Military Review English Edition March-April 2016 - Page 86

A Trust-Based Culture Shift 1st Place, General Douglas MacArthur Military Leadership Writing Competition, CGSC Class 15-01 Rethinking the Army Leadership Requirements Model in the Era of Mission Command Maj. Gregory M. Blom, U.S. Air Force I n January 2015, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC) hosted a lecture by bestselling author Ori Brafman. At this lecture, Brafman discussed agile leadership with an audience of eleven hundred military field grade officers. Prior to taking their seats, each audience member received an index card. Midway through the presentation, Brafman instructed the officers to take out their index cards and list one way the Army could more effectively engender trust and enable mission command.1 When the audience members had written their ideas on their cards, they passed them to others in the crowd who read the ideas and assigned them a numerical value, one through five. The better the idea, the higher the numerical value assigned. The audience repeated the process of passing and grading five times before totaling the scores. Brafman next asked audience members to raise their hands if they held a card that received a perfect score of twenty-five. The individuals identified revealed those “top ideas” to the audience. Surprisingly, most of the ideas discussed shared the same theme: soldiers did not feel empowered; rather, they felt micromanaged and scrutinized by bureaucratic processes. This result may come as a shock to senior Army leaders who have attempted to empower