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MAN 337.9 Journal Entry 1-3

MAN 337.9 Journal Entry 1-3 - Quinn Romasko MAN 337 Journal...

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Quinn Romasko MAN 337 Journal Entry 1-3 2/20/11 Journal Entry 1: When to lead and when to follow In Air Force ROTC, there are just over 100 cadets, all of who are being trained to lead and stand out. A deep and growing frustration of mine is that regardless of who is the appointed leader that week, everyone attempts to direct each other which becomes incredibly inefficient. In this journal entry, I am going to reflect on the appropriate time to take control, and when to stay quiet. First are examples of when to stay quiet. Then I will describe similar situations performed better, and how I have improved them using concepts from this course. To start, a brief summary of the context is needed. Our sophomore class, called a “flight”, contains 32 cadets who are competing for a contract/scholarship. About half will receive one, and the rest will be cut from the program or moved to freshman level. This semester is the make or break for all cadets to become an Air Force Officer. The contracted cadets will move to a very intense summer program called Field Training (kind of like basic training for ROTC cadets). Therefore, it is not only important to impress the commanding officer for acceptance, it is absolutely crucial to be well prepared for Field Training. Finally, part of our “score” for the semester is our peer evaluations. These two goals have actually been a tradeoff, and are teaching me the importance of knowing when to lead and when to follow. Beginning with our failures, I will discuss several examples of inefficient leadership. During an ROTC class where all cadets meet, we were let out a few minutes early to meet as a flight. Having just been scolded for many “failures”, we grouped around the weekly appointed flight leader. After she gave us her thoughts, the flight SHOULD have spent time discussing our time-dependent necessities. But when the floor was opened, about 20 of the cadets made interjections. Without fail, nearly all re-explained what went wrong, and vaguely how we all needed to try harder and help each other. Being that time was up, we were kicked out of the room, and dispersed for next class. In this situation, I said nothing. Not only are these events a waste of valuable time, but repeated vague goal setting like that actually weakens motivation and accountability. The lesson here is that no one wants to be told 20 times what is wrong. No one wants to be repeatedly told to try harder. Most importantly without a specific call to action, those 20 leaders leave feeling warm and fuzzy without having changed anything. These vague interjections are common in all meetings, E-mail listserves, and marching practices. By allowing just one person to lead, our flight will make much more progress. The second example is of a cadet I will call James. As our weekly flight leader, James established a meeting before an urgent deadline without formal agenda and just opened up the floor for ideas. This had the exact same outcome as the previous example but can be attributed to
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a lack of leadership instead of a surplus. We floundered for 2 hours and ended up on a tangent
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