Leadership News

Monday, January 30, 2012

Sustaining Leadership Hinges on Flexibility, Policy Chief Says

By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 30, 2012 – U.S. policymakers today can draw some useful lessons in managing “profound transitions” from President Harry S. Truman’s actions in 1950, the Defense Department’s policy chief said today.

In what she called her last public speech in office, Michèle Flournoy, undersecretary of defense for policy, told an audience at the Reserve Officers Association National Security Symposium here that Truman took a multidimensional response to bring about fundamental changes in America’s foreign policy.

Truman, five years after World War II ended and with a new Cold War icing relations between the United States and the Soviet Union, also had to consider a newly communist China and North Korea’s invasion of neighboring South Korea, she noted.

Truman and a “truly extraordinary” group of his senior advisors responded to the changing security landscape with a series of programs, reviews and initiatives that led to the Marshall Plan, an independent Air Force and the establishment of the Defense Department and Central Intelligence Agency, Flournoy said.

Truman’s efforts also contributed to the founding of NATO and the United Nations and set a foundation for eventual victory in the Cold War, she added.

The nation’s leaders today face an even more complex strategic era, Flournoy said: swift economic and military growth in China, asymmetric and hybrid forms of warfare incorporating growing threats in the cyber domain, proliferation of nuclear weapons, and trends from the Arab Awakening to global climate change.

“As if all this weren’t enough, in 2008 we suffered the most acute financial crisis since the Great Depression, shaking the very foundation of America’s national security -- our economic strength,” she said.

President Barack Obama has led a whole-of-government effort to ensure the nation’s security strategy accounts for all of these factors, Flournoy said. The defense strategic guidance the president announced Jan. 5 and the defense budget decisions Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta rolled out last week reflect a changed approach to America’s global responsibilities, she added.

The strategy emphasizes a focus on the Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East, reduces force size and protects investment in technology and advanced systems, she said.

Operational concepts are evolving and changing, Flournoy said, but the range of possible missions makes it critical that forces can surge, regenerate and mobilize quickly.

“The underlying theme that runs through all this is an emphasis on flexibility, agility, readiness -- on retaining capability across the full spectrum of missions,” she said. “This is the key to sustaining our leadership in an era of complex challenges and hard fiscal choices.”

One of the most discussed words in the defense strategic guidance is “reversibility,” she noted. Some commentators have seized on the word as a sign “that somehow our principles are not firmly fixed, or that our decisions on key programs are subject to rapid change,” she added.

The truth is completely different, she said: “[Reversibility] refers to our ability to make course corrections in response to strategic, economic or technological change.”

For example, she said, even as DOD reduces force size, “we will keep a relatively high proportion of mid-grade officers, who will be at a particular premium if we need to build up those forces quickly.”

Flournoy, who on Feb. 3 will leave the office she has held since February 2009, said DOD’s civil-military team has grappled with a number of national challenges in an integrated way.

During the recent debate over defense spending priorities, Panetta’s commitment to open communication only intensified as the process developed, she said.

“The strategic trumped the parochial time and time again,” Flournoy added. “This is a remarkable thing to witness.”

Flournoy said as she steps down from her current policy role, she has “a lot of faith” in defense leaders’ ability to make sound decisions as “these very difficult choices have to be made in the months and years ahead.”

“When circumstances are difficult, we as a country, as a people, do find a way to come together for the broader national interest,” she said.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

MN BCA Adopts Leadership Book

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has adopted the leadership book I co-authored for use in their Supervision and Management Couse.  You can find out more about the course here:

You can find out more about the book http://www.pokerleadership.com
Additionally, I will be one of their keynote speakers at the February leadership conference, you can find out more about that conference here:

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

St. Louis Top Stories: Community Leadership

FBI Surprises Local Executive with Award

ST. LOUIS—At a surprise ceremony today, the FBI presented its Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA) to Mr. Anthony Thompson, president and CEO of Kwame Building Group, in front of students he mentors at Mel Carnahan High School of the Future.

Every year, each FBI field office across the country selects only one recipient within its jurisdiction for this prestigious award. FBI Director Robert Mueller, III will personally present the award to each recipient at a national ceremony at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. on March 16, 2012.

Thomas R. Metz, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI St. Louis Division, presents award to Anthony Thompson.

The DCLA was created in 1990 as the principle means for the FBI to honor individuals or organizations for their efforts in combating crime, terrorism, drugs, and violence to help keep America and its kids safe. Acting Special Agent in Charge Thomas R. Metz of the FBI St. Louis Division said, “Giving back to the community is inherent to Mr. Thompson. He not only serves as a respected role model to young people, he is committed to helping them realize their potential from elementary school all the way through college and at the professional level.”

Mr. Thompson once said, “Steel sharpens steel and men sharpen men. The only way someone will know how to be a good man is to see one.” That’s why he helped establish the “Gentlemen’s Club,” a mentoring program at Carnahan to inspire young men to be gentlemen and leaders. Mr. Thompson and his employees mentor the students at Carnahan every other Wednesday. They haven’t missed one session since Mr. Thompson helped establish the “Gentlemen’s Club” seven years ago.

Mr. Thompson takes time to mentor the students despite his busy schedule as the president and CEO of Kwame Building Group. His company, a construction management firm, has offices in eight states and is headquartered in St. Louis. When he founded Kwame Building Group, Mr. Thompson wanted to provide opportunities for growth, development, and leadership to young professionals in the construction industry. Seventy percent of employees at Kwame are minorities.

To remove any barriers to college, the Kwame Foundation funds $60,000 to $90,000 a year in college scholarships to improve educational opportunities for minorities and first generation college students. The foundation has been funding college scholarships for eight years.

In 2010, Mr. Thompson’s family experienced a tragedy when his brother was shot and killed by a teenager in a random robbery. Instead of withdrawing, the family opened their arms even wider. Through the Kwame Foundation, Mr. Thompson established the Tyrone Thompson Institute for Nonviolence. The institute honors his brother, who also dedicated his life to advocating non-violence and being a role model for young men. The institute has volunteer mentors in five schools with hopes of expanding to all elementary and middle schools in St. Louis. The mentors help suspended students learn non-violence skills and work on materials they are missing by being out of school.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Developing Leaders is ‘Job One,’ Dempsey Tells ROTC Cadets

By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service

DURHAM, N.C.  – Service equities, the U.S. relationship with Iran and Pakistan, and the future of women in combat topped the questions put to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at a town hall meeting here yesterday with ROTC cadets.

Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey spoke to 400 tri-service cadets from Duke University, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, North Carolina Central University, St. Augustine College and Meredith College.

ROTC is a college-based officer-commissioning program that focuses on military leadership development, problem solving, strategic planning and professional ethics.

“Think about leader development as job No. 1 and you’re off to a good start,” the chairman told his audience.

Faced with a dynamic between the two world wars that is similar to the Pentagon’s transitional situation today, Army Gen. George C. Marshall invested most heavily in leader development, Dempsey said.

“He knew that if he had the right leaders, once things clarified he’d call upon them to get it right, and that’s what we’ve got to do,” he added. “It’s about leader development. That’s the biggest lesson we’ve learned.”

The chairman stood alone on the stage. He made the cadets laugh, told them stories and showed them a fast-moving music video of warfighters at work that boomed with the heavy-metal song “Indestructible” by the Chicago band Disturbed.

He reassured them that they had not missed their chance to test themselves on the fields of battle.

“You can see Iraq and Afghanistan stabilizing a bit as you sit there wondering what it means for you,” Dempsey said. “[But] your country, I would suggest, needs you more than ever now to get us through [this] period of transition.”

One cadet asked about complaints that Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan had been doing the same jobs as soldiers. Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James F. Amos has a “great vision” for a lighter, more austere Marine Corps that fundamentally establishes expeditionary capability as its core competency, the chairman said.

The Army lays claim to being both expeditionary and of campaign quality -- meaning they go and stay until the mission is over, Dempsey said. “And I think the distinction is important,” he added, “because here’s the truth: as joint forces, we really can’t do without each other.”

The individual service cultures are a great strength of the joint force, just as diversity is a great strength of the nation, he said. But enemies over the past decade have decentralized, syndicated to work together, networked to improve communication, and gone global, the general noted.

“To defeat a network we have to be a network, so one of the things we’re talking about in our emerging defense strategy is the next document that will be published, which is the Capstone Concept for Joint Operations,” the chairman said.

The title, he added, may refer to a global networked approach to warfare because even the conventional force has adapted. “It’s decentralized, it’s networked, and it’s syndicated with a lot of different partners,” he said.

If the Defense Department accepts the challenge to take a global networked approach between now and 2020, Dempsey said, “I think you’ll see each of the services change its organizing principles and … operating concepts to become networked.”

“I think the nation will be well served by that,” he added, “and we can be a little smaller and pull it off.”

In response to a question about the U.S. relationship with Iran, the chairman acknowledged it’s a difficult problem. “We haven’t yet fully grasped the complexity of the issues, … and that’s where I’m spending most of my time,” he said.

On U.S. dealings with Pakistan, Dempsey said his close personal relationship with that nation’s army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, is helping to get the two nations’ militaries through recent rocky relations brought on in part by the tragic deaths of 24 Pakistani soldiers during a November NATO air attack.

Dempsey and Kayani, who once were classmates at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., spoke earlier this week about a U.S. Central Command report on the investigation of the attack.

“When things are most heated in the relationship,” the chairman said, “we have the ability to engage each other on the basis of a personal relationship.”

Another cadet asked about the status of a change in the rules that keep women from serving in combat. Removing such restrictions is a two-step process, Dempsey said.

“I’ll use the Army as an example,” Dempsey said. “If you are a military intelligence analyst, there are some restrictions about where you can serve in the battlefield. For example, you can’t be on a military training team.

“That is completely ludicrous,” he continued, “because that’s not the kind of battlefield on which we operate. It’s not linear; it is circular -- 360 [degrees]. We’re going to knock that out of the way, so if you’re a female soldier, sailor, airman or Marine, you serve where you’re needed.”

The second step is the more challenging one, he added, not just because of military rules but because the issue has attracted congressional interest. It involves lifting a ban on women serving in direct ground combat units -- tanks, artillery and infantry.

“I personally believe that on my watch … I think that will begin to change. … It’ll change on your watch, for sure, if it doesn’t change on mine,” the chairman told the cadets. “And I think we’ll be better for it.”

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

FBI Salt Lake City Honors Blackfeet Housing with Prestigious Award

Pikanii Action Team Receives Director’s Community Leadership Award for Making a Difference in Montana

Special Agent In Charge David J. Johnson of the FBI Salt Lake City Field Office congratulates Blackfeet Housing’s Pikanii Action Team in Montana for being selected to receive the 2011 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award. “The Pikanii Action Team was chosen for this special honor because of its important contributions toward reducing binge drinking and drunk driving in Montana, especially among young people on the Blackfeet Reservation,” said Mr. Johnson. “The FBI is grateful for the Pikanii Action Team’s efforts to pinpoint problems related to alcohol consumption and then jumping into action to successfully address the issues.”

First, the team analyzed data and conducted surveys to better understand the issue and then implemented several initiatives to address alcohol-related incidents among youth on the Blackfeet Reservation. The team determined their efforts should be focused in the communities of Browning, Seville, and Heart Butte, Montana. Among other issues, the group addressed responsible alcohol sales by vendors, a social host law prohibiting the sale of alcohol to anyone under the age of 21, and supported increased compliance checks by a DUI Task Force. The team organized public forums, youth activities, and sponsored a billboard campaign to enhance community awareness about the dangers associated with irresponsible alcohol consumption. One roadside billboard, which read “Drinking and Driving Lead to Empty Lodges,” could be seen by drivers as they entered Browning.

The Pikanii Action Team is comprised of seven people. According to team leader Dorothy Still Smoking, Ed.D., each member contributed greatly to the team’s success, and being recognized by the FBI is evidence that their efforts left a lasting impression on the community. “Receiving the FBI’s Community Leadership Award has deep meaning,” said Dr. Still Smoking. “It also reminds me our work has just begun, and that we should always be mindful of what it takes to provide an environment where alcohol is not easily accessible to youth. To accomplish this, we must continue to work together.” Although the grant money for the campaign was exhausted in 2011, Dr. Still Smoking believes law enforcement, tribal entities, and parents can continue to play a critical role in reducing alcohol consumption by minors by reminding young members of the tribe to make wise choices and educating them about the consequences of irresponsible actions. According to statistics reported by the Pikanii Action Team, tribal members of all ages are heeding the team’s message. In 2009 there were 484 DUI violations recorded on the Blackfeet Reservation, compared to 199 in 2010.

In recognition of the group’s accomplishments, the FBI Salt Lake City Field Office will present the Pikanii Action Team with a certificate of appreciation. As a recipient of the Director’s Community Leadership Award, the Pikanii Action Team will also be honored by the FBI at an upcoming event scheduled for this spring in Washington D.C.

The Director’s Community Leadership Award is one way FBI special agents in charge thank individuals or organizations for their tremendous efforts. Created in 1990, this special award is presented on behalf of the Director of the FBI to honor individuals and organizations, such as the Pikanii Action Team, for their contributions to our communities. To learn more about current and past award recipients, please visit FBI.gov.

Little Rock Field Office Presents the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award for 2011 to Kathy Manis Findley

Kathy Findley is a tireless advocate for abused women and children. She has devoted her life to promoting nonviolence and helping survivors of sexual abuse, domestic violence, and child abuse achieve physical and mental well-being. That devotion led her to founding in 2002 the charitable, nonprofit organization called Safe Places: The Center for Healing and Hope with only a $3,000 grant.

Findley has dedicated her life to helping children and young adults from abusive environments. The organization she founded, Safe Places (www.safeplaceslr.org), provides support to those who suffer from the physical and emotional effects of violence and provides violence prevention education throughout the community. The mission statement of Safe Places best describes Findley’s life dream—“To create communities where every child is protected, every home is a safe place, and where every person can live free from violence.” Today, Safe Places offers to our community professionally trained staff who can provide a variety of services to victims of violence and abuse, as well as training for parents, other community professionals, and organizations. Some of their services include: 24-hour crisis intervention and supportive services for victims of violence and abuse; advocacy, intervention, education, and traumafocused therapy for child victims of violence; specialized trauma counseling for families experiencing violence or abuse; therapeutic interventions through specialized victim impact statements designed to help children and adolescents deal with the effects of being a victim of violent crime; immediate crisis intervention; long-term child and family advocacy, etc. These are just a few of the types of programs Safe Places provides at no cost to victims of violence and abuse. She and her organization have willingly assisted the FBI and other law enforcement agencies throughout the state in providing counseling and other support services to victims of violence.

Findley holds advanced certification in victim assistance from the Joint Center on Violence and Victim Studies. She is trained as a child forensic interviewer through the American Prosecutors Research Institute’s National Child Protection Training Center.

Findley was selected by the Congressional Medal of Honor Society as the Arkansas Honoree for the 2008 Above and Beyond Citizen Honors, called the most prestigious civilian award in America. She was named the 2009 Arkansas Business Nonprofit Executive of the Year for her work with Safe Places and was featured in the High Profile section of the Arkansas Democrat Gazette on October 24, 2010. She was selected as one of the two Arkansans to receive a $50,000 grant by the Foundation for the MidSouth that considers candidates from the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas.

Findley currently serves on the board of directors of the American Society of Victimology and the National Advisory Council of the Joint Center on Violence and Victim Studies, and was appointed by Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe to serve on the Arkansas State Council for Interstate Juvenile Supervision. She was appointed by the City of Little Rock Board of Directors to serve on the Little Rock Commission on Domestic Violence and has served as its chairperson for three terms. She has also served on the Little Rock Commission on Children, Youth, and Families as the commissioner for issues related to domestic violence. She is a trainer for the Arkansas Victim Assistance Academy at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She served as the first president of the Crime Victims Assistance Association of Arkansas and served two terms as president of the Arkansas Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

Findley is the author of two books—Voices of Our Sisters and the Survivor’s Voice: Healing the Invisible Wounds of Violence and Abuse—as well as numerous publications.

She is committed to making her community better and actively participates in city, state, and national initiatives.

Based on her compassionate vision, her tireless dedication to this community and its defenseless victims, and her accomplishments in a field that often goes unrecognized, Special Agent in Charge Valerie Parlave and the employees of the Little Rock Field Office are proud to present the 2011 Director’s Community Leadership Award to Kathy Findley.

Below 100

It has been a while since I have put fingers to keep board, but I thought this an important article/material to draft.  I recently attended a training which was held in Minneapolis, Minnesota the training vendor was the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center- Rural Policing Institute.  The training was focuses towards Rural Police Officer Safety.  There were three instructor John Bostain, Brian Willis and Mike Sumeracki.  The training focused on W.I.N. (Whats Important Now), Warrior Spirit/Mind Set/ LEOKA and Below 100 .  The training was attended by over 50 police officers from five states.  This training was important for a variety of reasons.

Whats Important Now:
This training sessions was taught by Brian Willis, he is a retired police supervisor from Canada.  He focused on the Warrior Spirit/Winning Mind Set and the principle of W.I.N.  For officers and individuals that are not aware of what this "lifestyle" change movement is about is empowering officers to think about what is important, to focus on safety, to keep ones mind thinking about the choices and how to succeed in the moments in the day,weekly, and yearly.  This training was well received by the audience and to be blunt this was something that most Minnesota Police Officers have not heard and or been familiar with.  Mr. Willis, is a quality trainer/instructor and presenter.  He provided clarity, and advice to the students (officers) in attendance. 

Mike Sumeracki presented on LEOKA, they research behind the hows/whys and whens police officers get killed and injured in the line of duty.  However this important to understand that the assault/ attempted murder might occur on the first call of the day or a rookie officer, or the last call of the day for an officer who is retiring.  The one thing that appeared to be the undertones of the message, dealt with complacency and officers to keep fresh, current on both skills, techniques and the law.

Below 100
Below 100 was a training that Mr. Willis and John Bostain co-taught.  The concept dealt with a initiative that brought out of a dinner at ILEETA.  The initiative is simply- we as a law enforcement society must remember to these five tenants- slow down, buckle up, wear your vest, W.I.N and complacency kills.  To me this was the most powerful session of the day.  Mr. Willis and Mr. Bostain spoke from the heart about a variety of inspirationaland tragic stories.  The main focal point or learning point, take aways was we as culture need to change, we as a culture are our own worst enemy.

First and foremost this training was brought forth by the funding from the United States Congress.  Although we do not bring enough attention to the funding sources, we need to recognize these efforts to protect US (law enforcement officers).  Second I thought we need to thank FLETC-RPI for bringing quality training to law enforcement officers, third and certainly not least is the three trainers who presented to the class.  Finally and the most important is the officers who attended the training because they are a visionary, forward thinking and willing to think outside of the box and change the paradigm.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Navy’s Stockdale Winners – In Their Own Words

The Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale Leadership Awards, named for the Medal of Honor recipient who epitomized the very essence of leadership during his nearly eight years as a POW in North Vietnam. During that time, Stockdale relied upon his five, self-defined roles of leadership – moralist, jurist, teacher, steward and philosopher – to help himself and a group of about 11 others, survive the camp. The award is presented to only two naval leaders annually and, most importantly, they are only in the running if nominated by their peers. The below remarks are from this year’s winners Cmdr. Robb Chadwick and Cmdr Gerald Miranda. These two fleet leaders were recognized as Sailors who best represent the five roles of leadership that Stockdale displayed-Chadwick for his performance as Commanding Officer, USS Roosevelt (DDG 80), and Miranda for his performance as Commanding Officer, USS Asheville (SSN 758).

 Chadwick on leadership and the significance of this award:
“I am extremely honored to receive the Vice Adm. James Bond Stockdale Award for Inspirational Leadership. Admiral Stockdale’s heroic conduct in the harshest of environments will forever stand as an example for our Navy and I am humbled to be associated with his legacy in any way. To be nominated by my peers, for whom I have so much respect, also makes this award very special.

Although this award is being presented to me, I truly view it as a unit award and I share it with the Officers, Chiefs and crew of USS Roosevelt (DDG 80). They were my source of inspiration. It was an honor and a privilege to serve as their commanding officer and it is because of their professionalism and dedication that I am being recognized in this way.

A leader should provide clear guidance and trust his or her subordinates to execute the mission. Stockdale wrote, “As strange as it sounds, great leaders gain authority by giving it away.” My trust was rewarded with command achievements that highlighted the remarkable capabilities of United States Navy Sailors that have been proven throughout our history.”

 Miranda’s leadership lesson from his time as XO:
“So here’s a little story about trust and developing a young officer’s confidence: we were getting underway one morning and an hour before we were to set sail, the captain was nowhere to be found. Now I called every number I had and still the captain could not be reached. As XO, the crew turned to me and asked, “What do we do?” I said continue with underway preparations and get the ship ready to sail. Now secretly, I was worried sick and debated on when to call the squadron to let them know my captain was MIA. So up the bridge I went to bring on the tugs and get the main engines ready. The officer of the deck asked me, “Are we really getting underway without the captain?” With confidence, I said, “you worry about the ship; the CO is on his way.” Of course, I could only hope this was the case.

Well, about 30 minutes before casting off lines, here comes the captain walking down the pier with a big smile and a confident and cheerful gait. I see him from the bridge and quickly meet him in his stateroom. Before I could ask any questions, he looks at me and says, “XO, report the status of the ship being ready to get underway on time?” I said, “Yes, but,” before I could get another word out, he said “Very well, Captain to the bridge.” Later that day he brought me in to his stateroom because he knew I had some questions regarding “his late arrival.” He simply smiled and said, “XO, I decided to spend the morning eating breakfast with my wife – I knew you’d have the ship ready so I turned off my phone.” His confidence in me taught me a valuable lesson for command: Do what you think is right and make a decision because you won’t always have someone to ask. This lesson has served me well.”

The 2011 Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale Leadership Awards will be presented Jan. 5 at 9:30 a.m. in the Pentagon hall of heroes by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert.