In preparation for your next staff officer appointment, and through utilizing the leadership and management lessons learnt, reflect upon aspects of your choice at your most recent workplace.
3) How can you apply what you have learnt, to develop and/ or change, and to grow and mature as a staff officer?
Introduction – how I intend to answer the question in brief
Body – how to apply “what I learned and developed” to be a staff officer, 2 points
Conclusion – conclude what you have been writing
There are many elements that makes a good staff officer. However, one of the critical qualities is notably leadership. Leadership and management must go hand in hand though they are not the same thing. leadership is about vision and innovation whilst on the other hand, management is about maintaining excellent standards. Utilizing these two terms in a workplace can enable workers or employees to feel like they can influence how practices in the workplace are carried out, leading to heightened levels of job satisfaction and productivity among the workforce, hence progressing towards the organization goals. As a staff officer, I firmly believe one must possess distinguishing characteristics, to name a few for example, strong interpersonal and communication skills and experiences too, that training alone falls far short of creating one. Without the right traits, one may succumb to the challenges at hand. Therefore, in the next paragraphs, I shall write on how I would apply what I have learned and developed from my work place to be a staff officer.
A brief review of my situation, I held the position as an intake commander in the army for the Royal Brunei Armed Force. Being an instructor/recruiter too for a unit/section, generally, my tasks nature is not just bounded to recruiting and giving orders, but also other administrative works: two different duties at one time. For these reasons, I learned “how to” leadership and management in two different situations, during training/posting outside station and in office. My four years working experience as an intake commander has broadened my knowledge and understanding of it in ways that benefited me to be mature and a good role model to everyone. At present, I believe that I am performing at the right standard to be a staff officer and what I learned and developed will surely be beneficial for the stated position.
The primary criteria that a staff officer must be pioneered with is one must be professional. In the Army, our work conduct must always be in a professional manner, in fact it is one of the core concepts of who we are as officers, but let me imply in depth of professionalism based on my understanding. It is defined as having the skill, good judgement, and polite behavior that is expected from a person who is trained to do a job well. I see and learned that this is the most important characteristics in a leadership that is needed as a staff officer. Such criteria cannot be attained by just listing a stack of books to read. It is gained cumulatively from experience, learned from failures, and ever changing.
As an intake commander and held responsibilities for new intake recruitments, I have gained and able to widen my skills, judgement ability and my base knowledge in leadership and management through collaborations and during professional discourse with other members. Taking the lessons learned into application at work, unquestionably it has benefitted me greatly as well as lending itself to strengthening my arguments and making decisions during professional discourse. This skill, I have developed over time through professional reading, professional discussion, and at times through direct training by more experienced staff officers. It is imperative to have a wide base of knowledge, knowing things that are ‘outside of your lane’ will help during joint works and to expatiate formal conversations with other members of the staff. I believe a greater understanding of the world in which the staff or job operates, learning and developing skill sets to fit in new different surrounding and ways of thinking and improve upon the system task operations with which you are already surrounded makes a good staff officer.
Performing assigned tasks “willingly, efficiently and competently” is another point I want to talk about and no doubt it became the iron rule that I grew from my working experience. Managing the daily grind of endless meetings, constant reworking of presentation materials, short deadlines and compressed timelines, can really take a toll on us. I have had the opportunity to observe and learn from many of the best staff officers around, they go extra mile. Whatever the tasks given, they do more, never critic and be a good exemplar. This can generate similar attitudes in the station/section and vice versa.
The big challenge now that we face is how to be one. Are we ready to change? The transition can be difficult unless if we are ready to be out of the “comfort zone”, which means devoting to work with utmost effort and yields exceptional outcomes. As a rule, it doesn’t matter what our current position is and even when you know the fight is unwinnable, the fatalist way of thinking must be avoided. This is the life as an officer in the greatest fighting force ever assembled in the country. So “Row Well and Live”.
With regards to my experiences above, I have opportunities to manage and lead as well as create a positive influence in my station/section. The combination of leadership among the people I work with through collaborations and professional discourse and managing the assignments and timelines put me at the peak of my career as an intake commander for the Royal Brunei Armed Force.
Stawitz, F., what is the difference between leadership and management?, web blog, 2018, http://www.selectinternational.com/blog/what-is-the-difference-between-leadership-and-management, (accessed 18 September 2018).
Mccoy, A.,six characteristics of the highly effective staff officer, web blog, 4 may 2015, https://medium.com/the-smoking-gun/six-characteristics-of-the-highly-effective-staff-officer-ef57e0cd8b10, (accessed 18 September 2018).