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When to Challenge your Leadership and When to Shut Up!

STL Joseph Garcia

Often we feel that we can challenge the leadership of a team because the program is not going the way we want it to go. Before you challenge any leadership you must ask yourself: Is this a battle worth fighting because in the final analysis you want to win the war.

Sometime your battle can divert the team’s focus. Sometimes your battle can cause rifts within the unit and thereby open a can of worms that cannot be closed.

Still, how do you know your program is on the right track? Well, it may not be up to you to make that determination.

You are member of a team. As a team member you are responsible to work it out using your CHAIN OF COMMAND. Mistake one is assuming your fellow team members are completely wrong. From their perspective, they may be right. Sometimes it just takes a little persuasion to convince someone instead of trying to blast home your point. If you go down that road, your leadership may very well close the door on you.

Be an operator and not a girl scout (no pun intended). Backbiting and underground alliances are NOT COOL regardless of who you are. Be open when you disagree. When you sow seeds of dissention you personally are part of the problem, and your actions will contribute to your team being brought down.

Want to make a point to your command, here are the steps you should take:

Step 1

Inform your command that you are working on a command program. You do not want to send a message that you are doing something behind your administration’s back.

Step 2

Collect all the facts. Be accurate.

Step 3

Team Presentation. Present it to the team first because they may have input that could enhance your plan. Plus, when you present the plan you can be sure the administration will ask if you’ve consulted with the rest of the team.

Step 4

Leadership Presentation. Make sure you cover all avenues (Liability, Tactics, Trends, Policies and Procedures, Cost, Pro and Cons, References, How this new idea can benefit the team, and how it can be used in other operational areas). Have extra copies prepared

Step 5

Application idea and demonstration. If possible set up a demonstration of the idea, product, or training.

Step 6

Follow up and make sure you have all your parties on your side.

This is a simple, systematic way to develop an idea and get team buy-in. Remember that the Ark wasn’t built in a day, nor was it built when there was a flood. It took a vision, a calling, time and attention to detail.

Don’t get discouraged! Stay with the fight and keep the objective in mind!

  • Family_fun_078_max50


    about 4 years ago


    well said!

  • Swat_pictures_027_max50


    about 4 years ago


    Excellent Article! Being a supervisor and tactical team leader, I find this article is right on target for what I need with my current administration. Thank you.

  • 027_max50


    about 4 years ago


    Great article.

  • 432nd_tfw_patch_max50


    about 4 years ago


    A good article that should be presented to all agencies including academy training. The young ones may fit in this category. Careers could be lost due to inadequate strategies.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 4 years ago


    Great article!!!

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 4 years ago


    To me this is an article expounding how to demonstrate how go to the command with an idea in mind, of which you wish to see put into action. Common sense and good leadership comes from above and is put into action by boots on the ground. I have seen boots' petitions answered when command sends out suggestions, reads them, then implements what ideas they have read that they deem proper. Hahahaha.

  • New_unit_max50


    about 4 years ago


    Good article, but step one is a little confusing to a simple mind like mine. Tell command you are working on a command program, they wouldn't already know? Or did you just decide to interject yourself into the program? And if you did what was your motivation to get involved? Remember you have part to play in a larger picutre, while you are responsible for your PART, somebody else in responsible for the whole thing, all of the parts combined. Remember that and the perspective of the person on whom the responsiblity for the entire program rest will be looking at ALL parts before making a decision, whether you can see it or not.

  • Me_max50


    about 4 years ago


    Great points to consider but they left out one thing. Be prepared to lose the fight. Sometimes what WE think is the right way doesn't always fly with the higher ups and sometimes we're not privy to all the considerations that the brass has to deal with. Make your point and accept the final decision as long as it does not lead to lose of life.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 4 years ago



    To wiseass0182: yes it was a good "article."

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 4 years ago


    Solid points. However, mistake number one was taking our civillian peace officers and transforming them into a paramilitary, uniformed organization based on a chain of command. In Army ROTC, we were routinely taught that getting the mission accomplished quickly in spite of collateral damage was prefered because we were going up against trained guerilla units. The job of the peace officer is to protects the rights of 100% of the people around him (including the suspect), and that job has to be driven by one's conscience, not the unquestionable orders of someone sitting in a Pentagon donated command vehicle. More important, our role was to delegate decision making, as much as possible, to the guys with their "eyes on the target," rather than micromanaging the whole operation. James Cameron's ALIENS was required viewing for us.

    Operate as a team. A good soldier sends information upwards and warns his superiors of hazards that they may not be aware of. METT-T

  • John_groh_max50


    about 4 years ago


    Good artical

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 7 years ago


  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 7 years ago

    A lot of proverbial "Leaders" should read this. it might help them.

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