Posts in Category: Leadership Blog

Self Management

By: BG Chaney, Deputy Adjutant General - Army

The Stoic philosopher Epictetus states that “we are responsible for some things, while there are others for which we cannot be held responsible.” This is to say that if you can find a way to differentiate between what is and what is not under your control, and then to act accordingly, you will be resilient to the psychological stress that can so often roadblock us on our path to achieving our goals. 

As a strategic leader, I frequently draw on this concept for strength and guidance when I begin to feel overwhelmed, or as though things are spinning too quickly out of my control.  Every day I work on improving my ability to differentiate between what is and what is not in my power to control. There are numerous external forces outside of our control, and so we must remember to hold onto our power of how we interact and react to them. Even if we cannot control something, we can choose what level of importance it can have to our lives. We always have the ability to stack and prioritize things by level of perceived significance. As leaders and individuals, we must constantly take stock of what is going on around us, create a hierarchy of priorities, and then take control of events as appropriate.  By learning to manage what you can, you will be more resilient to riding the wave of things that are out of your control. 


Decision Making

By: BG Chaney, Deputy Adjutant General - Army

PhotoOne of the things I have learned as a strategic leader is that the horizon of your battlefield is continuously and exponentially expanding. The more you learn, the more you will realize you don’t know. In the face of this potentially overwhelming field of view, remember to start small. Take an honest look at yourself and pick a few things that you identify with as a leader and work hard to ensure that you do them well. This applies to all levels of leadership. No matter the size of your team, use these identified core values as a home base from which to tackle the multitude of scenarios you are faced with, either as leaders or as individuals. There will never be a perfectly right answer to a problem, only answers with varying levels of risk. During these times, the core values you brand yourself around will become an invaluable touch-stone to return to when faced with difficult decisions.

At times we are called upon to make quick decisions in uncomfortably public situations and we can put undue pressure on ourselves to make a perfect call quickly. It is comforting to remember that all decisions are based on shades of grey, and that we can only do the best we are able with what we are provided. One of the things I appreciate most about the TLDP program is that participants are taught valuable lessons on how to weigh and mitigate risks in decision making. It can be difficult to balance making clear-headed decisions for the good of the agency’s future, as well as for the well-being of each individual who serves in TMD. Part of our value of People First means treating others the way you would want to be treated. While top strategic leaders may be the ones making many of the decisions, it is important for all leaders to remember that the consequences of their decisions directly affect the daily lives of those who serve this organization, and thereby the lives of their families. While we are often called upon to make hard choices, the well-being of the Soldier and their family must always be at the fore-front of a leader’s mind. 


We are one team in one fight. Let’s remember to live out that message at all levels of service.