Jo B. Rusin | AskTOP.net – Leader Development for Army Professionals

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Pick your battles

Just as military units avoid committing their forces to diversionary attacks and feints, leaders must be alert to being drawn into minor skirmishes that sap their strength and divert valuable assets from the mission. On an individual level, personality conflicts are a prime example of this. Leaders can allow themselves to become snarled in clashes of personal style that take enormous amounts of mental energy and are ultimately self-defeating. Example SSG Newnan worked for a section chief Read more

Bringing disgruntled Soldiers back into the team

When you are confronted by a soldier determined to butt heads with you and resist your efforts to get him or her to do their job and meet the standards, it is extremely frustrating. While you might have enough to process them for an administrative discharge, you will still be stuck with them until the separation is completed, a process which invariably takes longer than you expect. And there is no guarantee that the replacement you get, if you get one, will be a better soldier. In addition, recommending Read more

How should I react when my supervisor makes sexist remarks?

How would you react if your first line leader, upon meeting you for the first time said, "Oh, great another female, I was hoping for a male.".. Read the Answer»

Give them an inch and some Soldiers will take a mile

While most soldiers want to do a good job, there are a few who decide they don’t have to do what you tell them. For them, jerking the boss around when they get corrected is their idea of entertainment. In many cases, these soldiers are nearing the end of their enlistment, and they have no intention of remaining in the military. While old vets rarely talk about it, such behavior becomes more common when wars draw to an end, particularly long, unpopular wars. In this regard the current war in Read more

Taking the Venom out of Toxic Leadership

Bullying is counter to military values and teamwork. Yet, it is frequently a fact of life in the military. In part, this is because rank gives bullies power over people they outrank. In addition, yelling at people and getting in their face is nothing new in the military. This is why there is often a fine line between motivating subordinates and being a bully. Example “Sir, I wanted to let you know that I’ve gotten another complaint about SFC Haun. He’s still getting a little out of control, Read more

Get promoted in the Army by standing out from the crowd

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When you first come into the service, getting promoted seems easy. You do your job, and when you have enough time in service, you make E-2, then E-3. But sooner or later, it seems that you get stalled out. Your boss keeps recommending other people for promotion, but not you. What’s the deal? You’re just as good as they are, maybe even better. So how do you get out of this rut? Just meeting the criteria for promotion is not good enough. You have to be above the standard if you want to get Read more

How to survive a Weasel Boss

The most obvious sign of the weasel boss is that he is untrustworthy, especially with the people who work for him. The weasel is looking out for himself and cares little about anyone else, unless he thinks they can help him advance his image as a great leader. Disloyalty is his middle name and he will quickly deny that he told you to do something, if it suits his purposes. Command Sgt. Maj. Sikora was in charge of the Noncommissioned Officer Academy for the command. He was very well spoken and always Read more

Is it flirting or sexual harassment?

Flirting is part of human nature and is not in and of itself sexual harassment. Men flirt and women flirt. If someone flirts with you and you respond by flirting back, it is a two-way street and not sexual harassment. If the flirting is unwanted and you do not return it in kind, most of the time it stops there. But when you have not returned it and the flirting continues, it may be sexual harassment. As offensive as the behavior may be to you, some people do not readily pick up on the fact Read more

Never let them see you cry

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Perhaps the most difficult skill to learn as a woman soldier is not to cry when angry or frustrated. Men see crying as weakness or lack of emotional stability. From a woman’s perspective, it is neither. Rather, it is a natural response women have been conditioned to believe is acceptable. Crying is how women vent anger, frustration, and fear. In a military setting, however, particularly if you are a leader, crying is not acceptable. Lt. Col. Shugart called in his commanders and staff for Read more

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