ILE L100 Also, the people lower in ranks were not part of decision making processes and this may have triggered the lack of will to forge as a strong team. The NCOs and officers felt alienated and this might have contributed to the low performance they recorded. This also explains their carelessness as they felt that nothing good ever came of their doings (Aldweiri, 2012).
I was pretty enthusiastic when I returned to the 56th ABCT having been ordered to assume responsibility as the deputy brigade commander (DCO). I felt proud and lucky. I had held the proud and shinny image of the 56th ABCT in my head for the last two years. When I returned, there had been some significant changes. It has not been long since I returned, and with the division commander losing confidence in the ability of COL Timmons to be an effective commander of the brigade, I now command the 56th ABCT. On my mind always was how I was going to restore the image of the 56th. I know it will be hard and challenging, but one thing I am sure of is that it can be done. I have had vast experience in the brigade. Drawing from this experience and the CGSOC L100'S themes - notably the Eight Stage Kotter Model, Mission Command Philosophy and The Seven-Step Vision Process - I will identify the main problems plaguing leadership and come up with my vision for the unit. I will then embark on the implementation of my vision while evaluating its impact and its effectiveness towards helping us attain my mission (Aldweiri, 2012).
The main problem the unit is experiencing is its incapable leadership in controlling stress that has been noted among its personnel as has been reported by various past assessments like the CALL and CAL assessment. The leaders' unethical conduct can be likened to tornado formation due to the combined effort of rotating winds, atmospheric pressure and temperature. Similarly, in the case of leadership, unethical conduct happens when a host of favorable factors come together between people in leadership (the rotating winds), the followers (cold and hot temperatures colliding) and contextual situations (atmospheric conditions), propelled by a key incident which pulls all things to the center, as in the vortex of a tornado. Tornadoes are not easy to predict and they do cause far reaching damage to property, injury and even death. Likewise, unethical conduct among leaders causes damages to all parties from the leaders to the followers and even to the entire organization (Chandler 2009).Where there are structures and processes to promote accountability, the bad effects of power get offset and good leadership is encouraged (Keltner et al., 2006; Lerner & Tetlock, 1999). Accountability helps check selfish and self-serving behaviors. It provides the controls that prevent abuse of power. Four experiments conducted by Sedikides et al. (2002) reveal that accountability does reduce self-enhancement (Chandler 2009).
Stress began before deployment and continued during the course and after deployment. Before deployment, there was an alteration in the destination of the brigade. They were to go to Afghanistan instead of Iraq. The period of deployment also faced a three-month extension. When the deployment finally happened, the capacity deployed was 92% instead of the recommended 105%. The unit also redeployed not less than one hundred soldiers due to no-combat-related health problems. Further, the increasing workload and tempo of the operation put more pressure and stress on the soldiers. Another major cause of stress on arrival was their realization that the training they had been given prior to the deployment was inadequate for the assigned mission. Also, a change was made in the brigade's command and also in one of the battalions because of a suicide attack which occurred five months into deployment (Aldweiri, 2012).
There was still no relief with their return home. The prevailing RESET plan and deadlines imposes more stresses on the unit to work long hours so that they can receive equipment for redeployment, turn in other equipment (NVGs, NBC and radios) for repair, reissue new combat platforms, TOC equipment and red-cycle taskings. These people are also not adequately confident in leadership of the unit. The former commanders of the brigade had transferred some of their responsibilities and duties to the DCO. Also there was poor leadership direction given the lack of focus on leadership development. The commanders had failed to coach subordinates to become great leaders. Communication was also very poor at all level of leadership. This hampered most coordination efforts. The poor communication can be seen in the relations between the battalions' S3 and the brigade's S3 and also the ...
Some other incidents that have not been investigated do also exist. The leadership tolerated some very gross behavior like sexual harassment, favoritism and unfair appointments as was the case when a junior captain was appointed company commander ahead of his seniors. They were also insensitive towards the Afghans during their time in Afghanistan. The officers were also disappointed by the commander's lack of concern for their problems and the channeling of their problems to a higher authority, the higher headquarter. Further, a battalion commander raised issue with the amount of workload on red-cycle and the response COL Timmons gave was rather disheartening. He told the commander that neither him nor his sergeant was going to plead the commander's case . He told him that was life and he should buckle up. COL Timmons also addressed personal issues for instance those of brigade S6 - who was most likely one not to complain about the amount of work -during the division command post exercise. This resulted in him complaining openly during a staff meeting (Aldweiri, 2012).
To better understand the organization environment, there are several facts that I need to evaluate. First, in the coming week, command will have to be changed for five battalions of the brigade as personnel stand at 80 per cent of capacity. One half of the officers will be left in the brigade, and the battalion XOs seems competent. I have evaluated and observed the team for some time now and it appears that the change in leadership and the way of doing things as well as the past environment in the organization has badly affected the morale of the unit. I assume that we can tap into the values of the men as service men and the espirit de corps to revive the unit to ensure a smooth process of change. The key figures who play critical roles in the unit are the battalions' commanders, CSMs and CSM Rose. I have come to learn that the most pressing issue for them is the current state of the unit. They are putting in maximum effort to ensure that all bottom lines for this period are achieved. We shall take into account the issues they have raised concerning the personnel and the stresses they face and also the personal issues in their lives (Aldweiri, 2012).
Having identified the pressing problems the brigade is facing, the first thing in making sure we achieve rapid and sustainable change is to ensure that we are serious and view all matters as exigent. We will effectively communicate with everyone not only to ask but ensure their cooperation by way of actions during this period. I will also communicate how the differences we make right now will hugely affect past deployment. I will inspire them by bringing back into their minds the ideal that was the brigade some years ago. No forms of misbehavior will be tolerated under my leadership. All people will be encouraged to be ethical and upright in behavior. Thereafter, some radical action will be taken towards the replacement of the brigade's S4. In place of CPT Cooper, an eligible and competent company commander will be appointed. After this, I will embark on building a functional and highly motivated team. A new team has to be formed and it will house the just appointed battalion's commanders, the brigade's S4 and the DCO. To build a strong team, we will play by the rules and use "the five dysfunctions of a Team" from L107 to help build a solid team. I will ensure that trust is instilled so that we can genuinely engage one another to find solutions for our problems and seek new ways of betterment and growth. It is important that they remain committed to the team. The group will be held accountable for the results of the team and not personal accomplishments. Next, I will craft my vision for the brigade. My vision for the brigade is that they are always properly prepared, optimally trained and always ready for deployment, so that the unit has the capability to carry out its mandate with professionalism and ethical standards, through the careful planning of training periods, receipt of needed equipment and a focus on the welfare of soldiers and their families (Aldweiri, 2012).
This will be followed by sharing the vision to all…
Also, the people lower in ranks were not part of decision making processes and this may have triggered the lack of will to forge as a strong team. The NCOs and officers felt alienated and this might have contributed to the low performance they recorded. This also explains their carelessness as they felt that nothing good ever came of their doings (Aldweiri, 2012).
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