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Leader Approachability

Reviewing some of my notes from the Leader Development Course I noticed something I’d written regarding communication plans. My take on “approachability” is something I need to explain to my folks early, actually.

Weapon school grads want to be, “humble, approachable, credible”, and this has always been what I’ve sought to be too. I don’t always succeed I’m certain.

Approachability can be quantified by how my team interacts with me. I need to let them know that to me approachability really is important.

A common managerial saying in the military (and at work more broadly) is:

“Don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions.” - Other Managers

Please note:

“I do not subscribe to that philosophy.” - Me

Ok - I do expect people to take initiative. And that means that when you have a problem you try to solve it at your level. Then try to come up with the broader set of solutions and propose them to your supervisor. If you don’t have solutions then bring them your problem.

I do expect supervisors to work for their people. I do expect supervisors to take initiative and try to solve problems at their level. Connect with your peers that can offer advice and solutions. When you exhaust those opportunities raise your problem up the chain.

I work for you. I am here to work for you. I am here to solve your problems, break down the barriers you’re running into, take risks with you, and take the ownership and responsibility when needed. That’s my job.

And when the problem exceeds me I will take it to my boss.