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Monday, November 12, 2012

Task- Purpose- Endstate

This posting comes from guest blogger, Captain Davis Ozier of the United States Army.   

Within an organization, developing our personnel is a critical task that receives a lot of talk but never much attention.  Managers generally think, hope, and assume that subordinates will be developed by simply observing those around them or that merely teaching them a task is sufficient to be considered as developing them in their position.  It doesn’t.  People are at the center of our organizations and the successful execution of our daily business falls on their shoulders.  It is therefore imperative that leaders spend time developing their people to grow and succeed, and empowering our subordinates is a great first step.

The US Army has historically trained a topic or subject on a model of Task – Conditions – Standard, which defines the task, the conditions under which the task will be completed, and the standard that must be reached to be considered a successful execution of said task.  What if, as leaders, we adopt a slightly different approach, and modify our format to Task – Purpose – Endstate?  Define the task at hand, the reason for doing it, and what it should look like at the end.  Doing so empowers the individual or team while affording them maximum creativity and flexibility.  And who do you want to rise within your organization – those that can only execute tasks that are described in detail to them or those that have the ingenuity and agility to develop creative solutions on their own?

Adopting the Task – Purpose – Endstate model has its drawbacks, though.  There will be a learning curve where the subordinate might, and probably will, fail.  This failure is not only acceptable, it is encouraged!  Ask yourself the simple question, have you learned more from your failures or your successes?  As long as leaders can identify the critical tasks ahead of time that are no-fail missions and ensure they are appropriately resourced, there is no reason to worry about potential failures.

Leaders must prioritize development of our team members.  However, it won’t happen on its own – it must be a deliberate and planned effort.  Take a moment and reflect on how your bosses have developed you?  

How do you currently develop your subordinates?  

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