“What do we do here?”

“How does what you do help us do that?”

Best-selling author and business leadership expert Dr. David Burkus encouraged April’s ARD Outreach Webinar participants to ask their subordinates these questions as part of setting conditions for a strong, successful, and cohesive team. Burkus shared that to create a strong organization, members need to understand the mission, feel their contributions are valued, and have a share in the team’s success. He emphasized that most people don’t just want a job, they want to be part of a just cause. Burkus led the audience through several examples from the business world, and relevant to Army organizations, that highlighted how providing a purpose worth rallying around leads individuals to have the confidence to communicate openly, engage fully, and be involved in helping the team succeed. He noted that creating a positive, open environment can encourage team members to feel safe, foster honest dialogue, and be conscious of their importance to the team and its mission.

May’s webinar turned from emphasizing strengthening teams to focusing on strengthening the individual. Dr. Gabe Paoletti, senior mental fitness scientist at the Consortium for Health and Military Performance, or CHAMP, of the Uniformed Services University, discussed how creating a strong spiritual core can lead to enhanced resilience, a positive mental health outlook, and to good physical health and longevity. Paoletti focused on gratitude to help strengthen one’s spiritual core. He said people tend to focus their attention on negative events, even if they are only a small part of one’s life. Instead, he encouraged participants to visualize their lives as a video game with the goal of unlocking all of life’s goodness and beauty, explaining that gratitude is when one recognizes, savors, and appreciates the good they receive.

ARD Outreach Webinars are held every month and frequently offer continuing education units. For more information visit the Army Resilience Directorate website: