I am skeptical of a lot of the recommendations I read on leadership, which often strikes me as pyramids of buzzwords, but I liked this article by a former British submariner who went on to do a PhD in leadership.
His first step is: "Ask difficult questions – It is too easy to go with the flow. Chances are that if you don't understand something, others do not either. Or it is a narrative fallacy that everyone believes without evidence." This resonated with me. When I was a reporter, I often found the best question was to say I don't understand something—this policy, or how this works. When I said, "General, that's an interesting approach, but I don't see how you are going to get Congress to go along with it," you could see the colonels all lean forward, because they were wondering about that too.
His second step: "Identify false narratives." As he notes, this is difficult, because, it "requires critical thinking skills. Military Estimates can be a tool to identify false narratives but be careful you are not affected by confirmation bias. Look for information that does not fit the narrative." I think this may be the hardest step, because organizations really cling to the narrative they have developed.
Third, "Be prepared to challenge, manage upwards, or to challenge your peers."
I think this is easier if you have his fourth step firmly in hand: "Consider new possibilities – Construct a new narrative based on critical thinking from the first stage. Be prepared to test the new narrative as well as the old (i.e. carry out the process again until you have a tried and tested awareness of the situation)."
He does have a buzzwordy label for all this, which is "SWAN"—for "Start With Another Narrative." In this case, I think he's earned it.
Dan Caldwell, the executive director of Concerned Veterans for America, and Jon Soltz, the chairman for VoteVets on MSNBC's Morning Joe on March 18 discussing their campaign to see Congress end America's Forever Wars. (MSNBC/Youtube)
Two political veterans groups, one conservative, the other liberal, have spent millions fighting each other on various fronts, from Department of Veterans Affairs reform — what one group calls "choice" and the other calls "privatization" — to getting their pick of candidates into office.
But they've found common ground on at least one issue: It's time for Congress to have an open debate about ending the Forever Wars.
Up to 1,000 U.S. troops could remain in Syria — more than twice as many as originally announced, according to the Wall Street Journal.
President Donald Trump initially announced in December that he would withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria, but U.S. officials said in February that several hundred troops are expected to remain in Syria to create a "safe zone" along the border with Turkey and to man the al-Tanf garrison, which is located along a supply rote that would allow Iran to supply its proxies in Syria.
On Sunday, Dion Nissenbaum and Nancy Youssef of the Wall Street Journal first reported that the U.S. military is considering leaving as many as 1,000 troops in Syria to prevent Turkey from attacking the United States' Kurdish allies. So far, the United States and Turkey have failed to agree on how to secure the proposed safe zone.
U.S. Army Sgt. James R. Moore of Portland, Ore., a logitstics NCO with the 642nd Regional Support Group, shoots at the Fort Pickett rifle range as part of the Mortuary Affairs Exercise Aug. 15, 2018. (U.S. Army/Sgt. 1st Class Gary A. Witte, 642nd Regional Support Group)
White supremacists take part in a march the night before the 'Unite the Right' rally in Charlottesville, VA. (Associated Press photo)
Seven U.S. service members have reportedly been identified as members of Identity Evropa, a white nationalist group founded by a Marine veteran and tied to the 2017 Charlottesville rally, according to leaked online chat logs examined by HuffPost.