I Wish I Had Known That - Personal Development

By The Cove June 11, 2021


 

'No matter what walk of life you came from, or how educated you are, Army has the opportunities that are based on hard work and dedication to service. You can achieve whatever you like with the right attitude and work ethic. What you put in, is what you get out, and NOT taking the 'easy right' over the 'hard left' is normal. RSM 7 BDE

'I wish I would have known that as a JNCO I actually have more influence over my soldiers’ lives than I realised. Taking an interest in their wellbeing, finance and home life is actually about me ensuring my team can deliver the required effect when required. It is not about micromanaging or interfering. If my soldiers are having problems it affects a lot of people. I wish I would have also known how important professional development or PME actually is. Thinking this was not going to help me when I was a JNCO actually made me need to catch up once I became a SNCO. I now realise it is a life journey not just a time to switch off'.  RSM 8 BDE

'I offer the retention of our 'centre of gravity,' 'our people' was and is increasingly a complex and vitally important subject. I wish I had more knowledge and potential influence over retention earlier in my career as a JNCO and SNCO.  With the future of Army and Defence capabilities and effects moving forward rapidly we now need more than ever talented, intelligent and information savvy people. As NCOs our influence both good and bad can be a positive and negative to retaining the nurturing talent'.  RSM SFG

'You create your own luck and drive your own career, my advice to anyone coming through the ranks is enjoy your job, absorb as much as you can within your role in the organisation and be good at it. I wish I had opportunity again to be a detachment commander where I had the opportunity to lead and mentor my detachment. Don’t waste the opportunity. Work hard and be open to postings that you would not ever consider in order to broaden your profile to be a better leader and soldier. I wish I had known more about the opportunities to better educate myself through the support from DASS and self-paced education courses within defence'RSM School of Signals

'I wish someone had told me that as a part of my development I would need to be receptive of change and that the path of 'life long learning' was the key to success not only as a leader but more importantly as an effective team member. Learn to know, education is not a box ticking activity'. RSM DCSTC

'Carefully choose who you take advice from. You are not fixed, you are always growing. I used to think that I was given a set of talents skills & behaviours until I realised that I wasn’t wired fixed but changeable'. RSM P&EE

‘I wish someone had told me that’ self development starts with one’s self. Do not purely rely on the All Corps Training Continuum to develop you for your next job or role. You need to reflect on your known shortfalls and seek to educate yourself. Defence has developed significantly over the last 20 years, enabling the soldier to develop themselves through their own learning cycle via a variety of mediums, be it the Cove+, university, etc. The willingness to learn, to reflect on your experiences be it good or bad, will set you up for success in any leadership role'. RSM 5/6 RVR

'I wish I would have known and fully understood the intricate and finer details of all the roles, responsibilities and expectations of each ECN in Army, including RSM, not just within your own Corps. Furthermore, how you at all levels, nest within a COMD team within a full-time Army unit and within a Reserve Army unit, and what some of those key differences and expectations may be. Lastly, I wish I knew where to access PME material when I was a young soldier, as is available today, to ensure that I had the best opportunity to educate myself and others and succeed'. RSM 7 CSR

'I wish I had have known that becoming a leader was not only about developing your subordinates, but also the continual development within yourself. Knowing your own strengths and weaknesses and how your actions affect others is vital to being a good leader as much as trying to impart your experiences to others'RSM 3 CSSB

'I wish I had known how to manage my soldiers within the discipline frame work. Whilst we are introduced to it more and more, JNCOs are being asked to get involved in SUBSA proceedings as defending and prosecuting officers. Whilst we do PME on SDL we need to give the JNCOs more training and knowledge so they can better assist their soldiers in the SDL component of soldiering i.e. what is mitigating vs statement on behalf of a member'. MG-Joint Fires

'I wish I would have known that honing my skills in listening, watching, mentoring and coaching when I was a CPL/SGT would greatly assist me now. These skills are the fundamental requirements of an RSM and time spent developing them in your first few promotions will pay dividends in the years to come. Whether it be listening and watching your CO to pick up on both verbal and non-verbal cues so as to effectively advise and pre-empt thought process to better support their command and decisions, or mentoring and coaching subordinates, especially those who will shortly take up the mantle as RSM or as a senior soldier. Developing these skills and attributes will give you the emotional intelligence to excel at command support'. RSM AAB-Corps

'I wish I would have read more about military history, not just our past but all nations battles and conflicts. History holds the best examples to learn by and teach from. I am now in a perpetual catch up loop. I wish I would have educated myself earlier, not just academically but professionally as well. As I progress through my senior years I see past lost opportunities'. CSM Depot Coy, SOI

‘To spend more time on personal (study) and professional development as a JNCO and as a newly promoted SGT. It is a process that takes years to develop. Looking back, I now wish that I had spent more time focussing on these two areas, which may have helped me to become a better Warrant Officer’. RSM 1 REGT

'We begin learning to lead from a young age without realising it. Through teachers, coaches and participation in sporting team, scouts and other youth groups, we see and experience various leadership styles. When joining the Army, we see more relevant leadership styles to our core business. This does not discount our previous lessons in leadership, but enhances our understanding of what a leader is. I equate leadership styles to tools in a toolbox. We start life with only a few tools that we wield with uncertainty until we know the correct use and time and place for that specific tool. As we grow as junior leaders, we see more and more leaders (both good and perceived bad) and they provide us with more tools for our toolbox. Though some may be seen as unnecessary now, we need to tuck them away in the toolbox for the right time where that tool (or leadership style) is appropriate. By the time we become Warrant Officers, we have a fairly full toolbox and many tools to inspire and lead. My advice to JNCO’s is – don’t discount a leadership tool that is used that you don’t see as appropriate. With time, you will learn to see the value of that tool in the context of the situation it was used. I wish I had known that, and leaders I once perceived as bad, have proven to be excellent when looked at with the fullness of my time in Army'. RSM 2/14 LHR

 


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The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Australian Army, the Department of Defence or the Australian Government.



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