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Personal and Professional Benefits for Active Duty Special Ops Senior Chief

Veteran and his spouse embrace.


The SMART training has done wonders for me personally and professionally. I first went through the training at a leadership course in 2014. Some of the beneficial lessons I took from the training: not multi-tasking when you are in control of your life so that your brain is at peak performance when you are; do one thing at a time, being more consciously aware of distractions, eliminating those distractions and remaining focused; identifying potential distractions and either mitigating or eliminating them all together; and reasonably adjusting daily habits to allow for “brain breaks” throughout the day. These things had a profound effect on my personal and professional life. Personally, I was able to complete an enormous amount of tasks that had been lingering over my head for months. This resulted in me being more relaxed, experiencing significant stress relief and having more focus on the college classes I was enrolled in at the time. Thrilled at this newfound focus and seeing the direct results, I employed the methods I learned and developed on my own into my daily work life. At the time, I was in charge of a team responsible for tactical execution of multiple goals. I began to approach work with such focus that I not only became incredibly efficient at the things I was doing but it bled over into my group. The team began to become more and more efficient. We were completing the same amount of work as the other teams in our group but in much less time. My team would finish work on average 2-3 hours before the others each day and go home. This had an enormous positive effect on the morale and climate. The other teams took notice and complained to their leadership. We requested that the SMART training be given to our whole group and it was well received. All three teams were reaping the benefits of the newfound focus. I moved into the Senior Leadership position and we had the training run again with the new team. Again, it was well received and now with this knowledge and experience, I was able to identify and eliminate distractions for my team before they became an issue. The team as a whole performed well with much higher morale than I have experienced in my career. Now at the staff level I am able to use this experience to propose organizational level changes that can affect our entire community. Individually I cannot say enough about how these principles can be practiced and molded; however, you want them to fit your life both personally and professionally. In leadership they can be applied at the team and group level with great success. There is not “a way” that is being taught; these are principles that an individual or group can decide how to apply to their daily life regardless of their position. Not everyone latches on to the concepts; some don’t think it is beneficial at all. I have seen it takes the right leadership buy in to promote and sell it to the troops. Fortunately, I was in an environment that fostered and encouraged innovation. Senior Chief Active Duty Special Operations

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