The greatest success of the cadet program is also the greatest failure for SMs.

Started by Holding Pattern, November 27, 2019, 09:17:42 pm

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Holding Pattern

I'm going to preface this by stating that I believe in the CAP program. This of course is self-evident each year when I vote with my wallet and continue my membership in this fine organization. My family has been in the CAP program in one degree or another for over 50 years across a half-dozen states. I've been a cadet, a SM, a ground team member, a mission base staffer, a radio operator, a squadron commander. I've taken enough FEMA/NDPC classes to get into the triple digit range and next year I'm going to apply for credit conversion to see if I can get an AS and possibly a BS out of the deal. I've worked coordination with local and state agencies, and had frank conversations with members and officials throughout the org at all levels on many subjects and outside the org about CAP, and one consistently comes up more often than most:

Leadership.

When a CAP squadron has good leadership, the program thrives. When a CAP wing has good leadership, it raises all the squadrons in the wing with it. When either have neutral leadership, complacency sets in. When either have toxic leadership, the program can become pure hell. Worse, the higher the level we have toxic leadership at, the more outsized an effect it has on the membership and the perception of CAP by its members and the public. A bad wing commander can lower the wing membership, destroy state relationships, and otherwise damage the perception of CAP as an organization throughout the state in a way that will take years if not decades to recover. (You can trace every "No" to a CAP SAR relationship at the state and local level to a bad commander in the past at those respective levels.)

I've seen the entire range of good and bad commanders at every level of CAP. The things that I've consistently noticed: Firstly, commanders that take the Core Values of Integrity and Respect seriously and put it on display are head and shoulders above commanders that do not. Secondly, commanders that follow the regulations and do so in a transparent manner are head and shoulders above those that do not. Thirdly, commanders that are serious about keeping an open door policy with their membership stand far above commanders that insulate themselves from their membership and hide behind the chain of command. Fourthly, commanders that empower subordinates and give them the opportunity to do things at the lowest level become some of the most respected commanders in their echelon. Finally, the best commanders I've ever seen are the ones that in addition to the above also embrace their failures as learning experiences instead of finger-pointing matches. These are the commanders that continue to push the program forward as a whole rather than simply checking boxes.

Commanders that are doing the right things outlined above get higher membership, higher attendance, develop more external relationships than the commanders doing the wrong things.

But how do we teach senior members to embrace the core values rather than pay lip service to them, follow regulations (and explain to their membership how they are in fact following them) instead of telling members to just follow orders and not worry about the regulations, have an actual open door policy with their membership rather than just stating they have one but punishing members for exercising it rather than going through their chain of command, and empower subordinates rather than micromanaging them?


In the Cadet Program, we teach these things. We have a full-blown system that engages our youth that may have never been in charge of more than one person before in their lives and put them in charge of an element, a flight, a squadron, and even parts of an encampment in such a fashion that requires multiple leaders working together towards a unified goal. We have a multitude of tools up to and including climate surveys for cadets. But what do we have for the SM program?

Unfortunately, from my perspective, we've never been serious about developing leaders on the SM side of things. Commanders can be chosen by vigorous selection or by the rule of "This is the only person qualified, put them in charge" or some variation thereof. This inconsistent selection process leads to inconsistent outcomes. Worse, it can create a person who on paper looks to be a good leader but in reality was not, leading to the classic "failing upwards" problem when they assume a higher command they weren't ready for.

Our leadership training consists of computer based training (which can provide rote concepts, nothing more), group classes such as the SLS, CLC, and UCC (all of which as far as I'm aware, the only ways to fail are non-attendance or gross misconduct, and the courses are not taught consistently), the command track mentor program (which is perhaps the most mismanaged program in CAP, has no true progress tracking, uses a form no longer even authorized by regulations, and is otherwise ignored unless convenient), and of course the Organizational Excellence program, which is on paper a great idea but in terms of implementation, well, it just isn't implemented.

With this in mind, what does CAP take seriously enough to put in regulation, document, follow up on, and document some more both online and in person for senior members?

Cadet Protection.

We take a person off the streets and force them to visit a meeting night 3 times. We force them to sit through a membership committee. We force them to go through cadet protection training online and then we follow up that online training with a verbal conversation with a commander. We do a background check and we follow up on that background check every 5 years. We give commanders wide latitude when it comes to protecting the membership from anyone that would break the CPP rules.


We should be taking AT A BARE MINIMUM that same level of seriousness we put into Cadet Protection as we do Leadership training and selection.

For some examples:

A member taking the Officer Basic Course should be having a summary conversation after each block with their commander regarding the lessons in each block. A prospective commander should be given a mission assignment with a group of SMs or cadets to complete at a technical level as a basic leadership assignment, such as coaching Cyberpatriot for a season or leading PT, or getting credentialed as a GTL (with sorties functioning as such) or something else like that before getting signed off as ready to graduate from Level 1 to Level 2. In short: Work a leadership responsibility into the technical training. Completion should also include written feedback to the member on their leadership ability and goals to work towards in leadership.

Graduation to Level 3 should be contingent upon serving as a deputy commander, deputy commander for seniors, deputy commander for cadets, or branch director, being able to provide a summary report of their accomplishments while serving in those roles, and completing continuing education along with an endorsement from either both their mentor and commander or a majority of their members under their command.

Before taking command of a squadron, a selection board FROM THE SQUADRON should be convened. There they can ask questions about where the prospective commanders wants to take the direction of the squadron. From there, the selection board will send their recommendation to wing, who will then convene their selection board. This process will assure both the wing commander and squadron members that the people being selected for leadership are going to be on the same page as their higher command and their subordinate members.

(When regarding the above examples I've thrown together for an online post, consider please not picking apart each individual solution as unworkable from a "we can't do that" attitude to a "here is a better way to develop leaders" attitude. This is an open letter on a forum, not my thesis paper.)

The problem with such a strategy, of course, is that developing leaders is HARD WORK! It will lead to fewer promotions! It will lead to fewer candidates for command! It will lead to complaints from people that fail!

All of that is a GOOD THING if it results in a higher quality of candidates for command! And keep in mind that these suggestions are just baby steps for implementing a better leadership program. A full-blown adult leadership program would have a lot more in common with the cadet program, but I don't think CAP is ready to embrace the idea of starting SMs in stripes instead of butter bars just yet.

That said, it might even be appropriate to can the entire leadership program as it stands now and remodel it after the cadet leadership program. Or we can take the very good leadership training programs that are public domain from our armed forces and implement them here.

Regardless of what we do, we cannot continue the current program that allows neutral and toxic leaders to gain more and more control in an organization that uses our tax dollars, is a civilian auxiliary to the USAF, and teaches a leadership program to youth that it refuses to implement for its adults.


What else should we take a CPP stance on in regards to leadership?

CAPR 1-1, Ethics.
An ethics complaint should be treated as serious as a cadet protection issue is. Unfortunately, in an effort to embrace brevity, the ethics regulation is a regulation without teeth. CAPR 60-2 on CPP has 4 chapters: Commitment; Standards of Practice; Screening, Training, and Compliance; and Reporting and Responding. It is long past time for CAPR 1-1 to build on that framework.

Commanders knowing that they will be held to account for ethical issues will result in a higher level of self-policing. When that doesn't work, the process needs to work. More to the point, the membership must believe that the system works! Don't hide it when a person is removed from command for cause. Be honest with your members, and please for the love of all that is holy, be honest with the commander.

One last thing that is part of the cadet program materials that the Armed Forces does that should be implemented annually in CAP: Command climate surveys.

Our Armed Forces in the past few years has started relieving commanders for bad command climates. CAP needs to do the same thing. We achieve this by doing what they do: Surveys. We need to do it annually and with 2 purposes: Identifying good command climates and learning from those commands, and identifying bad command climates and either teaching those commanders to become better based on the feedback or finding a new commander.


I don't expect everyone to agree with my ideas on how to fix these problems, but I think everyone here can acknowledge that we do have a problem in producing consistently good leaders. I hope we can take the opportunity to talk out some answers to the problems involved civilly and at a high level (read: don't air dirty laundry in this thread. Note I didn't relay my specific good or bad experiences here for a reason, I want to address the systemic issue, not the specific ones existing now in any squadron, wing, or region.)

Майор Хаткевич

I'd like to say you're preaching to the choir, but alas, we all know that's not the case.

A lot of the things you brought up in broad brush strokes rang so true, it hurt.

etodd

All your ideas are good. And would work in a perfect environment where you have several members in a Squadron that actually desire to move up in ranks and be a Squadron Commander or higher one day.

But sometimes you could have a really great group of folks who love doing all the jobs and get things done, but without many who have the desire or time, to be a Commander.  So someone gets "volunteered".  And they do the best they can. How do you fix that type of situation, until some date in the future you have an Administrator type to join up who wants to move up the ladder?
MS - MO - AP - MP - FRO - ESO

sUAS MP - sUAS Instructor - sUAS Check Pilot

Holding Pattern

Quote from: etodd on November 27, 2019, 09:31:29 pm
All your ideas are good. And would work in a perfect environment where you have several members in a Squadron that actually desire to move up in ranks and be a Squadron Commander or higher one day.

But sometimes you could have a really great group of folks who love doing all the jobs and get things done, but without many who have the desire or time, to be a Commander.  So someone gets "volunteered".  And they do the best they can. How do you fix that type of situation, until some date in the future you have an Administrator type to join up who wants to move up the ladder?


Well here is a novel concept: Allow squadrons to operate without commanders for periods of time. You can restrict the squadron from significant fund expenditures and put them on a restricted TA and modified assignment list until they can onboard a commander. This gives the squadron a reason to keep working towards getting qualified commanders in their training pipeline.

CAP also needs to incentivize the command position. Not with money, obviously, but the sheer amount of work a squadron commander has to do can range from 3-15 hours a week depending on ops tempo and member engagement. We need a better method of recognizing the achievements of our leaders and making them feel appreciated. (We also need to take all the make-work out of the job; 90% of the paper pushing I did as a commander should have been handled in e-Services as a function of having a good database.)

Finally, the term limit should be extended in circumstances where the commander has a trainee they are working with in preparation for command. Extending a command for simply having no candidates should be a non-starter; that should be a clear indication that the commander has failed at the one big job: finding their successor.

arajca

I mentioned this here before, but I think it bears repeating - when the national Conference was in Denver, I brought up the lack of leadership training for seniors during the open session of the NB. I was basically told CAP doesn't have a problem with leadership training for senior members and SLS and CLC were sufficient. A couple years later, the SAG(?) started talking about a leadership training program for seniors. I really haven't seen much other than OBC.

A well thought out and developed leadership program could be a big selling point for younger adults who may not be getting that in their employment. Such a program for CAP should, IMHO, be based on the NFA's leadership program for volunteer fire officers, rather than the military model for career officers. Yes, CAP is a paramilitary organization and a military leadership model may sound nice, but it does not take into account that members can decide at anytime the burden is too much and quit.

Holding Pattern

Quote from: arajca on November 27, 2019, 10:31:29 pm
I mentioned this here before, but I think it bears repeating - when the national Conference was in Denver, I brought up the lack of leadership training for seniors during the open session of the NB. I was basically told CAP doesn't have a problem with leadership training for senior members and SLS and CLC were sufficient.


Well that's terrifying. But it also explains a lot.

NIN

Darin Ninness, Col, CAP
Wing Dude
I like to have Difficult Adult Conversations™
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The contents of this post are Copyright © 2007-2020 by NIN. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.

Holding Pattern

Quote from: NIN on November 27, 2019, 10:38:45 pm
Geez, tl;dr please


Stop promoting bad leaders and start training good leaders, plzkthxbye

(Really though, this qualifies as one of those Difficult Adult Conversations™ that can't really be tl;dr'd without losing its substance. Please take the time to read it and give feedback.)

OldGuy


PHall

Quote from: OldGuy on November 27, 2019, 10:43:31 pm
Amen! Can someone please send this to the BOG and NHQ CC?


What makes you think they haven't seen it already?

PHall

The  US military has been relieving Commanders for "bad command climate" since the Revolutionary War, this is nothing new.
In 31-1/2 years in the Air National Guard, Air Force, Army National Guard and the Air Force Reserve I have had the pleasure to serve under all three types of commanders you've listed. The good, the indifferent and the bad. So it's not just CAP.

Fubar

Quote from: NIN on November 27, 2019, 10:38:45 pm
Geez, tl;dr please


Actually, I'd encourage you to read it. It's well thought out and reasoned and certainly touches on why we have retention issues in our organization.

Fubar

Quote from: PHall on November 27, 2019, 11:48:55 pmI have had the pleasure to serve under all three types of commanders you've listed. The good, the indifferent and the bad. So it's not just CAP.


Also holds true in the private sector.

Ned

It's a challenge, all right.

I was chair of the BoG personnel committee when we drafted the requirements and procedures for selecting the senior leadership of CAP in the post-National Board era, and we took a long hard look at leadership-related PD in CAP.  We were trying to see if was remotely realistic to expect CAP PD to contribute significantly to the CEO skillset that will be required for the leader of this large, primarily federally-funded organization.

And to no one's surprise, our conclusion is that any officer worthy of consideration as a national commander had accumulated years of leadership training, experience, and education from sources outside CAP.  To successfully complete our highest level of PD - Level 5 --  simply takes a total of several weeks worth of academic instruction, usually spread over many years.

So as a practical matter, our better leaders come to CAP pre-trained in leadership, management, and organizational skills gleaned from places like private industry, government, and/or the military.

Most CAP leaders lead in technical areas like aviation, logistics, PA, IT or any of the other important specialties.  And our existing PD system does a pretty good job in prepping such intermediate and staff leaders.

But for actual multi-mission commanders and other senior leaders, not so much.  And after thinking about it a great deal, I don't really see a path forward for that.

I'm hoping that others can.

JohhnyD

Quote from: PHall on November 27, 2019, 11:41:51 pm
Quote from: OldGuy on November 27, 2019, 10:43:31 pm
Amen! Can someone please send this to the BOG and NHQ CC?


What makes you think they haven't seen it already?

See comments by arajca, see the bizarro Washington Wing debacle in progress. national leadership appears to be living on that river in Egypt. And I foresee terrible trouble ahead.

JohhnyD

Quote from: Ned on November 27, 2019, 11:57:10 pm
And after thinking about it a great deal, I don't really see a path forward for that.

What are your thoughts regards the comments by the OP about local unit CC selection and training?

TheSkyHornet

Quote from: Ned on November 27, 2019, 11:57:10 pm
Most CAP leaders lead in technical areas like aviation, logistics, PA, IT or any of the other important specialties.  And our existing PD system does a pretty good job in prepping such intermediate and staff leaders.

But for actual multi-mission commanders and other senior leaders, not so much.  And after thinking about it a great deal, I don't really see a path forward for that.


I think that's relatively accurate.

This is where there needs to be at least an understanding of leadership styles and methodology, and then expertise in the field in which you're placed in charge of others.

If you're leading a technical project, you need to understand your people, how to motivate them, and how to lead them through the technical and interfacing complications of that project. If you're leading a tactical operation, you need to understand your people, how to motivate them, and how to lead them through the perhaps less defined opportunities for decision making that can grossly affect the outcome of the operation.

Leading in a technical training environment can have a lot of commonality in leading in an indoctrination training environment, but there are also some significant differences in the skill sets of the individual that you oversee and the intended outcome of the training.

You can take a pilot who can command an aircraft, and even a group of other junior pilots, and they do a great job in that environment; and then drop them into a squadron command role where there are much greater risks and greater responsibilities over all operational and support functions (logistics, finances, professional development, etc.) and you suddenly have a great flight commander but a bad squadron commander. -- And I'll tag this by expressing that this is purely an example and not always the case. My point is that technical expertise does not constitute leadership, and being a great motivator and mentor doesn't mean you understand the duties and skills necessary to carry out the work. You have to learn where the balance is. I see a lot of leaders make the mistake of thinking "Well, my job is to manage my guys, not do their jobs." But if you have no idea what they do, then you fail to step in when appropriate to help guide them.

Understand the processes of the person below you, and the complexities of the person above you. Identify the interfaces. That will give you so much more flexibility in doing your job, and it will give you such a greater respect for the environment around you.

Ned

Quote from: JohhnyD on November 28, 2019, 03:40:19 am
Quote from: Ned on November 27, 2019, 11:57:10 pm
And after thinking about it a great deal, I don't really see a path forward for that.

What are your thoughts regards the comments by the OP about local unit CC selection and training?


(While the turkey is in the oven)

I have several observations.  On commander selection, it would obviously be very helpful to provide leadership tasks to prospective leaders and evaluate performance.  As a practical matter matter, we usually achieve the same end by considering successful VCs or DCs for squadron command, successful squadron commanders for group or wing.  And so on.  And FWIW, from my seat we normally do a pretty good job of selecting the best available candidate.  I suspect that most of us could agree that the problem is upstream of the command selection process - the PD that could and should develop ordinary yet capable volunteers into extraordinary leaders of character.  And that's where I get stuck. 

The Army sent me to a lot of multi-month schools designed to help me lead and command soldiers and units.  I had to go and live in exotic places like Alabama and Kansas.  I just can't imagine how that could ever possibly work for even an enthusiastic volunteer.  I work in the court system, and our leaders have normally spent years as lower and mid-level supervisors, not to mention endless committee work learning about budgets, personnel procedures, and other administrative.

The ethics piece is critical, and as the author of much of our CPP doctrine, I loved the analogy.  But in my experience, most of our leadership issues arise from "mere poor leadership",rather than ethical issues.  IOW, crappy leaders, not crooks.  (Like any organization we have our fair share of actual crooks, but thankfully they are rare.).

And I think the senior leadership and the BoG actually have a pretty good record for identifying and removing the occasional toxic leaders.  Just ask a certain former national commander.

As a military commander of multiple units, I have been provided with command climate survey results.  And I think they helped me to be a better leader, but in all honesty, nothing on them was very surprising.  Periodically surveying over a thousand CAP units and 60,000 members is a significant commitment of resources, and those resources have to come from somewhere.  But even if the appropriations fairy gifted us a quarter million dollars or so, I'm not sure it would be worth spending it on surveys.  (Instead of, say, subsidizing airfare and costs for RSC or NSC to allow a larger bench for CAP leaders and increase diversity at senior levels.)

Because, any commander worth her salt already knows which are the troubled / less successful units based on performance metrics and unit visitations.  Certainly survey data can provide more detailed info, but a troubled or failing unit is usually obvious even without detailed spreadsheets.

So where I wind up on this stuff is the old "you go to war with the commanders you have, not the commanders you would like to see."

It is my job to develop, mentor, and train my crew, with a mind to making it difficult for the boss to select my replacement.

Beyond that, I rn out of ideas.

But you asked.

Fester

Man, that OP was a long read.  I will be honest in that I did not read it all.  But after skimming it....

You are absolutely right that an indifferent or poor leader can ruin an organization of any size.  Unit, Wing, NHQ.  I also saw someone state that the job of CC can be between 3-15 hours a week.  I have a unit of almost 75.  I'd be happy if I only spent 3-15 hours per week on my CAP job.  Most weeks, you can almost double that high number.

I don't agree with the idea of having a summary conversation after every module of OBC with the CC.   See my above point about how much time some of us spend in this job for the reason why.

But here's the biggest issue I've seen in my 8 years spread out over 3 decades.  I have seen FAR too many CC selections which were in an "Oh, [mess], the CC is leaving.  We gotta pick someone fast!" or "We don't really have anyone qualified, but Soccer Mom SM is willing to give it a shot!" situation.  When I applied for and was given command of my unit, there really wasn't anyone else wanting the job.  I'd only been a SM for about a year at that point and wasn't really that active due to my work schedule.  Luckily, I had the lessons learned from 6 years in the CP which taught me leadership lessons I still use today.... both within CAP and in my career.  I also "knew my way around" CAP - where to find the regs, how to read them, how to use eServices, how to find information on the PROPER way to run a unit. 

A lot of the CC's I've seen selected in my day are usually quite new to CAP and haven't really gone through much of the PD and they haven't had a CC who taught them how to find all of this information out there.  What I think needs to be developed is something similar to the UCC that a new CC can complete as soon as they are appointed or even before that - BUT ON THEIR OWN TIME AND TOTALLY ONLINE.  Now, I haven't done UCC yet so I'm not sure exactly how it's built, but the feedback I've heard is that it's basically a rehash of Level 1 info and SLS info with some CLC info mixed in.  I think that does very little to prepare a new CC for success.

I think the UCC I envision should be not only some instruction on Leadership and Ethics as mentioned by others, but I think it should be a "nuts and bolts" course.  What are my meetings supposed to be like?  How should they be scheduled?  How do I do everything I need to do in eServices? What reports do I need to complete and when?  THESE are the types of PRACTICAL issues I think we need to do a better job of addressing for new CC's.  Especially when so many CC's that are being selected don't have that hands-on CAP experience time that we should.

Just my $.02.
1stLt, CAP
Squadron CC
Group CPO
Eaker - 1996

Holding Pattern

Quote from: Fester on November 29, 2019, 07:31:24 am
Man, that OP was a long read.  I will be honest in that I did not read it all.  But after skimming it....

You are absolutely right that an indifferent or poor leader can ruin an organization of any size.  Unit, Wing, NHQ.  I also saw someone state that the job of CC can be between 3-15 hours a week.  I have a unit of almost 75.  I'd be happy if I only spent 3-15 hours per week on my CAP job.  Most weeks, you can almost double that high number.

My experience mirrors that.

Quote
I don't agree with the idea of having a summary conversation after every module of OBC with the CC.   See my above point about how much time some of us spend in this job for the reason why.

This is why I suggested after each block, not module. 3 conversations once in a CAP member's career can fit in the time budget better than 40+ conversations.
Quote
But here's the biggest issue I've seen in my 8 years spread out over 3 decades.  I have seen FAR too many CC selections which were in an "Oh, [mess], the CC is leaving.  We gotta pick someone fast!" or "We don't really have anyone qualified, but Soccer Mom SM is willing to give it a shot!" situation.  When I applied for and was given command of my unit, there really wasn't anyone else wanting the job.  I'd only been a SM for about a year at that point and wasn't really that active due to my work schedule.  Luckily, I had the lessons learned from 6 years in the CP which taught me leadership lessons I still use today.... both within CAP and in my career.  I also "knew my way around" CAP - where to find the regs, how to read them, how to use eServices, how to find information on the PROPER way to run a unit. 

A lot of the CC's I've seen selected in my day are usually quite new to CAP and haven't really gone through much of the PD and they haven't had a CC who taught them how to find all of this information out there.  What I think needs to be developed is something similar to the UCC that a new CC can complete as soon as they are appointed or even before that - BUT ON THEIR OWN TIME AND TOTALLY ONLINE.  Now, I haven't done UCC yet so I'm not sure exactly how it's built, but the feedback I've heard is that it's basically a rehash of Level 1 info and SLS info with some CLC info mixed in.  I think that does very little to prepare a new CC for success.

I think the UCC I envision should be not only some instruction on Leadership and Ethics as mentioned by others, but I think it should be a "nuts and bolts" course.  What are my meetings supposed to be like?  How should they be scheduled?  How do I do everything I need to do in eServices? What reports do I need to complete and when?  THESE are the types of PRACTICAL issues I think we need to do a better job of addressing for new CC's.  Especially when so many CC's that are being selected don't have that hands-on CAP experience time that we should.

Just my $.02.


I'll put my thinking cap on that final section and see what I can come up with.

Eclipse

Until you can compel volunteers to take jobs they do not want, dispel those who want jobs
they are not qualified for from taking them, and generally get beyond the CAP reality of
"you're lucky I showed up at all", discussions of leadership development are coffee-house fodder at best.


How many times have all of us with weathered RSRs seen someone being "developed", only to have 
an expense receipt for $4 bounced because it's day 61 (though it sat on desks ignored for weeks), or
has a scanned signature partially cut off, or who is wholly qualified for a promotion be denied because he's "not ready",
or who plans an activity with no help for months, only to have some non-stakeholder making phone calls to
"help" with no standing to do so and kiboshing the whole thing... or any of the "death by a thousand cuts" that CAP
inflicts upon itself and the membership which in turn has that season, experienced, "perfect" next CC looking for other ways to spend his evenings.

No leader or commander should ever be chosen because "they are the only one", which is
common CAP practice, and worse, then left to their own devices with no support or assistance,
then held accountable when they struggle or fail. 

You cannot develop leadership from the middle, nor in a vacuum, or in an environment which seeks excellence,
then has no ramifications for lack of execution other then, far too often, certificates and promotions.

CAP expects far too much administrative nonsense from it's commanders and line staffers, the kinds of tasks
which are accomplished by paid staff, separate committees, or both in similar organizations leaving the
core leaders to be mission focused and not worried about their TPS reports.



arajca

I'm going to throw this out - Whenever a member becomes a Commander or Deputy Commander, they should AUTOMATICALLY receive an email congratulating them and providing links to resources. This should include a one page checklist of things that need to be done WITH deadlines. I.e. Finance committee appointed/reappointed, inventories completed, signature forms for Finance submitted, ad nauseum. Most of these are to be completed within 30 days of assuming command.

With more moving to Eservices, the SUI tabs need to be updated. For example - the File Plan. Every unit is required to have a file plan. Very few units actually use it, because they don't have a need for it. I have done SUIs where a unit had a well-developed file plan, but nothing in the files. Correspondence was mostly emails. No one is going to print those out to put in  a file only to throw out/recycle/shred after a year.

Larry Mangum

I kinda did the squadron CC path backwards. I went from being in a squadron leadership officer, emergency services officer, comm officer, to a  Wing Logistics Officer. Then I changed wings and became a Wing assistant DC to Wing ES Director, From there I went to Region as the IT Director. While there I also served as the Deputy Commander for Seniors of a Composite Squadron as a ADDU assignment. I then become the Chief of Staff for a Wing, then returned  to Region where I became the Deputy Chief of Staff for Emergency Services. I then moved to another state due to work and was asked to step into a Squadron CC role to prevent the squadron from being shut down, due to lack of squadron members stepping up to lead the squadron.  I served a a Squadron CC for almost 4 years before resigning. 

My experiences, i think made me a better commander, but they did not protect from me from a lot of the problems a Squadron Commander face. I stated looking for my replacement, the day I took command, trying to find people that where interested and who had what I believed was the required skill set or the potential to get the required skill set. To be honest I failed in that task. That is only one example, of the challenges all commanders face. As Ned said earlier,  CAP PD, does not currently, and will not prepare someone for Command, it takes, years of leading people or projects outside of CAP, to be a good leader in CAP.  Even your of leading employee or military leadership, does not necessarily prepare one for leading volunteers, after all how do you successfully reward volunteers, or for that matter discipline bad volunteers.

I will say however, that my experiences in CAP, leading volunteers and my military training, has made me a better leader in CAP and at work.  Learning how to motivate volunteers and keep them motivated,will definitely make you a better leader in the business sector.
Larry Mangum, Lt Col CAP
SWR-SWR-001