“Sailors don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”Characteristics of Intrusive Leaders:
• They must truly know the Navy. There are multiple sources of help for our Sailors. If our leaders have a stake in the Sailor’s successful retention and career progression, they must be familiar with the services available that can prevent potential problems or rescue a struggling Sailor. On any ship or shore station these usually include counseling and referral services, tutoring, career counseling, financial counseling, support services, non-traditional education programs, financial counseling, and a myriad of other programs. It is not enough just to know that programs exist; it is necessary to know what each program does and the Sailors it serves.
• Leaders must not only know the resources of the Navy, but know the staff involved in the various programs. It is up to our Navy leaders to become well-acquainted with other Navy professionals who can help. Knowing, specifically, to whom a Sailor can be referred will also increase the Sailor’s chances of success. It is only logical that a Sailor is more likely to follow through with an appointment if he knows who he is looking for rather than just walking into an unfamiliar department. Unfortunately, in some departments there are officers, Chiefs and Leading Petty Officers who are less personable than others. Sending a Sailor to a particular person with, perhaps, a "heads up" call in advance can assure a welcome from a fellow Navy professional of choice rather than a negative experience. This also gives them some background so that he or she is prepared at the first meeting to help the Sailor. Additionally, the call in advance may prevent sending the Sailor to the wrong person or department and, therefore, on a wild goose chase instead of a successful mission.
• Intrusive leaders should be trained in all relevant areas that have a direct impact on the Sailor's well being and success. This is not to say that leaders have to know as much as the professional staff in every career field of the Navy, but that they need to be familiar with how things work. One thing we know for sure about being a Sailor is that, if they don't know something, they often don't know who to ask. Leaders must be willing to intervene and to inform the Sailor, thus preventing the failure frequently resulting from "no one told me and I didn't know to ask."
• Intrusive leaders should be available so that they can be reached by the Sailor when needed.
• Intrusive leaders maintain clear boundaries with their Sailors. They are neither the Sailor’s parent nor their best friend, but a professional whose job it is to foster independence while teaching the Sailor the ways of the Navy. Leaders must show genuine concern for the success of their Sailors. Personal characteristics should include a positive attitude, empathy, openness, and honesty.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Intrusive Leadership - Part of the Covenant
Intrusive leadership is based on the philosophy that the leader and the Sailor share responsibility for a Sailor’s success or failure. It is more than just telling Sailors what to do. Intrusive leadership reflects the fact that Sailors are people who matter. It indicates an understanding that Sailors' well being (or lack thereof) has an effect on their success or failure. The intrusive leader is actively concerned for the welfare of every Sailor under their charge. This requires responsible, proactive behavior on the part of the leader. Sailors are seen as individuals whose uniqueness and diversity are taken into consideration from the beginning of their Naval career until they retire or transfer to the Fleet Reserve.