TACOMA, Wash. -- Senior leaders from I Corps and across the Army joined local business leaders and faculty from the University of Washington -- Tacoma for Senior Leader Development Training at the UW-T campus April 28.
The discussion-based event gave participants the opportunity to discuss common practices for creating the next generation of leaders.
"It is important to bring people together from various fields of study, because it allows for a myriad of ideas of how to prepare future leaders," said Jill Purdy, an associate professor at UW-T. "The military, school, and businesses all have similar goals when it comes to developing leaders. Having this discussion-based forum on leadership will help stimulate growth across all fields."
The attendees came from diverse backgrounds and career fields. This event allowed for experts in several crafts to explain how to build a better community and military.
"Service members in the National Guard are both business leaders and Soldiers," said Command Sgt. Maj. Tim Newton, command sergeant major of the 35th Infantry Division of the Kansas National Guard. "The lessons they learn in the civilian world or in the Army are not exclusive." Adding these skills to their tool box will enable them to be better leaders both in the community and the military, Newton added.
Topics discussed in the training included ethics, values and hands-on leadership development through guidance and mentoring. With each new topic, attendees facilitated the transfer of knowledge by relating instances from their realms of expertise.
"There are four key ideas to success that we need to instill in our leaders," said Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, deputy commanding general of the Army Capabilities Integration Center. "First, innovate to solve concrete problems. Second, technology doesn't drive change, it only facilitates it; people drive change. Third, innovation is a constant; no matter what type of battlefield you are on. Finally, we need to stay ahead of the rest, being the best trained will enable young leaders to adapt and overcome any future conflicts they may encounter."
Attendees were able to speak face-to-face with peers from different organizations. Bringing people together in this manner encouraged a forum of open debate and discussion.
"Physically brining people to one location helps the community grow as a society, rather than just individuals," said Isaac Porche associate director of the forces and logistics program at the Rand Arroyo Center. "We can share and understand the differences in our teachings. By being with the speaker people can get a better understanding of intent since we can see body language and hear intonation that would be missing from a text only correspondence."
The event was geared toward how to create better leaders in the Army and how to keep leaders in the profession, but it also helped show the successes of leadership training to the non-military leaders in attendance.
"What is a professional?" asked Maj. Gen. Kenneth Dahl, deputy commanding general of I Corps. "A professional is someone who works hard and is committed to their job. The Army is not the only profession in the world. Each career differs in methods and tactics, but they all rely on professional leaders to get the job accomplished."
"We talked a lot about what it means to be an Army professional and we are trying to show the community what our values are," said Dahl. "We hope that people will see what we are about and that they will want to become a part of this profession. Being able to express this to the local community will help them understand what we do and why we do it."
Reaching out to the community, the college faculty and the senior leaders from around the pacific region can foster a partnership of understanding and respect in the community and with future leaders.
"We had more than 100 years of experience all in one room," said Lt. Col Erik Krivda, deputy commander of the Commander's Initiative Center of I Corps. "This sharing of knowledge will not only create exceptional leaders for the military, it will create a better community and enable us all to work as a team."