Leadership Ideas, Information and News

Saturday, July 18, 2015

LEC enhances leadership through introspection, self-reflection

by Joe Thomas
Air Force Global Strike Command Public Affairs

7/17/2015 - BARKSALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- Air Force Global Strike Command officers attended a course at the Cyber Innovation Center on July 14-16, in Bossier City, Louisiana, to develop one of the most important assets of the nuclear mission-- the people.

"The Leadership Enhancement Course is designed to prepare officers for their first leadership position in Air Force Global Strike Command," said Col. Heraldo Brual, deputy director of the Strategic Plans, Programs, Requirements and Analysis Directorate. "It will enable leaders to naturally operate from our Air Force core values."

The three-day beta course, attended by lieutenants, captains and majors, is an AFGSC initiative meant to increase leadership education among its officer corps.

Although leadership is nothing new to the Air Force, the approach of LEC is.

"This course is designed to guide participants into a new way of observing the world around them," said Lt. Col. Nicholas Pederson, team chief, LEC. "It's not about what they know. It's about how they see. This is key to developing oneself as a high-performance leader who can enact significant change at the individual, team and organizational level."

Traditionally, leadership courses teach formulaic methods and the imitation of great leaders--a trend LEC hopes to break. Rooted in intuition and self-reflection, the course seeks to challenge the Airmen's understanding of the world around them.

"The course stresses an understanding of multiple world views," said 1st Lt. Chase Abrams, flight commander from Whiteman AFB, Missouri. "Learning how others see the world is important if a leader wishes to influence change. We'll take what we learn here and distribute it among our circles back at our home commands."

During the course, instructors exposed students to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which is an assessment of leadership style and personality. Instructors also taught the use of the Multi-Source Assessment and Feedback tool, or MSAF 360, as a means of developing leadership style. The course also provided an opportunity for students to learn directly from AFGSC and subordinate command leadership through a question and answer session.

Although this first iteration served as a test for future courses, several students found the material useful and insightful.

"The fundamentals of the course are solid," said Maj. Joe Mannino, deputy chief of operations, Plans Branch. "There may be some tweaks to the curriculum based on feedback, but overall, this course is a great opportunity to develop and mature young officers into the desired future of the command."

LEC is a product of the Force Improvement Program, an aggressive grass-roots problem-solution philosophy designed to provide senior Air Force leaders with actionable items to improve mission effectiveness. The command will host the course monthly and plans to adjust the curriculum based on student feedback.

"Equipped with the tools we'll give them, students will find themselves exercising leadership as a natural expression, an endeavor that will lead to high performance outcomes in almost every arena," Brual said.

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