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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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.


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