By Lt. Col. Jeff AllenJune 19, 2012
KANSAS CITY, MO--Senior leaders from the U.S. and British armies, and an influential book author gathered at the Mission Command Symposium today to explain the centrality of team building to the success of military leaders employing the concepts of Mission Command.
Brigadier General Wayne W. Grigsby, Jr., director, Mission Command Center of Excellence, Fort Leavenworth, Kan. led a panel of five other experienced leaders in a discussion of team building and building trust within an organization and how these concepts are part of what makes the concept of Mission Command possible. The other panel members were Lt. Gen. (ret) Joseph DeFrancisco; Lt. Gen. (ret) James M. Dubik; Maj. Gen. James Boag (UK), commanding general, Support Command; Col. Thomas S. Hollis, Chief of Staff, Mission Command Center of Excellence; and Mr. Greg Link, who co-authored the book The Speed of Trust with Mr. Steven M. Covey.
The purpose of the panel discussion was to highlight the importance of leaders building a team within their organizations and how it is essential to success in Mission Command. The idea of building trust is central to the Mission Command doctrinal manual, ADP 6-0, which lists it as one of its six tenants: "Build cohesive teams through mutual trust."
This tenant was acknowledged by each of the panel participants, and each one provided those in attendance with their insight on how to increase that trust in a military and organizational context. "Trust increases through everyday actions, not occasional gestures," said Brig. Gen Grigsby.
Lt. Gen. Dubik said trust is something that is given by individuals, and not something that you simply receive. "It (trust) is a function of proven proficiency; proficiency in both technical and cognitive skills--the skill of when and how to make decisions," said Dubik.
When asked how to quickly develop trust, Mr. Link gave a relatively simple answer, "Make a promise and keep it." He explained it was a simple way for a person to start building trust by doing what they say they are going to do.
He added, "You can hire someone's hands and their back, but you have to win their hearts and minds."
Maj. Gen. Boag, a British officer, explained how this concept of trust was also present in his army's doctrine as one of their tenets of Mission Command.
There were approximately 200 people present for the Mission Command Symposium, which was sponsored by the Association of the United States Army. The symposium was built around the idea of Mission Command and how Army leaders at all levels can integrate the concept into how they operate on a day-to-day basis.