Deliberate Development

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Eric Chase
  • 144th Fighter Wing

Knowing yourself and working closely with your teams, you should have a basic knowledge of what needs and goals you and your Airmen have. Deliberate development is a targeted approach that requires purposefully selecting a need and pairing it with existing or created opportunities for growth. To be deliberate we must evaluate: potential, ambition, knowledge, skills, and abilities.

POTENTIAL: A few questions that can help estimate potential are: Does the Airman have strong initiative? Does the Airman have a strong desire to succeed and constantly improve themselves? Does the Airman learn things quickly and grow from experiences or instruction?  If they don’t, do they show a tenacity to push through training challenges and really understand or grow?  Does the Airman see their own potential, or will they need convincing? All of these qualities are a recipe for career potential and can help target what development someone may need.

AMBITION:  Does the Airman want to promote, lead, or take on increased responsibility? If you are regularly communicating with your Airmen or conducting feedback you should have a good idea of what they may want from their career.  If they do not want increased responsibility or leadership roles your development efforts may need to be put on hold or modified.

KNOWLEDGE: Any classroom or formal training is usually knowledge based. Most of our required formal education provides knowledge. This includes mandatory Air Force coursework mentioned previously. Are you aware of the courses offered differing rank tiers? Do you know which sites to navigate, seeking knowledge development for your Airmen?

SKILLS: On the job or hands on training provide many of our needed skills, but what about time management, excel, writing, counseling, coaching, etc.? These are skills we have to identify as needing development and seek out opportunities to grow.  Sometimes none of these exist and you may need to create the opportunities for yourself or others.

ABILITIES: These are developed over time.  When we combine our knowledge and skill, and practice it routinely, we are creating an ability.  The key here is to ask yourself if the development you are offering also allows for repeated learning or improvement.  Are we promoting people faster than their abilities are allowed to develop?  Are we seeking promotion without having developed our abilities? Are we monitoring ability progress in ourselves or others?

We shouldn’t wait around for mandatory Air Force coursework to be the only development opportunity for ourselves or our Airmen. As we conduct daily business, we must keep development in our minds and deliberately use opportunities to grow ourselves and others.

You can reach out to the Griffin Development Council (GDC) in the Wing App, code: jointheconvo, for information on existing development opportunities in the Wing, or to be a part of innovating new development opportunities. Some helpful development sites are listed below:

NGB Force Development:

Senior Leader Management Office: