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Leader Roles and Responsibilities -- Question & Answer Listing  
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Question / Answer

Question:
How do strategic leaders influence others?

Answer:
Strategic leaders often have larger audiences with which to communicate than most direct leaders. This may include individuals outside their local organization such as political leadership, board members, the media, and the public. Strategic leaders influence others by demonstrating integrity and earning the trust of others.

Question:
How does one group member's failure affect the group's leader?

Answer:
The affects of individual failures and achievements on the group’s leader really depend on the situation and the enormity of the failure or achievement. In general, however, the group leader should accept responsibility for both the achievements and failures of the group by providing a work environment that encourages open communication among team members. The leader should be receptive to good news and bad news to insure open communication and demonstrate his/her acceptance of all members in the group.

Question:
How does one's appearance impact the audience's perception during a presentation?

Answer:
One’s personal appearance (e.g., clothing, jewelry, hair, etc.) influence’s the audience’s perception of you and the image you project. Therefore, it is important to dress appropriately for your audience. If you are a comedian, it might be perfectly appropriate to wear mismatched clothes and colorful make-up and/or accessories, but if you are making a more serious presentation, such as in an academic setting, you may want to wear something more professional and minimize the accessories so the audience’s focus is more on your words than your appearance. The Army Family Team Building (AFTB) Program’s master training course includes some instructional material about projecting the proper image. Although the focus of this course is to train individuals to become AFTB instructors, their materials offer some very practical suggestions on what to wear when making a presentation. For example, they recommend that the attire be professional and to wear non-distracting accessories. They also warn prospective instructors to minimize scents. Heavy perfumes can be distracting and also offensive to some members of your audience. Pay attention to grooming details (e.g., look in the mirror before beginning your presentation). If unsure of your audience, ask the person coordinating the presentation. The image you might want to project for a group of six year olds would probably be very different from the one you would want to project for a group of scientists at a medical convention.

Question:
How important is it for a leader (e.g., Family Readiness Group Leader) to be a good public speaker?

Answer:
It is are extremely important for leaders to have good written and oral communication skills, as it is often the way a leader communicates with his/her constituents that determines how supportive and participative they will be. For example, if a Family Readiness Group (FRG) leader shows very little enthusiasm when promoting FRG events and activities, there may be few individuals participating in them. Public speaking is especially useful for leaders. It can be used to gain exposure for the organization, attract new participants, gain support for issues, etc. If asked to speak publicly, take adequate time to prepare your speech or presentation, taking into consideration the target audience, the presentation location, the most current information on the topic, and the message you are trying to convey. Practice executing your presentation and time it so you keep it within your allotted time. There are many different communication resources available (books, seminars, classes, etc.) that can help improve one’s communication skills. For more information about this subject, check the references provided.

Question:
If my staff seems content in their current jobs, is it really necessary to provide additional training?

Answer:
Training and developing group members is a major responsibility of the leader of an organization, even if they are content in their current positions. Provide opportunities for growth, whether it is training to improve working conditions for your employees (such as diversity training, safety classes, or annual security procedure briefings), training to help them improve their work performance, or classes to help them advance to more responsible jobs. It is important to provide these opportunities to your employees, not only for their own job satisfaction, but also to keep your organization competitive. One of the greatest contributions a leader can make is to develop leadership at all levels of the organization to ensure its continued existence.

Question:
What are some key characteristics of an effective leader?

Answer:
There are a number of qualities associated with effective leaders to include someone who is honest, competent, creative, confident not self-absorbed, passionate for a cause, inspirational, has strong values, considerate, intuitive, mature, empathetic/considerate, organized, and who has strong interpersonal skills. Learn more about effective leaders from the resources provided.

Question:
What are some ways to motivate people to volunteer?

Answer:
There are a number of ways to motivate people to volunteer. The Army Family Team Building (AFTB) Program’s Level II class on Volunteer Management offers several tips for motivating volunteers. One suggestion is to be motivated yourself. Enthusiasm is contagious. Be specific about the tasks involved in your volunteer positions and share deadlines. People want to know what is expected of them. Respect your volunteers as you would your paid employees. Explain some of the benefits the individual will receive as a volunteer in your organization. Perhaps your volunteer organization offers free childcare to volunteers. Many people appreciate flexible hours that some volunteer positions offer and the opportunity to utilize their own talents to gain work experience. Some volunteer organizations offer professional training classes to their volunteers. These are just a few of the many benefits of volunteering that can attract individuals to help out in your organization. Learn more from the AFTB program and the other references provided.

Question:
What are the specific Army regulations that relate to fundraising activities, particularly for Family Readiness Groups?

Answer:
The Army Family Readiness Group (FRG) Leader's Handbook provides extensive information on this subject and identifies DODD 5500.7R (Joint Ethics Regulation), AR 600-20 (Army Command Policy), DA PAM 608-47 (Guide to Establishing Family Support Groups – which as since been replaced by the Operation READY materials), and DODI 1000.15 (Private Organizations on DoD Installations) as other references. You can also seek assistance from the military community's Legal Assistance Office and the FRG Liaison Office in the Army Community Center for more information.

Question:
What should a leader say to Soldiers and their family members when they are questioned about the Army’s position on certain issues that affect their quality of life?

Answer:
Obviously, leaders need to provide as honest and thorough a response as possible in order to communicate the Army’s position. However, the amount of information relayed to them depends on the leaders’ knowledge of the situation as well as the security level of the information associated with it. For example, there may be quality of life issues that some individuals feel are not getting noticed when in fact – they may be included in the Army’s “master plan.” It is important to note that Army leaders are faced with making difficult decisions about how to use the Army’s limited resources and must prioritize all the competing demands. Many times, because of the dollar amounts of military construction projects for example, they have to submit their recommendations to Congress for their consideration and approval. Another example of an issue that affects the quality of life of Soldiers and family members is when restrictions are placed on their movements (particularly in overseas locations) because of security threats in the local military and civilian communities. Although the intelligence that may have caused military leaders to impose these restrictions may be classified, the threats are real and Army leaders are responsible for ensuring the security of its Soldiers, civilian workforce, and military family members.

Question:
What type of information about Family Readiness Group (FRG) activities and participants should be maintained?

Answer:
A current roster of Family Readiness Group (FRG) members, along with their contact information and any special circumstances (e.g., number and ages of any children, disabilities that may require special accommodations, etc.) should be maintained and passed on to the new FRG leader when applicable. It is also extremely beneficial to keep a “smart book” of community resources, After Action Reports from FRG activities and events, and any feedback from the participants that can be used to plan future events. For more information on starting and leading a Family Readiness Group (FRG), refer to the Army Family Readiness Group Leader's Handbook as well as the other resources listed.
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