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Commander's Attention

I’m sitting in the Leader Development Course from Air University - distance learning. One of the stories I heard this morning has the crux - the commander needs to walk a line between being too involved and not being involved. The story involved the former commander trying to show he cared by being there when new members arrived, by sitting with folks as they did work, and by visiting them when they were out in the field. Later he learned that folks felt like he was checking up on them, making sure they were doing what they were supposed to.

I’ve seen commanders actually try to check up on people before - so I suppose I understand why people would feel that way.

The speaker explained that this was a result of misunderstanding the culture all his folks experienced…

I have also personally heard folks criticize commanders for not being involved enough. I think I’ve heard this once when folks felt the commander didn’t understand what they were doing - but then I’ve also known folks to love a commander that they also knew didn’t understand what they were doing. Perhaps the other place I saw this was when the commander took hands off that part of the mission…

So - being too involved (and that turning bad) is an anecdote I’ve heard. Being not involved enough (and that being a problem) is something I’ve experienced. I suspect there’s some line that a commander must walk between being seen to give too much attention, and between not giving enough. Perhaps that line is made wider by understanding and playing-to the culture that’s present in the environment - or by using knowledge of that culture to moderate the negative possibilities.