What a joy spending time with a young military officer over the holiday. An instructor who teaches the principles of warfighting to young, green lieutenants, he has some interesting stories about developing young leaders. Listening to his insight into “education and learning” it struck me that leadership development concepts are really no different for military or civilian leaders.
Basic officer training is the place that new officers try, fail and learn. Young kids right out of college don’t really like the “fail” part; it’s not a word that has been allowed in their vocabulary. They have spent 16 years of their lives striving to ace exams and earn good grades. Marines are selective, and they wouldn’t be military officers if they hadn’t learned how to be successful in school.
Mock battles are, in essence, simulated learning. The instructors create a realistic scenario, and provide roles, situations, and play the bad guys. The students use concepts learned in class to develop their operational plan, and the student leaders carry out the work of executing the plan. (more…)