Counseling Leaders to Cultivate Influence

A Guest Post by Major Kyle Trottier

Leadership is the process of influencing people by providing purpose, direction, and motivation to accomplish the mission and improve the organization (ADRP 6-22, 1-1).

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Erin Piazza

In a 2010 New York Time OpEd titled The Unsentimental Warrior, Lucian Truscott, grandson of his namesake, a famous WWII general, argued that Army leaders must be willing and able to give deadly serious orders to accomplish the mission they are given, that men die for a cause and not for their generals, and if leaders are unable to influence Soldiers they may as well pack up their stuff and go home. Carl Von Clausewitz argues the nature of war is a human endeavor, it is brutal and violent, and it is uncertain. As leaders, we must develop our organization to maneuver through the fog of war and win against a competent and determined foe and we cannot do that without developing our organization’s leaders’ ability to cultivate and exercise influence judiciously. By understanding what it means to counsel, coach, and mentor, leaders will be better prepared to influence people to accomplish the mission and improve the organization. To empower subordinates, execute mission command, and accomplish the mission, leaders must develop their own organization through counseling, coaching and mentoring. This approach directly supports General Robert Abram’s FY18 FORSCOM Command Training Guidance which emphasizes “mastering the fundamentals, strengthening leader development, caring for soldiers and their families, and informing the future force.”

Six Lessons for Combined Planning

A Guest Post by Nick Simontis

“There is at least one thing worse than fighting with allies – And that is to fight without them”  

-Winston S. Churchill

Sitting down in a conference room surrounded by blank whiteboards and charged with developing a plan can be a daunting task for a group of Army planners. The task becomes increasingly difficult in a joint environment, as planners wrestle with joint and service doctrines, service-specific jargon and acronyms, and conflicting service interests. These challenges multiply in a bilateral or multinational environment. Yet this is a situation that we will face more frequently as the trend of coalition operations continues, and working with international partners becomes our new normal. Unfortunately, while doctrine addresses the planning process broadly, there are no doctrinal references that address the actual nuts and bolts of combined planning, laying out the hurdles to multinational planning at the operational planning team (OPT) level.

U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Inf. Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Inf. Division and the Senegalese Army’s 1st Paratrooper Battalion rehearse mortar crew drills July 12, in Thies, Senegal as part of Africa Readiness Training 2016.