U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Executive Director Dr. Juanita M. Christensen, center, believes in leading by example.
U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Executive Director Dr. Juanita M. Christensen, center, believes in leading by example. (Photo Credit: CCDC AvMC Public Affairs) VIEW ORIGINAL

With a Warfighter-focused workforce of 12,000-plus to lead, U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center Executive Director Dr. Juanita M. Christensen knows a little something about what it takes to be a good boss.

“My leadership philosophy is to lead by example,” Christensen said. “In all that we do, we have to be very conscious of the things that we are doing, how we are portrayed, and making sure that we are fair to our workforce.”

In that spirit, this Boss’s Day, Oct. 16, Christensen isn’t looking for recognition, but rather, is grateful for the chance to lead her organization.

“I would really like to see the focus of Boss’s Day change to be us realizing how important that opportunity to serve our workforce is,” Christensen said.

She offered three tips on how managers can be a better boss:

  1. Lead by example. “Always ensure that you establish a vision for your organization and for your team members, because they should never question why they’re doing what they’re doing,” Christensen said.
  2. Recognize your people. “They are setting aside their time and their resources – they are a resource. We have to acknowledge that.”
  3. Understand that everybody is different. “Everybody has to be dealt with on their level,” Christensen said. “It’s just not cookie cutter. Everybody isn’t cut from the same piece of the fabric, but everyone has strengths that they bring to the table, and it just takes time to find that and nurture it.”

Keith Darrow, director of the AvMC Systems Readiness Directorate, echoed a similar leadership philosophy.

“I endeavor to follow an adaptive servant-teacher leadership model,” Darrow said, “to serve both the organization and the people that work so hard to ensure successful mission accomplishment.  And, as needed, to teach my teammates – at least in a general sense – what needs to be done to accomplish the mission well, and perhaps suggest potential methods to do it.  And lastly, adaptive because no single approach could possibly be suitable for all of the amazing variety of issues and work environments that a senior leader encounters.

“Leaders at all levels should strive to understand the unique aspects of each situation and then, based upon their body of experience, dispassionately select the approach most likely to inspire excellent performance.”


The CCDC Aviation & Missile Center, formerly known as the Aviation & Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC), is part of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, which conducts responsive research, development and life cycle engineering to deliver the aviation and missile capabilities the Army depends on to ensure victory on the battlefield today and tomorrow. Through collaboration across the command's core technical competencies, CCDC leads in the discovery, development and delivery of the technology-based capabilities required to make Soldiers more lethal to win our nation's wars and come home safely. CCDC is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command.