The Executive Officer

A Guest Post by Major David Chichetti

“The XO is a systems guy.” After spending the entirety of my key developmental time as an XO at the battalion and brigade level, I can say, with a good degree of certainty, that this statement is true. Systems are everything. The deftness at which you can develop and refine these systems will be a measure of your success in this position. But before you begin to wade into the never-ending minutiae of regulations, doctrine, emails, meeting notes and random statistics, you need your own routine to manage information and sustain your professional development. Balancing all this is both a challenge and a true test. The purpose of this article is to share some techniques and resources I learned to utilize as an XO to sustain my sanity while “managing up.” Hopefully, it will mitigate the initial shell shock you receive when your inbox hits the 100(+) emails a day mark.

Aug. 13, 2014 – U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Corey Hook

The Operational Planning Team Leader Revisited

In the last installment, we talked very broadly about being an OPT Leader and the basic skills required to survive in this capacity. In this article, we’ll talk with more fidelity about your team and provide masterful tools for success on a big staff.

Mecole Hardman Jr. gets a little pregame motivation from Soldier-mentors at the Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas, Jan. 9, 2016. (Photo by Cheryle Rivas)

Four Leader Life Hacks to Improve Emotional Intelligence Today

Now that we have a better understand of what emotional intelligence is, here are four leader live hacks to improve your capacity – apply one today!

Self Awareness

  • Solicit feedback from subordinates – use the Army’s 360 Assessment or create iterative Survey Monkey feedback mechanisms

Relationship Management

  • Focus on others and optimizing their input to the team
  • Foster diversity of thought

Emotional Control

  • Don’t suppress your emotions – manage them
  • Refocus negative energy on gaining a better understanding of the problem, alternate perspectives, and creative solutions

Self Management

  • Take ten minutes each day to reflect on your strengths and weaknesses – make it part of your personal battle rhythm
  • Incorporate subordinate feedback into your personal goals

Still looking for more? Check out these resources focused on leading the staff!

Emotional Intelligence

Thoughts for Military Leaders

Emotional Intelligence is the hottest leadership catch phrase, but what does it actually mean? At its core, emotional intelligence, or EQ, is a set of characteristics or traits possessed by effective and influential leaders. Emotionally intelligent leaders have a heightened awareness of their strengths and weaknesses and can adjust their leadership approach after reading group dynamics. A recent article defined EQ as consisting of four domains: self awareness, self management, social awareness, and relationship management. This article expands this framework by describing attributes within the context of Army Leadership.

Read More!

March 20, 2015 – Photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Nathan Lipscomb

Mission Command

Considerations as a Field Grade Officer

The ability to employ Mission Command is essential as our Army shifts towards future operating environments, yet it remains a highly debated topic within the profession. Individuals provide interpretations of the philosophy rooted in training and combat experiences.

Paratroopers, assigned to the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, U.S. Army Alaska, practice a forced-entry parachute assault on Malemute drop zone at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska as part of a larger tactical field exercise. The Soldiers are part of the Army’s only Pacific airborne brigade with the ability to rapidly deploy worldwide, and are trained to conduct military operations in austere conditions.