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The Parade Square => The Canadian Military => Topic started by: E.R. Campbell on May 27, 2015, 14:07:44

Title: Leadership
Post by: E.R. Campbell on May 27, 2015, 14:07:44
I had heard about this picture earlier. If she puts it on Facebook, she must be willing to see it circulated more widely, or at the very least acknowledge the high risk of same. I would be interested to see if any media outlets are willing to publish it.

But, so what? What does this change?

Does this rather thoughtless self-promotion mean that nothing Ms Lalonde said is at all true? Is the message wrong because we don't like the messenger?

Does it mean there is no problem in the CAF with narrow-minded, immature people with an overwhelming sense of self-entitlement acting out when they feel like it?

Does it mean that there aren't any questions about where the adult leadership in RMC was when this mess happened?

Probably not. In the big picture, this entire embarrassing shambles at RMC, and the Strat/Pol firestorm surrounding the earlier inquiry report, are just distractions from a much bigger question: does the military treat people right, or not?

If not, why not? And whose *** is going to get kicked over it?

Because to a grubby old retired guy like me, it is exactly just that simple. If you want to change behaviour in a group, you have to work very hard, all the time, until it's changed. Then you keep working hard to make sure it stays that way. You can't just sit in the office and issue e-mails and memos and vapid videos or wall posters, or send out silly (if well-meaning) briefing teams to bother people.

It isn't easy to force change, and you will not be well-liked. You are going to hear people (at all rank levels...) say: "Hey. c'mon-he's a really good soldier. Can't we just overlook this?". At the other end, you will also have to deal with the oxygen-stealing disgruntled whiner who sees yet another chance to use the system against their bosses. Good luck sorting that out. (Been there, on both of the above).

Either the CAF will be a place where all who make the grade can serve honourably and in good spirit, regardless of who else they happen to be, or it won't be. Take your pick.


We are, it seems to me, in several threads, here in Army.ca, skirting around a fundamental problem: Leadership ... or, perhaps, lack of same.

Does anyone else remember a book by Robert Raurk called "Something of Value?" At the start of the book, Ruark quotes an old African prover (http://www.amazon.ca/Something-Value-Robert-Ruark/dp/089966816X):

               If a man does away with his traditional way of living and
               throws away his good customs, he had better first make
               certain that he has something of value to replace them.
                                                                  - Basuto proverb


I think we, Canadian society at large but the CF, in particular, threw away some "traditional values" and we did not make certain that we had "something of value to replace the."

In Canadian society we began the throwing away process in around 1960; in political terms that was the Kingston Conference (http://ronhartling.ca/2011/11/the-passing-of-tom-kent/) and the decades (1960s and 70s) of missteps that flowed from it.

In the CF we had our own major disruption: 1964-68, the process of integrating and unifying the RCN, Canadian Army and RCAF into the CAF. Not everything about integration was wrong, but a lot was; much of unification was good, but we have, since about 1975 (creation of Air Command), actually regressed, tossed out some good ideas and replaced them with less operationally effective single service 'stovepipes.'

But the big thing we tossed aside in 1966 when, mainly in an effort to solve some long standing and serious compensation (pay) problems, Minister Hellyer and the CDS (Air Chief Marshal Miller) decided upon a new rank structure which, effectively, destroyed the junior leadership levels of, especially, the army.

It may be true that the sergeants are the "heart and soul" of the army, but it is junior leaders, corporals and subalterns who actually lead, from the front, in battle. I had, and still have no problem with Mr Hellyer's plan to raise my pay ~ I needed a pay raise and i was damned glad to have it. But I, in 1966, and almost everyone else in the army did have, and still have, a problem with what was done to the ranks of corporal and captain. Creating MCpols and inflating ranks - making section and tank commander a sergeant's position - did not solve the problem. If the sergeants are the army "backbone" then the junior leaders are its very foundation; in my opinion everything rests on them and the business of selecting, training and developing them is the most important thing the army does. Selecting the CDS begins, I would suggest, at recruiting officer cadets and the CFCWO et al didn't spring, fully formed, from "dragons' teeth," they were selected and trained as leaders along the way. But what about all those people who needed (and deserved) a pay raise? Good question ...

There was a model open to Mr Hellyer and ACM Miller, one which I suspect would have been just as well received as the one they chose: the US rank model, circa 1965, which (until 1968) included several grades of specialist ...

(http://www.tioh.hqda.pentagon.mil/Handlers/ImageHandler.ashx?id=11214&size=original)

... now that has all changed and, today, there is only one grade of specialist, equivalent to a corporal.

But, one of our other sister services, the Royal Air Force, still used graded (specialist) Technician ranks ...

(http://www.raf.mod.uk/rafcms/mediafiles/4872D96E_DB10_222A_D5BAC6421DAA7833.jpg)

I'm not interested in the "buttons and bows," just in the principle which is that rank and trade can and should be divided ... not totally separated: we shouldn't waste a Group 4 trade course on a soldier whop cannot even manage a small team, but junior leaders, especially, should be identified, trained, and streamed as leaders, albeit being required to be journeyman tradesmen, too. It ought to be possible to reward (pay) both technical/trade skill and leadership ability/responsibility.

As I understand most trade progression, today, it is:

     Basic tradesman: (Trade Group 1 badge) TQ3 (pte)
     Journeyman tradesman: (Trade Group 2 badge) TQ4 (pte)
     Skilled tradesman: (Trade Group 3 badge) TQ5 (cpl)
     Expert tradesman: (trade Group 4 badge) TQ6 (sgt)

 I believe that rank, as opposed to specialist/technician qualification, should also have levels. I see a need for something like this:

     Soldier:            (worker): (private) and, after training, TQ3;
          Those who can pass the TQ4 and TQ5 courses but cannot pass junior leader training will be specialists or technicians in the 4th or 5th grade
     Junior leader 1 (leader of a very few): (corporal) - requires a rigorous junior leader course and must be TQ4;
     Junior leader 2 (leader of a large team or a complex small team, say a tank): (master corporal) - requires seasoning and selection after junior NCO training and must be TQ5;
          Those junior leaders who can pass the TQ5 and TQ6 courses but cannot pass the senior leader training will be specialists or technicians in the 5th and 6th grades
     Senior leader 1 (e.g. armoured troop or infantry platoon 2IC): (sergeant) - requires a senior leader course, more selective, also a rigorous course and must be TQ5;
     Senior leader 2 (e.g. CQMS or engineer troop 2IC): (sergeant 1st class) - requires additional management training and must be TQ6;
          Those senior leaders who can pass the TQ7 training but cannot pass the senior management training will be specdialists/technicians in the 7th grade
     Senior leader 3 (e.g. SSM/BSM/CSM and senior technical leader/manager): (master sergeant) - requires additional trade and management training and must be TQ6 or even 7, in some specialties; and
     Senior leader 4 (e.g. RSM and selected senior staff WOs): (warrant officer) - requires selection and some additional management training and must be TQ6 or 7.

The key things are: the first junior leader ranks - team and infantry section and tank commanders - are junior non commissioned officers. They live and work with the men and women they command and lead. They have been selected for leadership training because their leaders see some potential in them. The leadership training which they undergo is, and is seen to be, tough, hard, and so on ... there is a respectable failure rate on the junior leader course to prove it. (And it's no disgrace for a good soldier to fail junior leader training ... once.)

We are, I think, already fairly careful in selecting and training junior officers. They need a system of formal examination to qualify for the training that will take them to and beyond the rank of captain. We ought not to assume that every cadet who is enrolled in ROTP is, automatically, a future CDS. Sorry, folks, the recruiting and selection crystal ball is not that good.

The key aspect of training for junior leaders ~ both junior NCOs and junior officers ~ is: integrity, responsibility, teamwork, responsibility, honesty, responsibility, leadership/personnel management, responsibility, ethics, responsibilioty, fitness and responsibility. Leaders are a whole lot of things but, mostly, they are, personally, responsible for everything that their team is and does. It is willingly accepting, and seeking responsibility that separates the leader from the led. And, you can teach or, at least, refine integrity, teamwork, personnel management, ethics, fitness and responsibility. It's hard to learn to be honest and self sacrificing and strong ... but anything worth having requires hard work.

We need to stop worrying about the CDS and the commander of the army and the CFCWO and so on ... we need to worry about the leaders who matter most: corporals and lieutenants. If we can select and train them well then everything else, cox'ns and RSMs, ship's captains, regimental and brigade commanders, even the CDS, will follow because their development and selection will rest on a firm foundation of good excellent superb junior leadership training and development.

We need "something of value" as the very base of our system ... I think we're missing it, now, but I also think we can fill the void.

Title: Re: Leadership
Post by: ModlrMike on May 27, 2015, 14:24:42
A good summary, Edward.

We seem to have lots of professional leadership education for our NCOs (PLQ,ILQ,ALQ), but not for our officers. We provide our most junior officers with some of the nuts and bolts of the PLQ during their BMOQ, but that's where it seems to end. They can then become quite senior Majors without any further training in Leadership.

As much as we in the military like to think that leadership is completely different from management, I'm not convinced that it is. In classical management, it is one of the core functions - Planning, Organizing, Leading and Controlling. It is not viewed as a separate function. I would agree with that perspective, but temper my opinion by stating that each of these management functions has their own, separate qualities that need to be learned.

Officers may be managers in the traditional sense of organizational structure, but they're also leaders. If we don't provide them with specific leadership training in a similar vein as we do NCOs how do we expect them to become good leaders? Why are we then surprised when we encounter leadership failures in the officer corps?

Leadership is part of management, and managers need specific training in leadership. You can manage personnel, but first you must be able to lead them.
Title: Re: Leadership
Post by: E.R. Campbell on May 27, 2015, 15:26:22
Mike, I believe that effective leaders are, inherently, good managers, and good managers are, of necessity, leaders, too.

There are all sorts of models ...

     (http://www.hr.ubc.ca/managing-at-ubc/files/graph_leadership_model-300x286.gif)
     Source: http://www.hr.ubc.ca/managing-at-ubc/overview/program-framework/

          ... but I like Warren Bennis axiom: Leaders are people who do the right thing; managers are people who do things right ...
          Source: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/w/warren_bennis.html#RRSsDLq4eJuauSXE.99

               ... and I am convinced that military officers and NCOs must be both. The degree to which one might have to lead or manage more (or less) is situational. When I was a very junior NCO and junior officer it was, mostly,
               about leading ... from the front. When I was a regimental commander I had to lead and manage. When I was a director in NDHQ I was, by definition, a manager, but I had to lead a team, too ... to direct, guide, mentor,
               support, and set a good example ... and all those things that leaders, at all levels, corporals or colonels, must do.
Title: Re: Leadership
Post by: Chris Pook on May 27, 2015, 16:04:01
Corporal - the body
Captain - the head
Lieutenant - the Captain's place holder
Sergeant - the Captain's servant.

Everything else is derivative.

I can remember, as a relatively newly created MITCP 2Lt, feeling quite unworthy the first time I received a salute from a British Army Corporal at Wainwright (he was with the Duke's as I recall).  His bearing and demeanor were nothing like any Corporal in Canadian service at the time.
Title: Re: Leadership
Post by: Oldgateboatdriver on May 27, 2015, 16:18:22
The Peter Farey model is actually a knock-off version of Ned Hermmann's research and typology.

The Task leadership quadrant would be type A, going to type D by going counter clockwise.

Your strong leader in that typology, the CEO's, are the type A dominant with type D secondary, while your best "managers" are the type B dominant with type C secondary. Everyone has seen good examples of the best CEO being nobody without a good secretary to keep them organized.

I think it is the same for the military. Your best leaders are those who have a vision, the capacity to quickly analyze and conclude and formulate the general plan (type A) and then inspire others to endorse the plan and motivate them to execute it (type D). But they can only do it with a good staff that is in the now and then to organize (type C) and then arrange for it to be done with consideration for those who have to do the work (type C).

In my experience, while everyone has some aspects of this classification in their character, very few people are equally good at the leadership (A-D) and managerial (B-C) side at the same time. Shorly put: you have your field officers and your staff officers, but few with the character to excel at both.

I do agree with you that we (the CF) must go back to giving more respect to leadership vs management/trade knowledge in the promotion system.

It was not just the army who suffered the changes of 1966 "rank upgrade" for purposes of pay compensation in that respect. In the Navy, the loss of prestige of the "Leading seaman" (see the word used here: "Leading") was felt through the ranks. Similarly, the unexpected promotions to leading seaman made the Navy lose the old "AB three badges" the able seamen who was thoroughly professional in his trade without being a leader, and the old "Petty Officer No Trade" who was your superior leader without achieving quite all the trade qualifications expected at that rank.   
Title: Re: Leadership
Post by: reveng on May 27, 2015, 16:27:35
Some interesting reading here - but I must ask, can we afford to retain soldiers that cannot pass a junior leadership course?

We only have a RegF of ~68k (and I feel even that number will be hard to maintain budget wise) how do we balance the numbers of leaders/specialists? We have many smaller trades where pers are attached/employed in small dets within the larger force. By nature of their employment, they should already be specialists. As we continue to prepare for full spectrum/dispersed operations, I think we should be emphasizing the role of the "Strategic Corporal".

I think the successful completion of a junior leadership course should be a prerequisite to a full term military career. I'm not opposed to short service (3-6 years perhaps) for those that cannot/do not wish to complete further training. For long service, I think we should be more selective.

Let's focus on building personnel who are equal parts military leader, manager, and Subject Matter Expert.

I can dream, right?


Title: Re: Leadership
Post by: Blackadder1916 on May 27, 2015, 16:43:45

We seem to have lots of professional leadership education for our NCOs (PLQ,ILQ,ALQ), but not for our officers. We provide our most junior officers with some of the nuts and bolts of the PLQ during their BMOQ, but that's where it seems to end. They can then become quite senior Majors without any further training in Leadership.


I know things have likely changed considerably in the many years since I've taken off the uniform, but the continuum of on-going leadership/management education for officers was probably as stratified even if the course titles didn't so suggest.  While it may seem that formal leadership training ended at BMOQ (BOTC in my day), there was always an element of either leadership/management theory or application in most officer MOC courses - after all that was the primary function of most officers, to lead.  As an officer progressed his on-going leadership and management training and education was likely more "generalist", as in Staff School (was more than a memo writing course but is now gone) at the Capt level, CLFCSC (as a component of battlefield comd and staff training), Staff College for Majors, Cbt Team Comd course (for arms) and corps specific advanced courses for services, as well as the various odds and sods of OPDP, FOE, Management Development (another school gone) and some job specific things like project management.  Though I didn't sit around the mess have philosophical discussions about leadership theory and practice with fellow officers (and we didn't have the luxury of internet and army.ca), the good officers I knew seriously thought about it and were always ready to provide advice.  I know that as a more senior captain (and later as a major), leadership development of the junior officers under me (as well as the NCMs) was a consideration.
Title: Re: Leadership
Post by: E.R. Campbell on May 27, 2015, 17:24:19
The Peter Farey model is actually a knock-off version of Ned Hermmann's research and typology.

The Task leadership quadrant would be type A, going to type D by going counter clockwise.

Your strong leader in that typology, the CEO's, are the type A dominant with type D secondary, while your best "managers" are the type B dominant with type C secondary. Everyone has seen good examples of the best CEO being nobody without a good secretary to keep them organized.

I think it is the same for the military. Your best leaders are those who have a vision, the capacity to quickly analyze and conclude and formulate the general plan (type A) and then inspire others to endorse the plan and motivate them to execute it (type D). But they can only do it with a good staff that is in the now and then to organize (type C) and then arrange for it to be done with consideration for those who have to do the work (type C).

In my experience, while everyone has some aspects of this classification in their character, very few people are equally good at the leadership (A-D) and managerial (B-C) side at the same time. Shorly put: you have your field officers and your staff officers, but few with the character to excel at both.

I do agree with you that we (the CF) must go back to giving more respect to leadership vs management/trade knowledge in the promotion system.

It was not just the army who suffered the changes of 1966 "rank upgrade" for purposes of pay compensation in that respect. In the Navy, the loss of prestige of the "Leading seaman" (see the word used here: "Leading") was felt through the ranks. Similarly, the unexpected promotions to leading seaman made the Navy lose the old "AB three badges" the able seamen who was thoroughly professional in his trade without being a leader, and the old "Petty Officer No Trade" who was your superior leader without achieving quite all the trade qualifications expected at that rank.


Thanks for both those observations, OGBD: management theory is not my strong suit; and while I had heard anecdotal evidence of the impact of the Hellyer corporal and instant captain on the other two services my first hand knowledge, from the 1960s and 70s, is confined to the army.

You point about some people being more leader and others more manager is, of course, familiar ~ I think we've all seen it over and over, but I have known a few who were both, at once. I'll name one name, because he's a public figure: Jim Leech (http://www.thewhig.com/2014/08/30/new-chancellor-jim-leech-is-a-graduate-of-both-queens-and-rmc), now Chancellor of Queens University was/is an exceptional leader, in the army and in business, and, simultaneously, a fine manager. It can be done; it's not the norm, but it happens and it has, more than once, happened in the military, too.
Title: Re: Leadership
Post by: E.R. Campbell on May 27, 2015, 17:26:49
Just one more point, to clarify where I stand: the greatest need for junior leadership selection, training and development is at the private/corporal level. Officers are easier and the consequences of failures are, in my personal opinion, less. We must get the junior NCO right ... everything else is secondary.
Title: Re: Leadership
Post by: Chris Pook on May 27, 2015, 17:32:20
Some interesting reading here - but I must ask, can we afford to retain soldiers that cannot pass a junior leadership course?

We only have a RegF of ~68k (and I feel even that number will be hard to maintain budget wise) how do we balance the numbers of leaders/specialists? We have many smaller trades where pers are attached/employed in small dets within the larger force. By nature of their employment, they should already be specialists. As we continue to prepare for full spectrum/dispersed operations, I think we should be emphasizing the role of the "Strategic Corporal".

I think the successful completion of a junior leadership course should be a prerequisite to a full term military career. I'm not opposed to short service (3-6 years perhaps) for those that cannot/do not wish to complete further training. For long service, I think we should be more selective.

Let's focus on building personnel who are equal parts military leader, manager, and Subject Matter Expert.

I can dream, right?

Spectrum -

I am going to suggest that someone who has reached their ceiling in the Reg Force could be offered a role in the Reserve Force where their skills could be kept available to the service and they could find a gentle off-ramp into civilian life.

That way the Reg Force would have access to a pool of trained members that could come in at junior levels and fill up the ranks when necessary.

Title: Re: Leadership
Post by: reveng on May 27, 2015, 18:35:27
Spectrum -

I am going to suggest that someone who has reached their ceiling in the Reg Force could be offered a role in the Reserve Force where their skills could be kept available to the service and they could find a gentle off-ramp into civilian life.

That way the Reg Force would have access to a pool of trained members that could come in at junior levels and fill up the ranks when necessary.

In many cases, I agree and feel that PRes units can benefit from the experience of ex Reg-F members. I think a real effort should be made to attract quality personnel to the PRes once they move on from full time service.

With that said, regardless of Reg or Res, our soldiers deserve quality junior leaders. We need to set the bar higher, and make sure we select and retain the right people. I'd prefer fewer, better soldiers and this mentality should carry forward up the ranks.

I think we should be putting suitable folks through PLQ sooner rather than later, even if there is no promotion to MCpl right away. It sure beats minting A/L MCpl's who have had zero leadership training, and no time to grow into the role.
Title: Re: Leadership
Post by: Brihard on May 27, 2015, 18:39:09
In many cases, I agree and feel that PRes units can from the experience of ex Reg-F members. I think a real effort should be made to attract quality personnel to the PRes once they move on from full time service.

With that said, regardless of Reg or Res, our soldiers deserve quality junior leaders. We need to set the bar higher, and make sure we select and retain the right people. I'd prefer fewer, better soldiers and this mentality should carry forward up the ranks.

I think we should be putting suitable folks through PLQ sooner rather than later, even if there is no promotion to MCpl right away. It sure beats minting A/L MCpl's who have had zero leadership training, and no time to grow into the role.

When I was the Ops/Trg NCO at my unit we were doing something close to this. Not many reserve regiments were particularly attentive to the PLQs running year round at the various schools, so we had a lot of success getting members onto courses mostly comprising reg force pers. We sent some Cpls who were pretty young in service, but they've generally done pretty well, and it helped us avoid a MCpl deficit that was looming when the PRes infantry career courses were adjusted. I'm all for throwing Cpls who aren't mouth breathers onto the course and seeing how they do- some will unexpectedly shine, and others will learn a lot from a rough experience.
Title: Re: Leadership
Post by: Chris Pook on May 27, 2015, 20:06:10
In many cases, I agree and feel that PRes units can benefit from the experience of ex Reg-F members. I think a real effort should be made to attract quality personnel to the PRes once they move on from full time service.

With that said, regardless of Reg or Res, our soldiers deserve quality junior leaders. We need to set the bar higher, and make sure we select and retain the right people. I'd prefer fewer, better soldiers and this mentality should carry forward up the ranks.

I think we should be putting suitable folks through PLQ sooner rather than later, even if there is no promotion to MCpl right away. It sure beats minting A/L MCpl's who have had zero leadership training, and no time to grow into the role.

I'm not suggesting that the PRes has to make do with the Regs "cast-offs".  The PRes needs leaders that are every bit as good as those in the Regs - in some cases, because issuing a command is often less of an option in the Reserves, leadership may be more critical.

What I am suggesting is that when a Reg times out he should be kept available if at all possible by putting him into the Reserve system.
Title: Re: Leadership
Post by: E.R. Campbell on May 27, 2015, 20:22:48
I heard much talk about "One Navy" in Halifax last week ... mostly idle chatter, in my opinion, and it will remain that until I see some real commitment from both regular and reserve leaders.

If, and it's a BIG IF, we really want "one force" then the regular component leaders have to start posting the best people into reserve units. It should be an honour to serve in a reserve unit, not a career ending move; a posting to a reserve unit should certify that you're on the way us.

If the reserves want to be part of "one force," then they have to clean house: get rid of the deadwood, welcome unit amalgamations, look for now, innovative ways to train ... and accept expert help and guidance.

Reserve units should have full time COs or DCOs and full times adjutants, chief clerks and RQMS, etc, and equivalent in the RCN, plus a full complement of more junior full time officers and NCOs ~ senior and junior. (Full time might, often will mean regular force, but it can mean good, solid experienced reservists who can provide full time service.)

But, in my opinion, the lead must come from the regular force admirals and general ... until I see some I will continue to think that they are just blowing smoke up the arses of their reserve force comrades in arms.
Title: Re: Leadership
Post by: Chris Pook on October 09, 2018, 15:02:21
If there is already a Leadership thread or this is in the wrong place I urge the moderators to fix the error as they are so inclined.

Leadership comes up regularly in our discussions but I can't find a thread devoted to the discussion of Leadership.

I came across this article - It talks about the value of experienced leaders, especially senior NCOs, in managing attrition.

https://americanmilitarynews.com/2018/10/army-should-change-how-it-picks-enlisted-leaders-to-lower-attrition-study-says/?utm_source=amn&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=alt

Boiled down it seems that young soldiers respect time-in more than rank.  Young sergeants have higher attrition rates than older sergeants and also combat veterans.  At the other end of the spectrum older NCOs can outlive their best before dates.

The optimum NCO is someone with about 25 years of service and 25 months of active deployments on the two-way range.
Title: Re: Leadership
Post by: dynaglide on February 28, 2020, 12:05:31
And we put more weight on second-language profiles than actual experience and leadership attributes.
Title: Re: Leadership
Post by: Weinie on February 28, 2020, 18:12:42
And don't forget utterly useless Masters Degrees.y
Title: Re: Leadership
Post by: SupersonicMax on February 28, 2020, 20:25:41
And we put more weight on second-language profiles than actual experience and leadership attributes.

There comes a time when you ability to express yourself in both official languages has an influence on how effective a leader you are. 
Title: Re: Leadership
Post by: Jarnhamar on February 28, 2020, 20:35:09
There comes a time when you ability to express yourself in both official languages has an influence on how effective a leader you are.

Could you go into a little more detail what you mean?
Title: Re: Leadership
Post by: Weinie on February 28, 2020, 20:39:35
There comes a time when you ability to express yourself in both official languages has an influence on how effective a leader you are.

Sorry Max, but that is a built in CAF and GoC/provincial gov't constraint. Ability/accessibility to learn a second language does not directly indicate  natural or learned leadership. 
Title: Re: Leadership
Post by: macarena on February 28, 2020, 23:12:05
Hi, mates!
Hehehe... I may not agree to the topic title, since many lives will depend on the leader decisions.
But to keep feeding the comic content, I've read in the past from Dilbert [1] that the leader will become those ones that produce less.
Have fun!

"... companies tend to systematically promote incompetent employees to management to get them out of the workflow... "

"... employees who were never competent are promoted to management to limit the damage they can do... "

[1]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dilbert_principle
Title: Re: Leadership
Post by: tomahawk6 on February 28, 2020, 23:49:43
Subject is like , does a commission really make a gentleman ? I don't think gender and competence has much to do with how well someone knows his/her job. I have seen both inefficient men and females of different rank. At some point the herd gets culled and they fall away.
Title: Re: Leadership
Post by: Quirky on February 29, 2020, 13:23:15
And we put more weight on second-language profiles than actual experience and leadership attributes.

Second-language? You mean if its only French or English. The former being completely useless outside of Canada. Don't even get me started on Officers with degrees completely unrelated to their trade. Only in the CAF will a degree in arts qualify you to become an engineering officer for an air squadron.  ::)

Title: Re: Leadership
Post by: PuckChaser on February 29, 2020, 14:31:11


Second-language? You mean if its only French or English. The former being completely useless outside of Canada.

Been to Africa? Super useful there. I get your point though, it's only useful if we're going somewhere that speaks it. Those who can speak Arabic, Kurdish, Ukrainian or Russian as well as English have far more value to ther CAF than French and English.

Title: Re: Leadership
Post by: Remius on February 29, 2020, 14:38:45
Or Haiti.

Plenty of European countries as well. 

I also agree, though, that language should not trump actual leadership qualities.
Title: Re: Leadership
Post by: SupersonicMax on February 29, 2020, 15:22:42
Sorry Max, but that is a built in CAF and GoC/provincial gov't constraint. Ability/accessibility to learn a second language does not directly indicate  natural or learned leadership.

I haven’t said it makes you a better leader. I said that you ability to express yourself in only one language has an impact on how effective a leader you can be.

If you are the CO or a unit or even just supervising some people that only speak English and others that only speak French (and yes, it happens) I would argue that an unilingual person certainly has less ability to influence one’s behaviour, making you less effective as a leader.
Title: Re: Leadership
Post by: Dimsum on February 29, 2020, 16:37:35
Don't even get me started on Officers with degrees completely unrelated to their trade. Only in the CAF will a degree in arts qualify you to become an engineering officer for an air squadron.  ::)

Do Sqn AEREs do all that much engineering though, or is it more pers management? 
Title: Re: Leadership
Post by: tomahawk6 on February 29, 2020, 19:06:28
From my experience the best leaders out of the box are products from OCS then maybe The military academy then ROTC grads.
Title: Re: Leadership
Post by: Good2Golf on February 29, 2020, 19:11:49
Out of interest, which Arts degrees are valid for AERE? ???
Title: Re: Leadership
Post by: ballz on February 29, 2020, 19:16:08
I haven’t said it makes you a better leader. I said that you ability to express yourself in only one language has an impact on how effective a leader you can be.

If you are the CO or a unit or even just supervising some people that only speak English and others that only speak French (and yes, it happens) I would argue that an unilingual person certainly has less ability to influence one’s behaviour, making you less effective as a leader.

While it no doubt adds an extra challenge, it is not black and white that the bilingual person is going to be more effective as a whole.

I can think of a few examples of people who couldn't communicate effectively in our mother tongue and was quite sure I'd rather be following a competent person whom needs to communicate to me via hand signals due to a language barrier.
Title: Re: Leadership
Post by: daftandbarmy on February 29, 2020, 19:27:46
We can never run enough of the right courses for everything, or everyone, which is why we used to keep people in jobs for at least a couple of years so they could learn 'experimentally'.

Now it's a pretty fast revolving door, and we pay the price in competence IMHO.
Title: Re: Leadership
Post by: Weinie on February 29, 2020, 19:53:50
I haven’t said it makes you a better leader. I said that you ability to express yourself in only one language has an impact on how effective a leader you can be.

If you are the CO or a unit or even just supervising some people that only speak English and others that only speak French (and yes, it happens) I would argue that an unilingual person certainly has less ability to influence one’s behaviour, making you less effective as a leader.

While I won't parse better vs effective, your argument is driven through a CAF perspective. The topic is leadership, not the particularities of the CAF SCRITS-driven determination of what makes a true leader.

I have sat through too many succession planning and merit boards, where my first hand knowledge and working experience of those being assessed, and my recommendations thereof, have been undermined/over-ridden by second language ability and faux or non-relevant Masters degrees. Very few militaries in the world have to accommodate the politically correct constraints that we do.
Title: Re: Leadership
Post by: garb811 on February 29, 2020, 20:18:26
While I won't parse better vs effective, your argument is driven through a CAF perspective. The topic is leadership, not the particularities of the CAF SCRITS-driven determination of what makes a true leader.

I have sat through too many succession planning and merit boards, where my first hand knowledge and working experience of those being assessed, and my recommendations thereof, have been undermined/over-ridden by second language ability and faux or non-relevant Masters degrees. Very few militaries in the world have to accommodate the politically correct constraints that we do.
Wienie:

I split the other thread because although the initial post was about "why so many incompetent men become leaders" in general, applicable to both the military and civilian worlds, it quickly took a turn to focusing on CAF specific issues such as SLT and all the rest.

The initial discussion still exists here:  Why do so many incompetent men become leaders? (https://army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,131998.msg1598926/topicseen.html#new)

- Milnet.ca Staff
Title: Re: Leadership
Post by: Weinie on February 29, 2020, 20:27:57
Thx. Appreciate both the consideration and the moderation.
Title: Re: Leadership
Post by: Lumber on March 01, 2020, 09:53:53
From my experience the best leaders out of the box are products from OCS then maybe The military academy then ROTC grads.

From my experience, I haven't seen a major noticeable difference in terms of the number of quality leaders that come from each of these streams. I've worked with both superb and weak leaders from each of these sources, and no one source seemed to produce more of one than the other.

Title: Re: Leadership
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 01, 2020, 12:08:45
From my experience, I haven't seen a major noticeable difference in terms of the number of quality leaders that come from each of these streams. I've worked with both superb and weak leaders from each of these sources, and no one source seemed to produce more of one than the other.

Wouldn't it be interesting if we could gather some data on who/ which organization produces the best leaders, and then reward those who do a good job while punishing those who do a bad job?
Title: Re: Leadership
Post by: Lumber on March 01, 2020, 13:25:35
Wouldn't it be interesting if we could gather some data on who/ which organization produces the best leaders, and then reward those who do a good job while punishing those who do a bad job?

Interestingly, although I don't know if this still holds true, there is a disproportionate number of officers at the high senior and GOFO levels that are RMC grads. You could say it's nepotism, but I don't think it is. You could say it's because RMC produced better officers, but I don't yhi k it is either. The best explanation an Ex-Capt(N) and I could come up with at a mess dinner is that the 4 years at RMC instill a greater sense of overall "connection" to the CAF, leading to them staying in longer.
Title: Re: Leadership
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 01, 2020, 13:31:39
Interestingly, although I don't know if this still holds true, there is a disproportionate number of officers at the high senior and GOFO levels that are RMC grads. You could say it's nepotism, but I don't think it is. You could say it's because RMC produced better officers, but I don't yhi k it is either. The best explanation an Ex-Capt(N) and I could come up with at a mess dinner is that the 4 years at RMC instill a greater sense of overall "connection" to the CAF, leading to them staying in longer.

Sandhurst is less than a year, doesn't include a 4 year degree, is alot more like Gagetown than RMC/CMR, and alot of their graduates stay in until retirement too.

I wonder if we could measure that somehow and come up with some conclusions based on, you know, data that could then be deployed to get us, almost literally, the best bang for the buck?
Title: Re: Leadership
Post by: dapaterson on March 01, 2020, 13:38:14
Interestingly, although I don't know if this still holds true, there is a disproportionate number of officers at the high senior and GOFO levels that are RMC grads. You could say it's nepotism, but I don't think it is. You could say it's because RMC produced better officers, but I don't yhi k it is either. The best explanation an Ex-Capt(N) and I could come up with at a mess dinner is that the 4 years at RMC instill a greater sense of overall "connection" to the CAF, leading to them staying in longer.

Right away, if they went to MilCol, they have 4 or 5 more years of service.  And, in the past, there were explicit preferences granted to MilCol grads; for example, preference for staff college. If you build a system that provides advantage to a group, it's unsurprising that the advantaged group shows evidence of advantage.
Title: Re: Leadership
Post by: tomahawk6 on March 01, 2020, 14:08:58
Lets look at company command where Canada uses a Major as company commander vs the US commander is a Captain. In aviation we use a Major as co, which is as close as we get to your system. Company level command is essential in our system to making the cut to Major and selection for staff college. In my time the selection rate was about 50% and now its a lot less so that has moved the cut to LT Col,LTC and battalion command. During Vietnam a Col might be considered for brigade command without having completed the War College, now its pretty much required. If a Colonel is a good line officer then I don't think it should matter. After his command tour he/she could then attend. Just my opinion.
Title: Re: Leadership
Post by: Dimsum on March 01, 2020, 15:15:15
Wouldn't it be interesting if we could gather some data on who/ which organization produces the best leaders, and then reward those who do a good job while punishing those who do a bad job?

I'm sure there would be no complaints about the metrics used and/or the results in the end  ::)
Title: Re: Leadership
Post by: SupersonicMax on March 01, 2020, 16:29:35
While it no doubt adds an extra challenge, it is not black and white that the bilingual person is going to be more effective as a whole.

I can think of a few examples of people who couldn't communicate effectively in our mother tongue and was quite sure I'd rather be following a competent person whom needs to communicate to me via hand signals due to a language barrier.

Leadership is contextual.  A good leader in a given setting may not be as good or good at all in a different setting.  What I am saying is with equivalent leadership traits, someone speaking both languages, in a unit with unilingual Anglophones and Francophones will fare better.
Title: Re: Leadership
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 01, 2020, 19:52:23
Leadership is contextual.  A good leader in a given setting may not be as good or good at all in a different setting.  What I am saying is with equivalent leadership traits, someone speaking both languages, in a unit with unilingual Anglophones and Francophones will fare better in Canada.

Lots of other countries have linguistic issues in their militaries and still do a good job, without an official bilingualism imperative. It's too bad we seem to prefer 'box ticking' over actual performance sometimes ...
Title: Re: Leadership
Post by: dapaterson on March 01, 2020, 20:24:53
If government gave an order forty plus years ago and senior military leaders still haven't figured it out, the problem is not with the check-in-the-box, but with the military leaders who haven't figured it out yet.

Perhaps they could be professionals and work at the skill they've been told they need, and actively work to maintain and improve the skill they are paid to acquire.

Or they could moan and complain.