11 March 2010

Recognition: lessons learned

Looks like my leadership has been pretty ineffective: my coachee is not doing well at Recognition.

Recognition is a three-day event, a rite of passage, after which fourth classmen (freshmen) at the Academy earn their prop and wings and many privileges: civilian clothes, music, movies, the right to walk and talk where they want, and to wear their backpacks.

It's a test of physical and mental stamina. Fourth classmen do countless push-ups, flutter kicks, and other exercises, while reciting quotes and other knowledge they've learned, such as stats on Air Force planes.

My coachee has demonstrated an extreme lack of knowledge. That's partly my fault: I'm the one responsible for him learning knowledge, and I could have spent a lot more time with him on that. But many of my classmates have a problem with his attitude - he seems to lack the desire to be here.

That's also probably my fault. I don't really understand his perspective, and I haven't tried as hard as I could have to understand it. I don't know why he's here; I'm not sure if he knows.

So, I've learned I need to be much more involved with my men. I need to try to see things from their perspective. I need to learn motivate them to do the things they're required to do.


  1. Even if he doesn't learn, it looks like you are.

    It's hard to be responsible for the motivation of others, that's why it is so difficult.

  2. Looks like he's doing better today - one of my buddies who understands his perspective better had a good talk with him last night. I think he can pull it off.