services available to AF Reserve and Air National Guard dependents. Activities include high/low ropes course, rock climbing, white water rafting, hiking, environmental education and leadership classes.

Survival Summit, 20-25 July 2010 - Colorado Youth Programs, Boulder, Colo.

Teens must have attended a previous AFR/ANG Teen Leadership Summit to apply for this camp- attendance is limited to 36 teens. Attendees will fly into the Denver International Airport. This Summit begins at base camp where teens will have a day to prepare for the expert-led three day, two night survival experience.

Adventure Summit, 10-15 August 2010 - Cheley Camps, Estes Park, Colo.

Attendees will be flown into Denver International Airport. In this beautiful and majestic setting, teens will have the opportunity to choose from daily activities such as Rocky Mountain hiking, horseback riding (western), colts (where campers learn what is involved in training horses) backpacking, mountain biking, technical climbing, archery and low ropes challenge course.

Army Officer Leads Family Into Service

American Forces Press Service

Jan. 27, 2010 - As the eldest of six children, Army Capt. Kate Gowel always felt a desire to lead. She first led the way into the military -- a path all five of her siblings soon followed -- and later led the way in her career as a military lawyer.

"I honestly think we have a sense of duty and we feel at home serving in the military," said Gowel, referring to her family. Four of her siblings joined the Army, and one of her sisters went the Air Force route.

In high school, Gowel said, she decided to go to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., "on a whim."

"I felt like I would be losing out if I didn't try," she said. "I enjoyed West Point quite a lot and met many great friends there, including my husband."

Her father, retired Army Maj. Gen. Bruce Scott, said that decision proved inspirational to her siblings.

"Kate had been accepted with scholarships to many good schools, but at the last minute, she decided to accept her West Point appointment," her father said. "When her younger siblings saw that she could do it, I am positive it motivated them as well."

Three of her siblings followed her into the U.S. Military Academy, carrying on a family legacy of sorts. Her father and grandfathers went to the academy as well, and her father can trace active-duty military service in his family back about 130 years.

Gowel moved on to participate in the Army's Funded Legal Education Program, which enables officers to go to law school. The Army picks up the tab in exchange for a service commitment.

Her latest challenge led her on a deployment to Iraq, where she served as the trial counsel for the 1st Cavalry Division's 2nd Brigade.

"I also had lots of extra jobs, such as providing legal assistance to soldiers in the brigade, paying claims to Iraqi citizens and interacting with judges and lawyers in the Iraqi criminal justice system," she said. "It has been very interesting, and very challenging."

And each day brought a different challenge, Gowel said.

"I like being able to help soldiers with family and personal problems while at the same time being able to help commanders deal with ... legal problems and soldier problems," she said. "It is all very interesting and keeps me on my toes. I enjoy having a real purpose in my profession. I also enjoy the sense of pride and camaraderie and working with all types of talented, smart, interesting people."

She redeployed to Fort Hood, Texas, just in time for the holidays. Her husband, Army Capt. John Gowel, also a military lawyer, took care of their two boys, 5-year-old Matt and 2-year-old Sam, while she was away.

"He did a great job taking care of them and everything else while I was gone," she said. "Spoken from experience, being the spouse left at home is far, far harder and more stressful than being the spouse deployed."

Gowel describes her home life as a balancing act of sorts as she strives to juggle the demands of being a military officer and a mother of two.

"The most challenging aspect of my job really is being able to do it well while still being a good wife and a good mother to my children," she said. "Balancing a demanding job, at which I cannot fail, and a family is very, very challenging."

Challenges aside, Gowel said, she's grateful she was able to excel in the "family business."

"We really had a great time growing up," she said. "My mom always seemed happy and loved the lifestyle of moving around and meeting new people, and our dad very much liked being in the Army, being a leader and working with soldiers.

"The Army -- and Air Force -- is basically our family business; we take it pretty seriously and take pride in it," she said.

Soldier Finds Calling in Law

By Elaine Wilson
American Forces Press Service

Jan. 27, 2010 - Army Capt. Andy Scott started out as an Army engineer, but an interest in the law led him down a different path. "After a deployment to Iraq as a platoon leader, I saw firsthand the importance of law and order and the impact of the law on the battlefield," said Scott, a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. "I realized that I could offer the Army a lot as an attorney."

Scott shifted gears and applied for the Army's Funded Legal Education Program. This program enables officers to go to law school while the military picks up the bill in exchange for a service commitment. He completed his law degree and now is assigned to the U.S. Army Trial Defense Service at Fort Carson, Colo.

"It's a real honor for me to be able to represent soldiers in the courtroom and other proceedings," said Scott, who hails from Lorton, Va. "Having been a combat platoon leader, I know and share the experiences that many of my clients have had while deployed, and I can't imagine a more rewarding job than representing these soldiers.

"I'm really humbled by some of the acts of courage that some of my clients have performed," he continued. "I think that, as a lawyer, it doesn't get any better than sitting in the courtroom next to a soldier who's served his or her country."

Scott has been deployed twice, and both were "life-changing" experiences, he said. His first deployment was with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment from 2003 to 2004, when he served as an engineer platoon leader in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom I.

"To have such a life-changing leadership experience at such a young age -- I was 22 when we deployed in March 2003 -- is something that most people just don't get," he said.

He deployed to Iraq, again with the 3rd ACR, in 2005, but his time overseas was cut short so he could begin law school.

"I was a squadron [personnel officer] for that deployment, so I got to see the other side of combat operations: the staff work," he said.

Scott's dedication to service is a family tradition of sorts, he said. Both of his grandfathers and his father went to the U.S. Military Academy, and all five of his brothers and sisters are in the military – four in the Army and one in the Air Force. On his father's side, he can trace his military lineage back more than 130 years.

Scott said people are sometimes surprised when they hear about the Scott "family business."

"Usually they're somewhat in awe," he said.

Scott said he believes his family's military devotion can partially be attributed to sheer numbers. "Both my parents grew up as Army 'brats' and have a lot of uncles who went to West Point and served in the Army, so my siblings and I were just born into an environment where there were a lot of military members."

His family's younger generation had an opportunity to see the military success of the older members, he noted, "and it was such a positive thing to watch that it was only natural that the younger ones would follow."

Scott said he arrived at his decision to join at a young age.

"I certainly didn't know exactly what a career in the Army would be like, even with a father who spent 30 years on active duty, but I could see that it was a noble profession, and one that rewarded hard work and dedication," he said. "Twelve years later, I can say that I'm very glad that I made that decision to go to West Point, because I've had some incredible experiences since then."

He attributes much of that positive experience to the people with whom he serves. "There's no question that the Army provides its servicemembers some incredible opportunities for work, education, travel, and personal growth. But the heart of the Army is its people," he said.

"The Army has some incredible technology at its disposal," he added, "but I'd take a platoon of 30 guys over a piece of computer-assisted equipment any day. The Army wouldn't work without its people, and it's lucky enough to have some of the best."

Cadet Tackles West Point Challenge

By Elaine Wilson
American Forces Press Service

Jan. 27, 2010 - As the youngest of six children in his family, Adam Scott had some big military shoes to fill. His five siblings all joined the military. Three of them attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., as did his father and his grandfathers on both sides. On his father's side, he can trace his active-duty military lineage back more than 130 years.

His choice to follow in their footsteps was a simple one, Scott said.

"After watching three siblings attend West Point, it really was not a difficult decision for me at all," he said. "I saw how West Point positively affected their lives, and saw how their life after West Point provided great opportunities and vast choices."

Now a sophomore there, Scott said he also was drawn by the "stellar academics, unbelievable opportunities and true challenge it presented."

"I love the leadership opportunities," he said. "Every person in the military has the ability to positively affect those around them, while still personally developing themselves. That kind of leadership opportunity simply isn't around in other careers." The academics, while rewarding, can pose a challenge when it comes to time management, he said. "The most difficult aspect of life at West Point is trying to balance all of the tasks thrown your way," he said. "Each day presents a new challenge and rarely is there excessive free time available, which means time management and work ethic are of the utmost importance."

Scott said he's not sure of his career path yet, but is keeping his mind open. In the meantime, he's enjoying his time at West Point and his trips home to see family.

"I'm only about a five-hour drive from home," the Lorton, Va., resident said. "I see my parents at least three or four times a semester. Unfortunately, it's much more difficult to see my siblings with them spread all over the country and across the world. It can be months, or even years, at a time between visits."

Raised as Army "brats," Scott said, he's not surprised he and his siblings chose a military path. "I think we have seen the good the Army can do, and have simply taken advantage of the opportunity. I think [my family and I] can all agree we've seized the opportunity."

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

MHS Excels as a Learning Organization

By Marqeis Sparks

January 27, 2010 - Military medical leaders used the 2010 MHS Conference as an opportunity to emphasize the importance of the Military Health System’s status as a learning organization.

“The MHS health care organization needs to learn … through study and practice. USU is the heart of study and practice,” said Dr. Charles Rice, president of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, or USU, the MHS’s medical school located in Bethesda, Md.

“If we take the premise that universities are durable organizations, and serve as the centers for learning, then what better place within the MHS to foster constant learning than our very own USU,” said Col. Brian Reamy, assistant dean for faculty and professor of family medicine at USU, who also spoke at the conference.

USU is a unique university in that its mission is to train many of the doctors and nurses who will care for service members and their families. Even more unusual, USU relies on a volunteer faculty culled from across the MHS.

By bringing in professors with such a diverse set of hands-on experiences, the university offers students a practical training that helps prepare them for the important job they begin after graduation.

Part of maintaining a top-notch learning environment is ensuring that institutions are continually pushing themselves to improve. The MHS and USU strive to do so through self-review and self-improvement.

“Today we are thinking about learning organizations, but we need to turn thinking into action,” said Dr. Michael Dineen of the MHS strategy and development office, on behalf of Allen Middleton, acting principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for health affairs.

DoD officials are encouraged to work together to improve the quality of care and resources available within the MHS.

Dr. Peter Pronovost, a professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, recognized the learning organizations that the MHS have built and maintained in his address. He ended by praising the Military Health System, and challenging the entire organization to continue improving all of its learning institutions. “Leadership is the ability to help people address problems that the make the world better,” said Pronovost.

Ultimately Brainy Luminaries on "Education" and "Exercising Leadership via Education" - Researched by Andres Agostini - All Rights Reserved -

As of January 27, 2010

Ultimately Brainy Luminaries on "Education" and "Exercising Leadership via Education" - Researched by Andres Agostini - All Rights Reserved -

“…Education, strictly speaking, has several objectives: one needs to learn how to speak and write correctly, which is generally called grammar and belles letters. Each lyceum has provided for this object, and there is no well-educated man who has not learned his rhetoric .... After the need to speak and write correctly comes the ability to count and measure. The lyceums have provided this with classes in MATHEMATICS embracing arithmetical and MECHANICAL KNOWLEDGE IN THEIR DIFFERENT BRANCHES .... The elements of several other fields come next: chronology, geography, and the rudiments of history are also a part of the education of the lyceum …. A young man who leaves the lyceum at sixteen years of age therefore knows not only the mechanics of his language and the classical authors, the divisions of discourse, the different figures of eloquence, the means of employing them either to calm or arouse passions, in short, everything that one learns in a course on belles letters. He also would know the principal epochs of history, the basic geographical divisions, and how to compute and measure. He has some general idea of the most striking natural phenomena and the principles of equilibrium and movement both with regard to solids and fluids .... Whether he desires to follow the career of the barrister, that of the sword, or ENGLISH, or letters; if he is destined to enter into the body of scholars, to be a geographer, engineer, or land surveyor – in all these cases he has received a general education necessary to become equipped to receive the remainder of instruction that his circumstances require, and it is at this moment, when he must make his choice of a profession, that the special studies present themselves .... If he wishes to devote himself to the military art, engineering, or artillery, he enters a special school of MATHEMATICS, the polytechnique (institution, especially college dealing with or devoted to various TECHNICAL subjects). What he learns there is only the corollary of what he has learned in elementary mathematics, but the knowledge acquired in these studies must be developed and applied before he enters the different branches of ABSTRACT MATHEMATICS. NO LONGER IS IT A QUESTION SIMPLY OF EDUCATION, AS IN THE LYCEUM: NOW IT BECOMES A MATTER OF ACQUIRING A SCIENCE …. The total length of the course of the Artillery and ENGINEER school being fixed at two years, we must divide the course into four parts, each comprising six months of study. Students in the first class would learn: 1.- The infantry maneuvers of the platoon and battalion. 2.- The maneuvers of field and siege artillery as well as those of mortars and howitzers. 3.- Mechanical maneuvers, the composition of explosives…4.- The principles of the attack of fortifications. 5.- The entire position of the aide-mémoire pertaining to firing, and finally. 6.- Everything necessary to the gunner and the engineer in the field .... Students will be led to the target range; they will lob bombs into the target barrel, fire blank cartridges, etc., and construct every kind of battery. They will continue their [initial] course of construction. In the third class students would pursue their STUDIES IN HYDRAULIC ARCHITECTURE, CIVIL and military. They would busy themselves with the most complicated part of construction and LEARN EVERYTHING NECESSARY to direct and superintend the construction of a fort. They would take cognizance of the details of foundries, mines, etc .... The fourth class would be dedicated to perfecting the students in the different subjects that they have been studying. They would go over all of the details of arsenals, mines, galleries, etc. – in brief, everything that would complete their instruction as engineers and gunners would belong to the curriculum of this class …. In general, in the establishment of a school for engineers and artillery one should consider the knowledge of the maneuvers of all the guns and the tactics of infantry as the principal object. When a student is admitted to the School of the Battalion, he would be forced to perform the manual of arms and the maneuvers of the battalion at least three times every ten days … It is important for the maneuvers of artillery to keep in mind that nothing is more uncertain than the art of firing. This portion of the military art is classified among the PHYSIO-MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES, yet its results are dubious; those of practice are certain. Students having completed one course in mechanics know nearly everything that they must understand and apply… It is appropriate therefore to strive above everything else, and not as one of the foremost foundations of the instruction, to see that each student executes the manual of arms and all of the maneuvers of artillery better than a veteran soldier, that he is skilled in large practice and HAS PERFECT KNOWLEDGE of the employment of artillery. No one can be considered a good student if, upon graduation, he cannot go immediately to a battery or a siege. It is proper that upon joining his unit he should instruct a class of recruits in the maneuvers of artillery and infantry and in the mechanical maneuvers. How often do you not see officers unable to place a gun carriage, direct a mechanical maneuver, fashion explosives, and forced to take lesson from old sergeants? … When a student can aim a gun better than the soldier, no one will question either his right to advancement or the other advantages of his education. Old sergeants will not be jealous of these young officers when they never have to teach them anything.”

SIR IAN HAMILTON IN 1921 ON NAPOLEON: “It is only progressively that one can form a great army. Certainly no other commander (leader) in his day devoted as much thought and attention to organization as Napoleon, who went into painstaking detail to assure that his forces (team and resources) were disciplined, prepared, and ready to take the field (the marketplace and its competitors). The army marches, works, and has its being by organization and discipline.”

WERNHER VON BRAUN ON EDUCATION, 1912 –1977, (Father of the American Space Program):

“…The average citizen today, of course, has far more scientific information at his disposal than did those greatest of intellects of earlier times. Yet paradoxically, I think that THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A GREATER NEED FOR INCREASED UNDERSTANDING AND APPRECIATION OF SCIENCE. It has been said that, although the choice of direction for our civilization will be determined through democratic process, it is there that the problem begins. TO MAKE RATIONAL CHOICES, THE AVERAGE CITIZEN MUST UNDERSTAND THE NATURE AND ROLE OF SCIENCE AT A TIME WHEN ITS BREADTH AND COMPLEXITY ARE INCREASING ALMOST EXPONENTIALLY .... Conversely, the scientist, at a time when he can barely keep up to date in his specialty, must not isolate himself in his parochial interest. Instead, he should see his profession as a part of the larger world, to evaluate himself and his work in relation to all forces, especially the humanities, which shape and advance society. THE NEED, THEN, IS FOR AN EDUCATIONAL PROCESS RESULTING IN MORE SCIENTIFIC LITERACY FOR THE LAYMAN, AND MORE LITERACY IN THE HUMANITIES FOR THE SCIENTISTS .... Man in this scientific age is free only to the extent that he has a grasp on himself and his surroundings. FREEDOM – THE ABILITY TO SPEAK, THINK, ACT, AND VOTE INTELLIGENTLY – is based largely on our ability TO MAKE CHOICES growing out of our understanding of the issues involved. With each advance of science, there is an invitation to more understanding. This is the essence of the burden borne by all peoples since the dawn of humanity. There must be widespread understanding of the role of science in modern society, both as to its limits and our dependence on its basic function as a tool for our survival. This is the imperative for scientific literacy .... How do we encourage scientific literacy? I THINK THE PROBLEM IS HOW TO INSTILL IN STUDENTS A PERMANENT DESIRE TO LEARN. All youth is endowed with curiosity from the very beginning. What can education process do, not only to keep this natural curiosity alive, but to make it a permanent part of the individual drive? … Students should be encouraged, beyond learning facts, to be intrigued by objects and events in their environment, as well as to become aware of and responsive in a positive manner to beauty and orderliness in their environment. THEY SHOULD BE TAUGHT TO WILLINGLY SUBJECT THEIR DATA AND IDEAS TO CRITICISM OF THEIR PEERS WHILE ACQUIRING A CRITICAL, QUESTIONING ATTITUDE TOWARD INFERENCES, HYPOTHESES AND THEORIES. Early in education, they should be led to recognize the limitations of scientific modes of inquiry and the need for additional, quite different approaches to the quest for reality … ULTIMATELY, THEY SHOULD BE INSTILLED WITH AN APPRECIATION FOR THE INTERRELATEDNESS OF SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIETY .... This is essentially the scientific method. By learning the scientific method, students will understand its role in society and at the same time to think for themselves. LEARNING TO THINK FOR ONESELF, IN TURN, IMPARTS A DEEP SENSE OF FREEDOM. ONCE TESTED, AN APPETITE FOR IT IS FORMED WHICH MAY WELL ENDURE THROUGHOUT LIFE .... But if our young people are going to gain the appetite, our schools, our colleges, our universities, must bear an ever greater responsibility. ALL TOO MANY TIMES IN THE PAST, EDUCATION – PARTICULARLY IN THE SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINES – HAS PLACED EXTREMELY HEAVY EMPHASIS ON TRANSMITTING THE ESTABLISHED KNOWLEDGE OF THE PAST. THERE HAS BEEN A TENDENCY FOR TEACHERS TO ASSIGN, AND TO ENCOURAGE ROTE LEARNING, INSTEAD OF TAKING THE ADMITTEDLY MORE DIFFICULT PATH OF ENCOURAGING STUDENTS TO THINK FOR THEMSELVES .... THE MAINSPRING OF SCIENCE IS CURIOSITY. SINCE TIME IMMEMORIAL, THERE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN MEN AND WOMEN WHO FELT A BURNING DESIRE TO KNOW WHAT WAS UNDER THE ROCK, BEYOND THE HILLS, ACROSS THE OCEANS. THIS RESTLESS BREED NOW WANT TO KNOW WHAT MAKES AN ATOM WORK, THROUGH WHAT PROCESS LIFE REPRODUCES ITSELF, OR WHAT IS THE GEOLOGICAL HISTORY OF THE MOON.

Yes, the Romanic cultures – to an appalling and unfortunate degree (and with the notorious exception of Leonardo Da Vinci) – have this overwhelming counter feeling against Napoleon Bonaparte’ and Wernher von Braun’s Success Prescriptions. When the subject matter is addressed, the respective incumbents take it as a violation to their traditions and not as an opportunity to grow beyond any past historic consideration.

DR. MALCOLM S. KNOWLES, PH.D. AND AMERICAN AUTHOR OF “THE ADULT LEARNER: THE DEFINITIVE CLASSIC IN ADULT EDUCATION AND HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT” WROTE ON EDUCATION: “The greatest danger for the survival of the present civilization is neither atomic war, nor environmental pollution, nor the exploitation of natural resources, and nor present crises. The underlying cause to all of the above is the acceleration of man’s obsolescence … The only hope seems to be an electroshock program to re-instill to the current adults the competencies required to function adequately under a mode of perpetual change. This is a profound need – the immeasurable challenge – that is presented by the modern society to adult educator.”

By © Copyright 2010 Andres Agostini – All Rights Reserved – At www.linkedin.com/in/andresagostini

Guard Spouse Earns Seat With First Lady

American Forces Press Service

Jan. 27, 2010 - Janell Kellett has found that moving forward and giving back can bring satisfaction and purpose to her family readiness group -- and a special invitation to the nation's capital. Kellett, lead volunteer for the Wisconsin Army National Guard's family readiness group, learned last week that she had been selected to attend the State of the Union address tonight as a guest of First Lady Michelle Obama.

She will be among 23 guests -- and one of six with a military affiliation -- to sit with the first lady and Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, to hear President Barack Obama's speech in the House of Representatives chamber.

"It's totally awesome," Kellett said. "If you would have told me four months ago, or even four weeks ago, that this was a possibility, I wouldn't have believed it."

Her husband, Army Maj. Michael Hanson, recently returned from Iraq following a year-long deployment with the 32nd Brigade Combat Team of the Wisconsin Army National Guard.

While her husband's 3,200-soldier unit was training, mobilizing and deploying, Kellett served as the lead volunteer for the brigade's family readiness group, for which she coordinated the efforts of about 27 subordinate-unit FRG volunteers.

They launched a community-service campaign called "Moving Forward, Giving Back" to bring together families of soldiers who have deployed in the past with families experiencing their first deployment, as well as to provide a focus outside of deployment concerns.

The Wisconsin National Guard learned late last year that the 32nd Brigade's family readiness group was named the best in the Army National Guard for 2009 and will be one of seven reserve-component family readiness groups to receive a Defense Department award next month.

A food drive the 32nd Brigade's family readiness group conducted as the soldiers were returning from Iraq netted more than 2,000 pounds of food for the food pantry in Mauston, Wis.

"Our leadership here in Wisconsin, as well as our leadership in Washington, support volunteerism and clearly support these efforts," Kellett said. "It's a lot of hard work, but a lot of rewarding work. I truly believe our volunteers are serving the National Guard, definitely making an important contribution."

Air Force Brig. Gen. Don Dunbar, Wisconsin's adjutant general, agreed.

"We are very proud of Janell and grateful for her tireless efforts on behalf of the 32nd IBCT," he said. "She has a heart of gold and is the perfect choice to represent family readiness group volunteers across the military.

"I am also very appreciative of the honor that the first lady is bestowing to Janell and all volunteers who support our military family," he continued. "Clearly, our first lady understands the importance of family support to our nation's warriors."

Kellett was nominated by Army Col. Steven Bensend, commander of the 32nd Brigade, as well as by Jan Van Kirk, lead volunteer for the 157th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, and by Army Lt. Col. Tammy Gross, director of the Wisconsin National Guard's servicemember support division.

Kellett said her husband, who will watch the speech from the theater room of the White House while she is at the Capitol building, joked that he is the "and guest" part of the invitation.

She disagreed. "If it wasn't for him, I never would have been asked," she said.

As the only National Guard spouse to be invited, Kellett described the invitation as a great honor, and said she struggled to justify why she was selected over other deserving candidates.

"At first I was excited, and then I was panicked, and then I was wondering why someone else wasn't picked," she explained. "Then I accepted that I was picked, and then I was excited again."

The first lady's other military affiliated guests are:

-- Army Sgt. 1st Class Andrew Rubin, who has served four combat tours in Iraq and two combat tours in Afghanistan;

-- Retired Army Specialist Scott Vycital, a wounded warrior who now works for the Federal Highway Administration;

-- Julia Frost, a former Marine and the wife of an active-duty Marine, who is studying to become a teacher using the GI Bill; and

-- Mark Todd and Kimberly Munley, police officers at Fort Hood, Texas, who responded to the Nov. 5 shooting spree there. Both are Army veterans.

(From a Wisconsin National Guard news release.)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Chain of Command and its Effect on Empowering Employees

Chain of Command and its Effect on Empowering Employees

Lean Six Sigma has special challenges in organizations that have a military styled rank structures. I have personally experienced this as a representative of a law enforcement agency and as a military guardsman. Recently, I have had the good fortune of making the acquaintance or Retired Colonel Billy Asbell, former Director for the Air National Guard's Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st Century program (AFSO21). AFSO21 is the Air Force program geared towards Lean Six Sigma, and other continuous improvement methodologies used for years in the public sector. For a more detailed breakdown of the AFSO21 program, this link may prove helpful:


Since getting to get to know Colonel Asbell, I was inclined to draw from his years of experience in the military, coupled with his expertise as Director of the AFSO21 program. He was kind enough to give a response to an email that I sent him regarding rank structure and its effect on empowering employees towards continuous improvement. He graciously allowed me to post that email to this blog. For that I am forever grateful. Leadership such as his is what has made, and continues to make, the United States of America the greatest country in the world. Below are the details of the email, titled:

Chain of Command and its Effect on Empowering Employees

Colonel, as you may know, law enforcement is considered to be "Para-military" in that it has a rank structure, consisting of line personnel, Sergeants, Lieutenants, Assistant Chiefs, Chiefs, Directors, etc. I am curious of what someone with your extensive background in CPI (continuous process improvement) could offer as insight as to how the rank structure effects empowerment of the line officers and middle ranks, and how it relates to CPI. This seems to be a major issue and something that is holding several agencies back from making major leaps forward with its culture change.

Basically, what does an empowered employee look like in a large rank structured organization, how should leaders learn to recognize these traits, and how do we foster that culture to get us out of the "yes man" mentality that the rank structure claims it needs to keep order?

Here is Colonel Asbell's Response:

Billy - you are right - this is a challenge and it takes leadership commitment from the top to make it work.

First you have to get leadership - at all levels - to buy off on the idea that "if they had the answer they would just put it in place - if it is a problem obviously then they don't have the answer so they have to support whatever the subject matter experts come up with..." This is hard but it works. I have seen process owners say this but not do it when the decisions are hard - nothing changes. I have seen ones that mean what they say and hold the team responsible if their solutions don't work to fix them so they will and success goes thru the roof. Here is the approach I take.

1 - when the problem is identified sit down with the process owner and write out a charter for process improvement. You can usually tell in the meeting if they really think it is a problem or if someone told them it was a problem. I normally tell them right then - you have to let the subject matter experts fix this because you don't have the answer - you, as the process owner have to tell them that you don't have the answer and that you will try/accept any solution they provide as long as it does not violate safety and/or cost over x amount of dollars. I state - if you can't do this without reservation then we don't need to address the issue now.

2 - when you have that commitment then I do some awareness training with the supervisors - since I will use the front line workers to change the process - I want the supervisors to understand what is going to happen and how they need to support it. I like to do the airplane exercise with them (sure Linda taught you that) so they can see how things can be broken. It is fun to add some goofy rules to the exercise so they can see the impact of policy.

3 - on the first day of the project - the process owner and any supervisors should all meet with the team members and empower them - I usually draft out key points for them to say. The main ones are 1) you are the experts 2) you know what works 3) this is broken I can't fix it 4) I need solutions from you 5) I will support your solutions as long as they do not violate safety or cost over x dollars. The last statement should be "I expect you to fix this problem."

4 - if you do an RIE the mid week vector check with the process owner should be positive - you need to brief the process owner on the key changes being discussed PRIOR to the meeting and tell them they CANNOT MAKE ANY NEGATIVE COMMENTS - "we can't do that, that is stupid, what are you smoking, etc." All comments should be directed at them being on track or not based on the charter - and discussion of the discussion looks very good.

5 - Out brief - the process owner has to go in with acceptance in mind - they have to say - this looks good - I am behind you getting this done - they should know who the team leader is and turn to them and say - I am holding you accountable for success of this change. It works great when they set a review schedule in the meeting. The process owner needs to say to the team - if your solutions don't work - I want you to continue to work until you fix this - turning back is not an option.

6 - Then there is the follow up - you or whomever is the CPI lead needs to make sure a tracking mechanism is in place so that you leadership champion can hold the process owners accountable for their projects.

Finally, you have to look at the CPI or LSS projects as outside the chain activities - the only command structure is focused on the process owner and up to the champion. Consider it a detail in LEAN terms - these folks have this side detail that reports thru a different chain. It does work.

Hope that helps.

Billy (aka George "Billy" Asbell, Colonel, USAF, Retired)

Colonel Asbell's profile can be found on LinkedIn @ http://www.linkedin.com/in/billyasbell

About the Author: William "Billy" Wilkerson is a Police Sergeant with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and 20 Year veteran with the Florida Air National Guard. He is currently assigned to Sheriff's Office Continuous Improvement Division and also supervises the Staff Inspections Unit. The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office has been using Lean Six Sigma to streamline many of its processes for the past several years to much success. Billy has also been assisting with the Florida Air National Guard's rollout of their CPI Program (Continuous Process Improvement). Billy can be found on LinkedIn @ http://www.linkedin.com/in/billywilkerson  or by email at 7388wtw@gmail.com .

Monday, January 25, 2010

Leaders Speak on Casualty Care and Humanitarian Assistance

By Rob Anastasio
FHP&R Staff Writer

January 25, 2010 - Hope and resilience were the key themes that precipitated from Monday’s second plenary session at the 2010 MHS Conference, where three decorated leaders spoke of the initiatives and leadership surrounding military casualty care and humanitarian assistance.

“All the people in this room have come here today to find better and more effective ways to help wounded warriors and veterans,” said William Schoenhard, deputy undersecretary for health operations and management, Veterans Health Administration (VHA).

The VHA has been the leading force in providing the best system of post-combat support that has ever been offered. In fact, according to recent surveys, VHA patient satisfaction has consistently exceeded that of the private sector. The successes that are seen by VHA are measured by treatment, research, and an integrated systems approach that has proven to be quite effective.

Services that are being offered to veterans include an advanced polytrauma system that has teams of doctors working together for best possible treatment. The latest medical technology and electronic medical records are being leveraged to more accurately reflect patient history. Since 2007, 360,000 veterans have been screened for traumatic brain injury (TBI) and more than 25,000 cases have been confirmed.

As a response to the increasing number of diagnosed TBI and PTSD cases, 4,000 mental health care workers have been hired by VHA, and a suicide prevention hotline is established that has rescued 4,000 veterans from suicide. Schoenhard said that this is “just the beginning of the state of the art care that is being delivered.”

Rear Adm. Richard Jeffries, medical officer of the U.S. Marine Corps, also spoke at the session and said that the Marine Corps has reported 50,000 cases of TBI since Sept. 11, 2001, and 20,000 cases of PTSD.

Jeffries said that, in the U.S. Marine Corps, the survival rate of combat warriors who are wounded in action is 85 - 95 percent. Moreover, the survival rate of a combat warrior who undergoes a massive blood transfusion is 83 - 93 percent.

“Resilience is the most important thing,” said Jeffries. Through TBI mitigation research and new medical technologies, the military serves as the ideal example of a member-centric organization, setting the well-being of the war fighters as a primary interest.

In the global war on terrorism, while combat medical capabilities are at the most advanced state that they have ever been, the Marine Corps has made it a top priority to sustain the quality of life of its warriors. This will be achieved through the Marine Corps’ focus on suicide prevention, TBI, PTSD, and wounded warrior and family readiness programs.

Navy Surgeon General Vice Adm. Adam Robinson, who concluded the session, said that the focus of the Naval medical community is on force health protection, humanitarian assistance, and combatant relief. Robinson said that “common good is symbolized by this [MHS] conference.”

Robinson pointed to the relief effort in Haiti to illustrate how humanitarian missions build trust and goodwill between nations. “From relationships come trust, and trust is vital,” said Robinson. “Hope is the ability to come together and ensure people have the fundamental building blocks of life.”

Friday, January 22, 2010

Airman Leads Security Forces Team

By Air Force Tech. Sgt. Scott T. Sturkol
Special to American Forces Press Service

Jan. 22, 2010 - Air Force security forces have to be ready for a response at moment's notice. Known as "defenders" to many in the Air Force community, Air Force Staff Sgt. LeTari Myles and other security forces airmen are ready to take action when called upon. "Along with my fellow security forces, [I] provide security for all U.S. military resources, equipment and people at our deployed location," said Myles, who serves as a security forces response team leader with the 380th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron. "We have to provide an immediate armed response to all situations affecting the protection level resources we have."

A seven-year veteran of the Air Force and the security forces career field, Myles said he knows the importance of keeping nearly 1,900 people safe along with protecting millions of dollars of equipment, aircraft and assets.

Being a "defender" takes a high volume of training and knowledge in weaponry, laws, directives and programs, policies and procedures governing security forces activities. That knowledge further breaks down into being fluent on installation security, anti-terrorism, law enforcement and investigations and air base defense.

"In short, my career field provides a first line of defense," the Detroit native said.

Deployed from the 43rd Security Forces Squadron at Pope Air Force Base, N.C., Myles said the longer he serves in the military, the more appreciation he has for his fellow security forces airmen and other servicemembers. "I'm enjoying serving in the U.S. military, and I have grown to love, accept and respect my job," he said.

Myles added that he knows deploying is "something that comes with the job."

"I knew that before I joined the Air Force," he said. "Deploying has been easy to me." He credited his family's support and understanding for that.

Even knowing he had to leave family behind to deploy, the staff sergeant said the time away offers an opportunity to meet new people and more.

"When you deploy, it's hard to leave your family, but you meet and become close with new people who become your extended family," he said. "The military has taught me a lot, and I have gained a lot from the military."

The 380th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron, as a part of the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing, supports operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom and the Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa. The wing's mission includes air refueling, surveillance and reconnaissance in support of contingency operations in Southwest Asia.

(Air Force Tech. Sgt. Scott T. Sturkol serves in the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing public affairs office.)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Lincoln on Leadership: Executive Strategies for Tough Times

According to the book description of Lincoln on Leadership: Executive Strategies for Tough Times, “With its emphasis on the rights and power of the individual, Lincoln on Leadership is destined to become the must-have handbook for executives in the nineties.  Donald T. Phillips is the bestselling author of eighteen books, including Lincoln on Leadership and On the Wing of Speed. He has also collaborated on books with Mike Krzyzewski (Coach K of Duke University), Phil Mickelson, and Cal Ripken, Jr.”

One reader of Lincoln on Leadership: Executive Strategies for Tough Times said, “This book purports to be about business leadership, and if you find it helpful for that purpose, good for you. The author clearly did. The genesis of this book project was an epiphany for the author while taking a management seminar and reading a history of Lincoln during the war years. He realized that the principles in the seminar were all ones that Lincoln employed.

Each chapter explores one broad principle, and then lists subprinciples at the end of the chapter. These subprinciples will feel like leadership or management axioms to most. Few of the chapters have any reference to the management literature or to modern day management situations.

But I found that okay. Whenever I read about Lincoln, I notice things about his leadership and management style that interest me, but I have never seen a book that focused on that element until this one. I thought it was useful to have a history that emphasizes just that slant. I think you will, too, unless Lincoln is someone you don't care for.

The first chapter was especially interesting to me, because it talked about Lincoln's inclination to visit the scene and find out what was going on. There's a very interesting chart that shows how many days a month he was traveling during the war. The author makes a connection to Management by Wandering Around from In Search of Excellence that works.

Everyone will have their favorite part of the book. The sections are divided into things about people, character, endeavor, and communication. I found the communications sections to be unusually good. As outstanding as Lincoln was in many areas, he was probably a better communicator than just about anything else. There is a chapter on public speaking, another on influencing people through storytelling, and one on getting your vision across. These are as timely today as they were in Lincoln's day.

I think that this is the significant aspect of the book for us today: What was important then, that we still resonate to as important today? Whatever themes strike you that way are probably telling you something very fundamental about people and human organizations. Pay attention!”

Monday Morning Leadership: 8 Mentoring Sessions You Can't Afford to Miss

According to the book description of Monday Morning Leadership it “is a story that can help your career! Everyone likes a good story, especially if there are lessons that can be immediately applied to life. This book is one of those stories - about a manager and his mentor. It offers unique encouragement and direction that will help you become a better manager, employee, and person.”

One reader of Monday Morning Leadership: 8 Mentoring Sessions You Can't Afford to Miss said, “I have read (I daresay) hundreds of books on management, the goods, the bads, and even the uglies! MONDAY MORNING LEADERSHIP is right up there on the top of my list now - for a couple reasons.

1. Its short. Let's face it: most of us barely have the time to do what's expected of us, much less pick up a book on management. TAKE THE TIME TO READ IT - I am betting that the time it takes to read this book (about one hour) will make a tangible difference in how you do business.

2. There's no fluff. It's just the meat, nothing but the meat. Sure, there are a few illustrations scattered about but only where a story might strengthen the message. I appreciate authors who appreciate that I have better things to do (namely supervising employees) than sit and read!

3. Finally, if any book comes close to teaching a manager "everything they need to know in one sitting", this does it. As a matter of fact, I teach management workshops for new managers, and have decided that MONDAY MORNING LEADERSHIP will likely become required reading.”

One reader of Monday Morning Leadership: 8 Mentoring Sessions You Can't Afford to Miss said, “One could almost say this book is "Tuesday's With Morrie" meets "Leadership and the One Minute Manager". Monday Morning Leadership is David Cottrell's story of his struggles at work and the lesson's he receives from his mentor, Tony. Tony is a very successful and wise former turnaround specialist who is now an author and business coach. David spends eight Monday mornings with Tony learning easy to apply leadership theories. One of my favorites is the difference between drivers and passengers in the car. Most of all, I appreciated that Tony only ask of one thing for David to be his mentor, that he too passed these lessons on. And with this recommendation, I too shall pass it on.”

FBI Announces 2009 Recipient of Director’s Community Leadership Award

James Casey, Special Agent in Charge of the Jacksonville Division of the FBI, announced today that Robin Sorensen, Chief Executive Officer of Firehouse Subs, Inc., has been named the recipient of the 2009 Director's Community Leadership Award.

Established in 1990, the Director's Community Leadership Award is presented each year by FBI field offices to individuals whose achievements in the areas of crime prevention, drug deterrence, or similar educational programs have made a positive difference in their communities. Past Jacksonville recipients of the award include Ann Dugger of the Justice Coalition, Terry Lane of Metro Kids Konnection, Delores Barr Weaver, and former Sheriff Nat Glover.

Mr. Sorensen is being recognized for his work in connection with the Firehouse Subs Public Service Foundation and for his personal efforts to support a variety of causes. His involvement with and contributions to the Police Athletic League have helped deter juvenile delinquency and promote education as a means to a productive life for the youth of our communities. He annually funds and sponsors the Fraternal Order of Police's Guns and Hoses event and annual tennis tournament, which raise funds for law enforcement needs and provide fire and rescue departments with resources they might not otherwise be able to afford, such as fire engines, drug dogs, and diving equipment.

Mr. Sorensen has also participated in HabiJax building programs and has served as an officer for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. He supported Hurricane Katrina relief efforts by arranging for shipments of food to be flown from Jacksonville to affected areas and personally delivering food to victims. When a project or need is brought to his attention, he goes to great lengths to assist and bring it to a successful conclusion. He does not consider any task beneath him and participates in a "hands on" manner.

On behalf of Director Robert S. Mueller, III, the FBI is pleased to present the Director's Community Leadership Award to Robin Sorensen. The presentation will take place during a ceremony to be held at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, December 17, 2009 at the FBI's Jacksonville Field Office, located at 6061 Gate Parkway. Members of the media interested in attending are asked to contact Special Agent Westcott at the above telephone number.

NCO Pays it Forward on Lifesaving

Special to American Forces Press Service
By Army Sgt. Lindsey Bradford

Jan. 20, 2010 - After an improvised explosive device ripped through his vehicle, Army Staff Sgt. James Rivera needed medical attention and quick. It was 1st Sgt. Joshua Pentz who saved his life that day in Afghanistan in 2004, by getting him out, using his combat lifesaver skills and calling for a medevac. Nearly five years later, Rivera was the one saving the life of another.

In the first 12 hours after arriving here at Victory Base Complex in May, Rivera and his friend noticed a vehicle veering toward a lake.

"I kept telling my buddy, 'It looks like he's going to go in the water,' and then he did," said Rivera, a Woodberry Heights, N.J., native serving as the VBC convoy support team noncommissioned officer with the 81st Quartermaster Company, 593rd Sustainment Brigade, from Fort Lewis, Wash.

Rivera immediately dove in after the sinking vehicle to save whoever was inside. He was able to drag the driver, the only occupant, out of a window of the submerged vehicle and get him to safety until a medical team arrived.

Rivera said the only thing going through his mind was making sure that everyone got out safely. His actions earned him the Soldier's Medal at a Dec. 22 ceremony here.

"Staff Sergeant Rivera saved [the driver's] life at great risk to his own. That is exactly what we expect of our noncommissioned officers, placing someone above himself," said Army Lt. Gen. Charles H. Jacoby Jr., commanding general of Multinational Corps Iraq. Multinational Corps Iraq became U.S. Forces Iraq earlier this month.

Before pinning on the medal, Jacoby took a moment to tell the story of the Soldier's Medal, which is awarded to any servicemember of the United States or of a friendly foreign nation who, while serving in any capacity with the U.S. Army, distinguished him- or herself by heroism not involving battle with an enemy.

"This really is an honor," Jacoby said, as he prepared to place the medal on Rivera's lapel. It was the first Soldier's Medal Jacoby has awarded in his 32-year Army career.

Rivera joined the Army in February 2002 after serving as a life support technician in the Air National Guard.

"I always wanted to be a soldier," he said. "At first, I joined the Air Force for the education, but I just really wanted to be in the fight."

Rivera had his chance to join the fight when he deployed to Afghanistan with 25th Infantry Division's 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, in 2004. It was there that he provided support to safeguard coalition forces and received a Bronze Star Medal for valor following an Aug. 12, 2004, battle. Rivera, serving as a machine gunner, was struck by an improvised explosive device that caused severe shrapnel wounds to his face and leg, for which he received a Purple Heart.

Pentz, the first sergeant who saved his life after the blast, always will be one of his heroes, Rivera said.

"He's one of the first NCOs I ever looked up to. He taught me everything I know, and he represents everything the Army stands for," Rivera said.

Taking a cue from Pentz, Rivera strives to provide his junior soldiers with the same knowledge and mentorship he received.

"As an NCO, you have to care. Not just about soldiers, but about how you look and how you carry yourself," he said. "I always tell my guys to do their best no matter what. Take whatever menial task you get and exploit it. Make it look like you're the best at it. Even if it's cleaning a toilet, do it better than anyone else. People will notice that, and continue to give you more responsibility. If you can't be trusted to do the small things, how can they trust you to do anything else?"

In 2005, the 25th Infantry Division recognized Rivera's achievements during Operation Enduring Freedom and selected him to be the model for a memorial honoring the fallen at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii. Rivera represents a modern-day soldier, and is seen standing and paying homage and final honors to a fallen comrade at the site of a soldier's cross.

"They call me a hero, but I'm a patriot. The true heroes are the ones that did not make it back home," Rivera said.

(Army Sgt. Lindsey Bradford serves with Multinational Corps Iraq public affairs.)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Strengths-Based Leadership

According to the book description of Strengths-Based Leadership, “From the author of the long-running # 1 bestseller StrengthsFinder 2.0 comes a landmark study of great leaders, teams, and the reasons why people follow. Nearly a decade ago, Gallup unveiled the results of a landmark 30-year research project that ignited a global conversation on the topic of strengths. More than 3 million people have since taken Gallup's StrengthsFinder assessment, which forms the core of several books on this topic, including the #1 international bestseller StrengthsFinder 2.0.

In recent years, while continuing to learn more about strengths, Gallup scientists have also been examining decades of data on the topic of leadership. They studied more than 1 million work teams, conducted more than 20,000 in-depth interviews with leaders, and even interviewed more than 10,000 followers around the world to ask exactly why they followed the most important leader in their life.

In Strengths Based Leadership, #1 New York Times bestselling author Tom Rath and renowned leadership consultant Barry Conchie reveal the results of this research. Based on their discoveries, the book identifies three keys to being a more effective leader: knowing your strengths and investing in others' strengths, getting people with the right strengths on your team, and understanding and meeting the four basic needs of those who look to you for leadership.

As you read Strengths Based Leadership, you'll hear firsthand accounts from some of the most successful organizational leaders in recent history, from the founder of Teach For America to the president of The Ritz-Carlton, as they discuss how their unique strengths have driven their success. Filled with novel research and actionable ideas, Strengths Based Leadership will give you a new road map for leading people toward a better future.”

One reader of Strengths-Based Leadership said, “Rath and Conchie have provided us with a helpful tool for fine-tuning our own leadership capacity. Using statistical factor analysis of data in Gallup's database, the authors detail how balanced leadership teams have strengths within four Leadership Domains: Strategic Thinking, Relationship Building, Influencing, and Executing. The authors relate that while individuals are rarely balanced, teams always should be. Leadership Teams operating in these four domains work both to serve the four primary needs of their constituencies and to execute their primary organizational responsibilities.

Using a recent Gallup review of data from 10,000 followers, the authors also report that followers report surprising agreement on four of their primary needs: trust, compassion, stability, and hope.

Leaders who use the code that comes with the book to take the online Strengthsfinder assessment (www.strengthsfinder.com) to determine their Top 5 Strengths are provided with a customized Strengths-Based Leadership report that help them understand their Top 5 Strengths and a Strengths-Based Leadership Guide that provides detailed advice on how to use each of their Top 5 Strengths to meet the four primary needs.

Leaders who read this book will have a deepened appreciation of both their own leadership abilities and of the degree to which they lead best when they work in team. The four Leadership Domains and the four primary needs of followers provide leaders with a rich paradigm for considering new approaches in attacking organizational priorities.”


Publisher’s Weekly said of Leadership, “This highly anticipated book from New York's once controversial, now beloved former mayor opens with a gripping account of Giuliani's immediate reaction to the September 11 attacks, including a narrow escape from the original crisis command headquarters, and closes with the efforts to address the aftermath during his remaining four months in office. But, he argues, he did not suddenly become a great leader on September 11, and "had been doing [my] best to take on challenges my whole career." The bulk of the book draws on his experiences as a corporate lawyer and U.S. attorney and then as mayor. The leadership principles he champions preparation, accountability and strong self-definition chief among them come as no surprise, but the stories he uses as examples are filled with vivid scenes and organized with a veteran trial lawyer's flair for maximum effect. Apart from a few childhood anecdotes, he shies away from his personal life and recalls his abandoned Senate campaign against Hillary Clinton only as one factor in his decisions about dealing with prostate cancer. Throughout, he displays the hands-on management that marked his administration, including his willingness to respond swiftly and in person to crises, to prove that he could be relied on when the city needed him most. While some critics found his style too aggressive, he has an effective counterargument: "Before September 11, there were those who said we were being overly concerned [about security]," he observes. "We didn't hear that afterwards..”

One reader of Leadership said, “It seems everybody on Earth has either written a leadership book (e.g., Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, Michael Dell, the Who-Moved-My-Cheese Guy) or had one written about them (e.g., Ghingis Khan, Jesus, Blue's Clues). So it's awfully presumptuous, our great admiration for his last months of leadership as NYC's mayor notwithstanding, for Rudy Giuliani to call his leadership book LEADERSHIP.

But what is Rudy Giuliani if not presumptuous, audacious, in-your-face? And, in the final analysis, the book delivers. Big time. There is great advice here, as there is in most books about leadership and management, but the richness of Giuliani's book is the texture, illustrating the points with fascinating "inside" stories from a career that merited giving this kind of advice even if he had not become "our Churchill" after September 11.

In fact, one of the great joys of this book, and a great piece of information to remember, is that Giuliani started writing this book well before the events of 9-11. Our lasting image of him is as a universally loved leader and stateman who transcended politics, but Rudy didn't GET to that position by accident. He knew when to fight, when to coddle, when to get tough, when to mend fences, when to take an unpopular position, when to take risks. He was an incredibly effective, though controversial, prosecutor, and an incredibly effective, though controversial, mayor. This book tells you all the stories, and shows you why he was so successful. Absolutely, the September 11 stuff is gripping, maybe the best material we can get our hands on about the event. But this was no quickie project designed to capitalize on the mayor's strength during that crisis.

This book was a long time coming, as was Giuliani's performance when the eyes of the world were on him. There is just so much great information, so many great stories, so much good advice, that you'll simultaneously find yourself rushing to take it in, and slowing down to make it last.

Leadership 101: What Every Leader Needs to Know

According to the book description of, Drawing from John Maxwell's bestsellers Developing the Leader Within You, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, “The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader, and Becoming a Person of Influence, Leadership 101 explores the timeless principles that have become Dr. Maxwell's trademark style. In a concise, straightforward style, Maxwell focuses on essential and time-tested qualities necessary for true leadership --influence, integrity, attitude, vision, problem-solving, and self-discipline --and guides readers through practical steps to develop true leadership in their lives and the lives of others.”

One reader of Drawing from John Maxwell's bestsellers Developing the Leader Within You said, “Many people attain positions of leadership in the organizations, community and other spheres of life but with no guidance of what good leadership entails. John Maxwell did a good job of writing a small book packed with useful guidance on how to be an effective leader. He divided the book into three parts. The first part describes how one can develop as a leader, whilst the second part explains the traits of a leader and the last part is on the impact that a leader can have on people.

The need for a clear vision as a leader becomes very apparent after reading the book. As a leader one should be aiming at producing a lasting legacy, that is, one should be aiming at making a difference to the lives of others. Followers should be willing to follow you because of the positive influence that you have on people as a good leader. To be an effective leader, one needs to continually develop oneself. High quality leadership entails empowering others to exercise their huge potential for the benefit of the organization or the team. Followers have to trust you as a leader and trust has to be earned from one's actions.

One cannot hope to be an exceptional leader unless one is self-disciplined. Leadership starts with being able to lead yourself before one can lead others.

The book is written in simple easy to follow style which makes it readable by anyone at leadership position in an organization or other sphere of life.”

Monday, January 18, 2010

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You

If you've never read The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, you've been missing out on one of the best-selling leadership books of all time. If you have read the original version, then you'll love this new expanded and updated one.

Internationally recognized leadership expert, speaker, and author John C. Maxwell has taken this million-seller and made it even better:

• Every Law of Leadership has been sharpened and updated
• Seventeen new leadership stories are included
• Two new Laws of Leadership are introduced
• New evaluation tool will reveal your leadership strengths-and weaknesses
• New application exercises in every chapter will help you grow
• Why would Dr. Maxwell make changes to his best-selling book?

"A book is a conversation between the author and reader," says Maxwell. "It's been ten years since I wrote The 21 Laws of Leadership. I've grown a lot since then. I've taught these laws in dozens of countries around the world. This new edition gives me the opportunity to share what I've learned."

Law Enforcement Leadership Institute

Our Mission
To prepare our clients to lead themselves and others effectively in accomplishing the noble goals and missions of their law enforcement organizations.

Our Goal
To provide the American public with law enforcement leaders who are worthy of their trust, responsive to their needs, and deserving of their support.

Our Vision
To become a national center for the advancement of leadership excellence throughout the law enforcement community.

The Institute: Dedicated to Law Enforcement Leaders

The LELI delivers its training programs “seminar style” in facilities that are dedicated to and fashioned for law enforcement leaders. Classes are conducted in a conference facility that includes two classrooms, six breakout rooms, a relaxing lounge area and a business center complete with internet access, printers, copiers and facsimile services. Our staff is committed to providing you not only with training that meets your leadership needs, but also with the support and service that recognizes and respects your leadership role.

Our Instructional Staff: Devoted to Your Leadership Training and Development, We are: “Leaders past, serving leaders present, for America’s future.”To ensure that the specific needs and concerns of law enforcement supervisors and managers are addressed, LELI’s management and instructional staff are themselves former law enforcement leaders representative of a variety of law enforcement organizations. Combined, LELI’s staff has over 200 years of service to law enforcement in positions including former Federal Senior Executive Service (SES), Superintendent of State Police, and Command and Management officials and Special Agents-in-Charge (SAC’s) from organizations such as the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Inspector-General community, National Park Service, National Security Agency, U.S. Customs Training Academy, and the United States Park Police. Additionally, instructors hold a variety of certifications from nationally and internationally renowned leadership training and development companies such as the Ken Blanchard Companies, Inc., FranklinCovey Company, Inc., Target Training International, and High Performing Systems, Inc. Our staff is proud to have represented all branches of the Armed Forces.

Registration State, Local, Campus, and Tribal agencies:
1131 Chapel Crossing Road
Building 681
Glynco, GA 31524
Telephone: (912) 267-2988
Fax: (912) 267-2745
Email: FLETC-LawEnforcementLeadershipInstitute@dhs.gov



Leadership matters. This is as true in education as in any other field. The challenges of new accountability requirements and institutional change mean that more is demanded of educational leaders than ever before. Vermont needs well-qualified and capable leaders to have a positive effect on student learning and insure successful public school systems.

Under the leadership of the Department of Education and working closely with the State Board of Education, members of the state’s educational leadership development community have come together to form the Vermont Educational Leadership Collaborative. The group is working together to develop a coordinated, systematic approach for advancing the quality, consistency, and sustainability of leadership development efforts to meet leadership needs across the entire state. Additionally, the group is working to implement and resource a statewide system that provides ongoing support so that Vermont’s educational leadership development programs address the needs across the full continuum, from pre-service to veteran leaders to leadership teams.

There are currently 3 coordinated initiatives underway:

Wallace Grant for Policy Governance

Through the auspices of the Wallace-Reader’s Digest Foundation, nine facilitators were trained to assist districts and supervisory unions in policy governance implementation. These facilitators are currently working with leaders in four Vermont school systems.

Council on Education Governance

The General Assembly created the Council on Education Governance in 2003. It directed the Council to engage in a discussion of effective governance structures for delivery of quality public education services to Vermont children and to determine whether Vermont’s overall structure should be modified. The Council is made up of a broad, bi-partisan group of education leaders, state officials, legislators, parents, business representatives and others. They have developed a comprehensive description of Vermont’s current education governance system and examined Vermont law to determine the need for changes to enable productive discussion about changes to governance structures. They have provided grant awards to over a dozen supervisory unions to support work related to delineation of roles and responsibilities and realignment of governance.

Vermont Education Leadership Alliance (VELA)

VELA is dedicated to helping educational administrators and school board members who are committed to creating and maintaining an effective system focused on improving student learning. VELA will assist leadership teams in surfacing the assumptions under which they want to operate, coming to a common understanding of the work that needs to be accomplished as a district to promote student learning, clarifying the roles and responsibilities of the leadership team and determining indicators to evaluate progress and celebrate success. VELA is a joint endeavor of the Vermont Superintendents Association, the Vermont Principals Association and the Vermont School Boards Association.

The Vermont Educational Leadership Collaborative includes the Vermont Department of Education, State Board of Education, Snelling Center for Government, Vermont Institutes, Vermont Principals’ Association, Vermont Superintendents’ Association, Vermont School Boards’ Association, University of Vermont, Vermont State Colleges, and the Vermont Educational Leadership Collaborative.

More Information

Former Presidents Join Obama in Plea for Haiti Relief

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

Jan. 16, 2010 - President Barack Obama's two immediate predecessors today joined him in soliciting help on behalf of Haiti, the target of a massive international humanitarian relief operation following a magnitude 7 earthquake. As relief provisions continue to arrive at the devastated country, former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton have agreed to lead a major fundraising push, lending their stature to the effort in hopes of sustaining international focus on the dire situation.

"This is a model that works," Obama said of the partnership, citing a precedent in which ex-presidents were able to channel support to Asia in the aftermath of a vast tsunami there. "That effort raised substantial resources for the victims of that disaster -- money that helped save lives, deliver aid, and rebuild communities. And that's exactly what the people of Haiti desperately need right now."

Speaking at the White House while flanked by the two former presidents, Obama said each passing day since the Jan. 12 quake makes clearer the scope of the catastrophe, exposing a level of destruction and suffering that defies comprehension. The Red Cross estimates between 40,000 and 50,000 people were killed in what one official has called one of the greatest humanitarian emergencies in the history of the Americas.

"That's why thousands of American personnel -- civilian and military -- are on the scene," Obama said, "working to distribute clean drinking water and food and medicine, and thousands of tons of emergency food supplies are arriving every day."

The Defense Department has authorized up to $20 million in immediate aid to Haiti, and the nation's top military officer estimated that up to 10,000 U.S. troops would be in Haiti by Jan. 18.

The addition of the two former presidents elevates the prominence of the U.S. effort, a symbol that Obama said he hopes will carry international reverberations. The official Web site of the fund, http://www.clintonbushhaitifund.org, accepts donations and contains more information on the effort.

"By coming together in this way, these two leaders send an unmistakable message to the people of Haiti and to the people of the world: In these difficult hours, America stands united," he said. "We stand united with the people of Haiti, who have shown such incredible resilience, and we will help them to recover and to rebuild."

Obama said enlisting the help of Bush and Clinton would help to maintain focus on the needs of those affected in Haiti.

"What these gentlemen are going to be able to do is when the news media starts seeing its attention drift to other things, but there's still enormous need on the ground, these two gentlemen of extraordinary stature I think are going to be able to help ensure that these efforts are sustained," he said. "And that's why it's so important, and that's why I'm so grateful that they agreed to do it."

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Web for Leaders

An ignorance of the language and capabilities of Internet-based tools creates a situation where today’s leader cannot see how their organization’s website can be fully integrated into their current organizational practices or integrated into their vision of the future. The purpose of this briefing is not to give the leader a working knowledge of the Internet, but to give them an entry into the language and capabilities of Internet-based tools so they can integrate their vision; converse with subordinates; and, maximize their existing Internet-based resources.


1. Technical versus Social Construction
Synopsis: A brief exploration of Internet-based tools when viewed from the perspectives of those which are technical as opposed to those which as socially constructed.

2. Communicating Internally
Synopsis: An overview of how an organization’s website communicates vision, values and mission to members.

3. Building Community
Synopsis: An exploration of how building a body of knowledge about your product or service leads to 1) use by the community other than generation of sales 2) can lead to future clients.

4. New Clients
Synopsis: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is only partly about search engines finding your organization. It is primarily about creating a website which is found when your future client is searching for something you produce. SEO is knowing your organization’s strengths; how those strengths are perceived by your potential client; and, how your future client is searching on the Internet. Most SEO focuses on people being able to find you, this focuses on you understanding potential client needs.

5. Client Loyalty
Synopsis: By folding the first four concepts into “client loyalty” the goal for the organization is to become a resource rather than a website. Your organization’s website becomes a place to which people are referred within their own social networks as well as a virtual location recognized by search engines. Lastly, this broaches the idea of creating a social network with your organization near a web- based community focal point.

Time: 2 hours

About the Presenter: www.police-technology.net/raymond.foster.cv.html

Cost: $550 plus travel expense

Contact: raymond@hitechcj.com

Friday, January 15, 2010

Leadership Fellows Program for Graduate Students

About the Program
The Port Authority's Leadership Fellows Program is a distinguished program for leadership and public service in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan region. This two-year, fast-track, rotational program offers Port Authority Fellows invaluable on-the-job experience in planning, financial and facility operations functions. Each assignment is designed to build a strong foundation of business acumen and knowledge of Port Authority operations. The breadth and depth of these experiences are critical in preparing the participants to be future leaders of the Port Authority.

The Leadership Fellows Program reinforces critical leadership skills and offers talented and motivated graduate students exposure to:

Broad experiences across various business units, providing Fellows with operational, service and strategic agency experiences

Challenging and diverse work assignments that have both immediate and long-term impact

Numerous opportunities to work alongside senior management

Formal and informal training to sharpen the competencies critical for agency leadership

How the Program Works

Here at the Port Authority, we are committed to developing our team. In the Leadership Fellows Program, you will have four to five rotational assignments over a two-year period. You will manage multiple projects in our major business units, field facilities and corporate offices. Past Fellows have had the opportunity to contribute to our key regional capital programs, learn the nuts and bolts of policy development and manage the challenges of daily operations at our transportation facilities.

Rotational assignments - coupled with an agency orientation, classroom training, coaching by senior management and your commitment - will ensure a valuable experience. After successful completion of the program, Fellows will be considered for key positions in areas such as facility management, finance, capital programs or related business functions.

Selection Process

Leadership Fellows are selected based on academic achievement, analytical and communication skills and work experience.

The selection process for the program is highly competitive and includes a prescreening interview, a competency-based panel interview and rigorous assessment exercises.

First-round interviews for the program will begin in December. Second-round interviews, which take the form of an Assessment Day, will take place in February. Final selections and offers to selected candidates will be made in early March, and our Leadership Fellows class will begin in July. This timeline is subject to change.


The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey offers a competitive compensation and benefits program including health, dental, life insurance, vacation, holidays, and tuition assistance. In addition to our generous benefits package, the Port Authority offers in-house training and development for all staff.

Eligibility and Requirements

We are seeking dynamic candidates who are flexible and committed to quality public service. Students graduating with a master's degree in fall 2009 or spring 2010 are eligible to apply for the 2010 program.

Candidates should possess a record of academic achievement in the areas of public administration, business administration, public policy, urban planning or a related discipline. Candidates must have a clear interest in a career in public-service management, and demonstrate excellent problem-solving, analytical and quantitative written and oral communication and interpersonal skills with a strong customer-service orientation and political acumen. One to three years of work experience and/or internships in public service, transportation, government or related fields is preferred.