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Interesting advice ...On Leadership


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(hmmm ... even though this article pertains to the US Army, mightn't the advice in the final sentence be useful up here, too?  Food for thought):

Sunday, November 19, 2000

Army Report Sounds Alarm for Leadership
Study: A generation gap with aging generals is causing up-and-coming captains to leave the service at increasingly higher rates.

From the Washington Post

    WASHINGTON--A surprisingly candid new Army study concludes that captains are leaving the service in droves mainly because of a generation gap between baby boomer generals and younger junior officers.
    The Army has grown alarmed in recent months because so many captains are leaving that it fears it might have trouble filling leadership positions within a few years. In 1989, just as the Cold War was ending, 6.7% of Army captains left voluntarily. In 1999, that number climbed to 10.6%.
    An internal Army forecast that hasn't been released predicts the departure rate will climb this year to about 13%. This steady rise is especially disconcerting because captains constitute the largest rank in the Army, accounting for about one-third of commissioned officers.
    Written by Leonard Wong, a recently retired Army lieutenant colonel who is on the staff of the Army War College's Strategic Studies Institute, the report concludes that the heart of the problem is that "today's senior officers do not understand today's junior officers or their perspectives."
    Generals and colonels incorrectly assume that today's captains share their values and life experiences, Wong argues. But young officers, born from 1960 to 1980 and now serving as lieutenants, captains and majors, have a very different view of the world than baby boomers born between the end of World War II and 1960, says Wong, who holds a doctorate in organizational behavior and management.
    As adults and officers, members of this younger generation tend to be extremely skeptical of authority and less inclined to sacrifice time with families to succeed at work. So, he notes, only 21% of captains surveyed by the Army in 1998 said that the Army permitted them to maintain a good balance between work and personal life, compared with 47% of captains in 1988.
    Wong is just as critical of the Army's current leaders. He recommends that today's generals and colonels stop assuming that they understand their subordinates and instead shut up and listen to them. "Spend 95 percent of the time listening and 5 percent of the time giving advice," he counsels.
Never trust a HQ which doesn‘t play networked Quake CTF after closing time on Friday.

Sunday night, one of the guys I play hockey with mentioned he‘d heard of an civvie electronics engineer who asked for (and got) a desk made out of Lego as part of his signing bonus ... hmmm ...