IntroductionAmanager can either be a valuable asset to an organization by providingmotivation, encouragement, and praise or be a toxic leader and become aliability to the organization. A strong leader will have many good traits andcharacteristics. They will bring out the best in the organizations employees byinspiring, (not intimidation) to be their best.
Strong characteristics includebut are certainly not limited to: Good listening skills, being approachable,coaching skills, empathetic, and be able to correct and provide feedback in apositive manner. Week traits may include: blaming employees for his/her ownfailures, incompetence, micro management, emotional and manages through fear. Soin contrast “leaders are not necessarily flashy, charismatic, as a matter offact recent studies confirm that the more down-to-earth traits of steadfastness, energy,honesty, and integrity are what really count.” (Dearstyne, 2014)Sonow that you have a better idea of what strong and weak managers traits can looklike, ask yourself which traits you have and conduct a self-assessment.
Knowing one’s self, strengths and weaknessesis step one of forming a strong management foundation. Successful managers, leaders and supervisorsunderstand that only through complete honesty can a true assessment of theirskills, traits and motivations determine where emphasis is needed forself-improvement, growth and professional development.Therefore,a honest self-assessment of ones good and bad traits is what must be done. Priorto the assessment and identification of Jeff’s managerial traits, Lets coversome background and work history on Mr. Jeffrey Myers.
This information willprovide the reader with a better understanding of how Jeff’s work experience,role models, leaders, and their different management methodologies shapedJeff’s ideas of management, traits both good, bad and of course how thesetraits later evolved. PersonalSituational AnalysisAsa young teen Jeff worked at odd jobs in his neighborhood to make some pocketchange. Jeff’s first work experience was working for his neighbors by helpingthem to set out and bring in fruits and vegetables for their fruit stand. Thisjob only lasted one season.
Jeff made fifty cents in the morning for setting upthe fruits and vegetables for the stand and another fifty cents for bringingthem in at night. He saved every cent and one day made the mistake of showinghis savings of one hundred dollars to the two sisters that ran the fruit standand was promptly fired at the end of the week. One could only speculate thatthe sisters wanted to save the dollar a day in pay.
What did Jeff learn?Supervisors were not to be trusted. Thiswas Jeff’s first work experience. There is no real need to go into the handfulof part time jobs that Jeff held as a teenager, so let’s jump straight intoJeff’s first real work experience, The United States Army.Jeffenlisted in the United States Army on 18 October 1983 and after serving twentyone years retired from the US Army on 19 Oct 2004. Durring that first year Jeffwas in for a significant emotional event when and a 180 degree flip of life. Itall began day one, when disembarking the military bus on Fort McClellan, Al.From the first moment of arrival a US Army Drill Sergeant was in Jeffs faceyelling and screaming.
Nothing could be done fast enough or well enough toplease this camaflouged wearing Tasmanian devil sporting a round brown stetsonsmokey the bear hat, and so this continued for six long weeks. This was myfirst taste of US Army management which was tucked away for later use. Aftergraduating basic training and later advanced initial training it was time toleave Fort McClellan and move on a permant change of station to Jeff’s firstduty station which was Graenwhore Germany serving as a Military Policeman (MP),one of six MP’s in a Field Artillary Battery. It was in Germany the Jeff wasintroduced to his Squad Leader and Platoon Sergeant. As it turned out, bothwere perfect examples of what a good leader should avoid.
The squad leader, afirst line supervisor was anacholic and didn’t seem to care much aboutmentoring or teaching his young private (Jeff) much about the Army. The PlatoonSergeant was strictly a hands off leader with the lower subordinates and seemedto delegate everything down the chain of command to the Squad Leaders. Aftersurviving this first tour Jeff received orders for West Point, NY to serve as aMilitary Policeman preforming law enforcement duties serving the Academy. Itwas at West Point that Jeff met his first real mentor in the Army. SGT Glennwas Jeffs first line supervisor and provided the necessary coaching andmentorship that was instrumental in Jeff’s first promotion to a leadershipposition. The rank of Sergeant was and still is a siginificant event in a Soldierscareer.
Jeff was promoted several more times while serving in the Army and metmeny good and not so good leaders until finally retiring in 2004 as a SergeantFirst Class. Therewas certainly a learning curve in becoming a good military supervisor, whichcame through experience, mentorship and professional military education,however; in 2004 it was time to move on into the civilian world bringing twentyone years of military experience andleadership skills. Vision,Core Values, Mission, Qualities, Target MarketJeffis currently a DA Civilian working for the department of the Army as a TrainingDeveloper managing a team of three civilians, mostly all old retired militaryguys like Jeff.
Over the course of twenty one years in the US Army there wasplenty of time to learn regarding what worked best and what not to do when itcame to management and leadership. Jeff’s vision, core values, mission, and qualitieshave changed since the days of active duty, for instance my management andleadership style had to change a bit when entering the civilian workforce eventhough the target market was still the United States Government it stillrequired a different management style.Jeff’score values of patriotism and service or the qualities of selfless service,accountability, focus and drive and adaptability didnt really change with thetransition from military to the civilian world because they still applied inthe new position as a department of the Army Civilian serving the Army. The onequality that best served me in both careers is adaptability and knowing when itis time to change is one of Jeff’s greatest strengths. It took some time(years) but Jeff finally recognized that the younger generation of Soldiersenlisting into the Army required a different management style that hisgeneration. They required a little softer touch and often times needed thereason why they had to accomplish a specific task, not just because “I saidso!” This carried over into Jeff’s civilian career as a Deraprment of the ArmyCivilian leading a team of three training developers, one Boomer, one Gen Xerand a Melinnial. They were all differentand all required a bit of a different touch but they all had one thing incommon as well.
They were all prior military and that certainly helped becausewe all had a commonality.Conclusion Management and leadership styleswill change over the span of a career as long as one is willing to learn andprobably more importantly be willing to adapt and embrace change. However one lesson that standsout for me and has stuck with me is that people are different and are motivatedby different things and as a manager one must be willing accept this and relizethat there is no one cookie cutter management style for all employees. Whetherthey are in the Army or are civilians expectations, perceptions andgenerational /age differences in the working environment will dictatemanagement styles (Johnson & Johnson, 2010) but if truth be told sometimesone still wants the misson to be accomplished without requiring an explanationor unessary motivation, but that urge is generally pushed aside and actions aretaken based on what is best for the organization. Atmy age I do not expect to change careers again.
I have served our country andthe United States Army since 1983 in one capacity or another and intend tocontinue to do so until my final retirement.