Lunch and Learn PDU Course - Leading from the Field
I have been asked by the Missouri Society of Professional Surveyors to put together a Lunch and Learn presentation that they will begin to role out next year for their 2021 continuing education campaign. The topic is completely up to me and I can do more than one.
The first topic I would like to discuss (for only one hour) would be leadership and mentoring, titled "Leading from the Field"
Like many, I too feel that the profession has really struggled to maintain the necessary mentorship with the implementation of robotics, scanners, etc. and customary 1-man crews.
Two texts I have been reading through are:
Be, Know and Do: Leadership the Army way
Army Leadership and the Profession, ADP 6-22
Now, before some get their panties in a wad about the Army, I do think there is a tremendous amount of information that can be taken from their experiences in leadership. In particular, the Army has a lot of experience in leading young folks though rigors, that take place in the field, teach decisions that are based on terrain analysis, outcome and overall planning and the lack thereof. So, yes there is a lot one can gleam from their publications.
So my questions to you...What do you do to promote leadership to your field staff? Do you lead from the field? Do you know how to use the equipment? Do you know how to process and complete every task necessary? And can you do it all?
If you have one-man crews working alone, technicians that don't work side by side with you or never go to the field to see how the data is collected, if you are not in the field showing them what needs to happen are you truly being a leader that can Be, Know and Do?
Thoughts? Suggestions? Or abandon ship and pick another topic?
I recently instructed my PLS managers to set up a system where every senior office tech go out at least once a week with a crew to mentor them.
To adapt an example from this book I recently read, I told them "If you have problems with field work, you're never going to find the answers in the office"
EDIT - to the military question, if you were to search online for the archives from the old Professional Surveyor Magazine you can find a column I wrote about training lessons from the military based on an article I readback in 2010 in the Harvard Business Review. The staff at West Point's Department of Behavioral Sciences & Leadership is always guest lecturing at top MBA programs.
abandon ship and pick another topic?
Do not do that. Stay on this course.
"Lunch and Learn"?
In person or virtual?
A good one hour topic, which you can learn from the military is Logistics. That is having what you need, where you need it and when you need it. Mostly that means the right people at the right time and place with the right equipment. Basically it is impossible to have every employee, know everything and carry every piece of equipment. If you are a one man show it is possible but can be a heavy load to carry everywhere you go.
Paul in PA
A key element is that while you are leading in the field you also need to be open to learning new things for yourself at the same time.