Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Leadership Development: Lessons Learned and Good Ideas for FTLs, Squad Leads, Comndr

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Leadership Development: Lessons Learned and Good Ideas for FTLs, Squad Leads, Comndr

    Purpose: As I am trying to learn more about being a good FTL, squad leader, and commander, I thought it might be worthwhile to have a post discussing leadership. I know leading a fireteam, squad, or platoon can be intimidating, and lack of experience can make people hesitant to slot in as leaders. My idea for this forum is to post best practices, lessons you have learned, and things that you really like in your leader. Hopefully new players who want to learn how to be a leader before slotting as one and old timers who want to improve their already strong leadership skills can look at this forum and gain from the experience of others. The objective is to widen the base of leadership knowledge and skills across more TG players.

    Scope:This includes strategic considerations (planning the overall squad movement), tactical decisions, (choice of specific fields of fire and firing positions, etc.), organizational/procedural advice, (setting up a good organization of the squad and SOPs for the fitreteam), and anything else to do with leadership, even soft topics like how to keep the game fun for everyone.” In summary the topic is very broad.

    Notes: I want to stress that this is meant to be two sided, leaders post what has worked for them in the past, and grunts post what they have liked/want to see more of in their leaders. Do not feel like you need to be an experienced leader to post here; you can also post things that you wish leaders would do more, or mistakes you have seen leaders make. However, this is not meant to turn into a “One time I had this dumb FTL who…” complaint forum. The idea is to list constructive suggestions and lessons learned. I also want to note that leadership styles do differ between people, and this does not necessarily mean one person is wrong. I trust in the maturity of the TG community to prevent these sorts of issues.

    Examples: A bad post would be: “I wish more leaders are TG would actually use their grenadier! Garthra is particularly terrible in this respect. How could he be so stupid as to not effectively deploy his 203 grenadier?” A good post would be: “One thing I have noticed that I really like is when my FTL keeps the team in the loop in terms of information coming from command. I can do my job better as a soldier when I know the bigger picture.” Another good post would be “Something I noticed Dimitrius doing that I really I wish more FTLs would do; he always speaks to his soldiers in a respectful tone of voice.” A third good example would be: "When I was first (FTL/SquadLead/commanding the whole platoon) I made a mistake (insert story here). I learned from this that it is important to (insert lesson here)."


    Thank you to anyone who contributes.

    Note to admins- if this is posted in the wrong area, please move it.
    Garthra
    Last edited by Garthra; 08-31-2012, 12:39 PM.
    The question foremost in my mind is "what will bring the most tactical fun to the server?"

  • #2
    Re: Leadership Development: Lessons Learned and Good Ideas for FTLs, Squad Leads, Co

    There are a lot of different leadership styles, for the CO slots I will share my own.

    I try not to micromanage my team. There are leaders in there for a reason, to survey the AO and make decisions, and then relay them to me. My style is give broad orders (Just go here) and allow the SLs to figure out the path. If I am going to dictate the exact path then why even have a SL? If I am going to tell them exactly what do, why bother as CO and just leader a squad? Mostly because I have to balance 14 other things as CO. I have to trust my SLs and FTLs to make correct decisions. If not, I will run over, tell what I would like, adjust them slightly, then go hands off again. Personally, I HATE being micromanaged. If you going to tell me as a SL or FTL to "walk 30 feet, look left, point your gun on this corner, scratch your butt....", then why am I here? Why don't you just lead my team then?

    Thats my biggest two cents I got. There is a chain of command for a reason, it goes both ways. Use it to your advantage.

    Comment


    • #3
      Whenever such discussions arise, the word that I hear often is "micromanagement."

      Many of you would not realise how much micromanaging is done on many levels. Therefore to discount the idea firstly is very silly.

      As you are aware; the basics of leadership in TG goes up from Fireteam level and up.
      It is part of FTLs to direct his men to certain actions. From directing fire control order (FCO), to sector coverages, etc.

      However, from squad level and upwards. The "micromanagement" is reduced as compared to Fireteam level, in the previously mentioned situations.
      As a squad leader, he should direct such orders down the chain of command, among many other duties.

      Micromanagement is not necessarily a bad thing, it could save lives too.

      TGU will host leaders course soon.
      :)

      TGU Instructor TG Pathfinder

      Former TGU Dean Former ARMA Admin Former Irregulars Officer

      "Do not seek death. Death will find you. But seek the road which makes death a fulfillment." - Dag Hammarskjold

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Leadership Development: Lessons Learned and Good Ideas for FTLs, Squad Leads, Co

        My own thoughts on leadership (at the FTL level) are as follows:

        General Idea: Leadership is more than knowing a good tactical solution to a tactical problem, and deploying your men correctly. This is not starcraft or command and conquer, your men are real people who you must maintain good relations with. Treat them like computer units at your peril.

        1a.) Tone in Orders: When giving orders, be sure to be respectful and considerate. I cannot overemphasize this. People are playing a game, and deserve good treatment. This applies both to the words used and to the tone. Research shows tone is more important to human communication than actual words, second only to facial expression/body language, and leaders should keep this in mind. I have heard many good and fine orders over the years given in a tone of voice that says "I would really rather I didn't have to tell you this, because it is boring and because you are too dumb to know it." Even though the words themselves were not rude and even tactically correct, the tone made the overall statement rude. It made me much less motivated to work for that FTL or SL when I was on the receiving end. Once or twice I almost quit on the spot.

        1b.) Tone Generally: It is not just a catchphrase that people look to leaders to set the “tone” in the organization, it matters. Even if you are tired, stressed, bored, frustrated, or any combination of the above, try hard not to let that come out through your voice. People are listening to you, and responding to what they hear. If they hear a leader who sounds bored or frustrated, they will likely be less effective than a leader who sounds authoritative and relaxed. This is not to say each individual leader does not have different tones (some more authoritative, some more relaxed, some more terse) but be aware of the message you are sending and be sure it is the one you mean to send.

        2.) Equipment Check; Be aware of your men's equipment and roughly who has what. I keep a pad of paper by my PC and write down player names, roles, and special equipment when I am leading a fireteam.

        3.) Positive Feedback: Take note of good behavior as well as bad, and comment on it. People like to know if they are doing well, just as you must tell them if they are doing something wrong.

        4.) Listen to Your Men; When possible, take suggestions from your men. They might have good ideas, and many times as FTL a soldier under me has provided a great idea which I acted on. Even if they have bad ideas, you want to make them feel like part of the team. If you reject their suggestions, as is your right as FTL, explain why. Do not dismiss their ideas as stupid, even if they are tactically flawed. I have been on the receiving end of this, and it hurts morale. Simply explain why you disagree or why they are mistaken.

        5.) Humor: Joke a little bit during down time. It helps keep a positive feel on the team.

        6.) Correct Respectfully: As an FTL do not be bashful about correcting your men, but do not be rude or abrupt. If you said cover 360 degrees and everyone is looking north, politely ask if person X would cover east, and person y west, and then report that you will cover south. Simply repeating “I SAID cover 360 guys! Spread out!” will get the job done, but it does not improve morale.

        7.) Keep command informed; this does not mean constant sitreps, but anything that might be significant.

        8.) If you have suggestions for command, mention them. You might be in a better position to see than your SL or CO.

        9.) Keep your men informed. If the overall plan shifts, tell them when you have a moment so they understand the big picture. Everyone works better if they understand the why of what they are doing. The real military demands obedience without questioning or understanding, because they need that discipline. In Arma2 we do not need that discipline.

        10.) Be clear in your orders; telling your driver "turn left right here" is unclear. I mysef last night told my guys "dump your stuff in the humvee, we will be on foot and I need you light, 30kg or less." They dropped it in the humvee we had been traveling in. It needed to be in the one we would be bringing forward with us, which was a different humvee. It was my mistake that I did not clarify which humvee I meant. Another example; you are moving out afer briefing your men just outside the AO. You will be proceeding on foot for about 1km to the target. You could say "follow me" and go. Or you could say "alright, moving out North East." Or even "We will be moving out, heading 45 degrees, wedge off of me, at jogging pace. <pause> Moving in 3...2...1... moving.." I leave it to you to decide which is clearest and easiest for your men to obey.

        11.) If you have expectations regarding how you want your team to act generally or respond to a specific event (for instance, a contact while in a rolling convoy), make sure to tell them in advance. If you don't tell them beforehand, you will be correcting them later, and you will have no one to blame but yourself if they misunderstand or are slow to react. This could be as simple as, say for the second or third Victor in a concoy, "Ok, if we come under fire gunner will stay in. The rest of us will pile out and pull 360 on the humvee for a few seconds. If the contact is to the front of the convoy we will likely be flanking right or left and forming a line to get fire forward and assist victor one. Listen for my call as to which side we will be flanking on. If contact is sides or rear, stay on 360 for the humvee."
        Last edited by Garthra; 08-31-2012, 03:18 PM. Reason: addition and correction
        The question foremost in my mind is "what will bring the most tactical fun to the server?"

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Leadership Development: Lessons Learned and Good Ideas for FTLs, Squad Leads, Co

          Good suggestions and I like this format!

          I have to agree with LowSpeed 100%

          A squad member leads himself, he is responsible for his cover, his weapons/pack, he is responsible for making sure he does not alert the enemy unless that is his intention. If he has intelligence that could be important for the mission, he must make sure it is received and transmitted to his FTL.

          A FTL leader leads himself as above, but also leads 3 or 4 men into battle. His fireteam is his main weapon. Like any weapon a person is responsible for he should see that the main components are functioning, For a FTL this would include knowing what weapons each person is carrying, a rough idea of their ammo and gear. Their experience, a FTL with seasoned veterans can focus more on the task at hand and trust his team members to do their part to keep the FT safe. If you have some rookies then as a FTL you need to take them under your wing a bit, this doesnt mean telling them how to fart, but just swing your head over them when you get a second and make sure they are being safe and doing the right things to help the FT stay safe and effective.

          As a SL, do not worry about individual squad members, they are not your weapon, FIRETEAMS are your concern and your weapon, ask your FTLs for info on weapon types, ammo counts and sit reps. This isn't to say you shouldn't interact with FT members, but by involving the FTLs as a liason it builds up trust in the FTL and helps to remind squad members that they should listen to the FTL and that he is their immediate superior and the SL comes after him. I would say that this level has in the past been my biggest issue with those over me, is that as a FTL I have been bypassed as soon as the loading screen goes away with the SL handing out weapons to individual FT members instead of saying FT1 I want you to have 1 HMG, 2 Rifleman, and 1 Grenadier. This would allow the FTL to have some say and also as I said before get the command structure started off right.


          PLT lead.

          Fire teams, and ft members are not your concern. You tell the SLs where to move and what to do, trust them to make the minor calls needed along the way, if they need help or advice be open and responsive to it, but you should be looking at a wide area of the battle. In all reality you should spend most of your time in a secured area looking at your map placing markers and analyzing the data coming in from scouts and the SLs to build a picture of the battle. This will allow you to get an idea of where enemy units are, and enable you to better lead your squads to victory.

          Artillery Leader: I have no experience here so this is going on my gut instinct of how I would lead an artillery group.

          Assign someone to run the battery computer and radios, this is an important task but not ultimately the biggest issue with an artillery unit. Instead I would want to stay out in the world, observing loaders and gunners, making sure the guns look like they are pointed in the right direction and look the same. Make sure the ammo being put in the gun is the right ammo(don't want to drop WP instead of Illum rounds when a Squad leader calls in an illum on his pos now d o we?:))

          Air Squad transport: If a mission has more than one helo and will require any serious coordination it would be best for you to be a gunner not a pilot. Pilots can't easily set coordinates or waypoints when under way, but having a gunner that can tell them a bearing to travel is very helpful. This gives you time to look at possible landing sites and get intel from command on the possibility for contact at them. It also allows you to be able to coordinate the other helo instead of worrying about flying your own. Scout out landing sites for them, and give them directions as well.

          Air squad attack(helo): be the gunner, for the same reason as above, plus it allows you to truly be responsible for the bird. An attack helo under most circumstances except cruise flight the bird is under command of the gunner, the pilot just flies it where the gunner tells him.

          Air squad attack(plane): now you actually get to fly..sort of :)

          You should circle above the ao and maintain visuals on friendly/enemy positions, from here you can coordinate with the JTAC and get your target spotted. from here you call in a wingman and he can hit the target. The advantage to this is that you will have a much better understanding of what is going on on the ground since you can see what is going on for a long period, and because of this, if there a sensitive CAS mission, such as Danger close or an enemy tank appears from no where and is going to hit the friendly troops, you already know the friendly positions, you already know the enemy positions, all you need to do is inform the JTAC of the incoming tank..wait for permission to engage and then swoop in for the kill, this means no time wasted on the JTAC trying to orient a new pilot to the scenario, and can mean that instead of that squad being killed by that tank, they get an awesome show of CAS saving their ass instead :)



          Fate whispers to the warrior "You will not survive the storm."
          The warrior whispers back, "I AM the storm."

          Comment


          • #6
            Great points Garthra!

            I'm really liking the time of this thread too.

            :)

            TGU Instructor TG Pathfinder

            Former TGU Dean Former ARMA Admin Former Irregulars Officer

            "Do not seek death. Death will find you. But seek the road which makes death a fulfillment." - Dag Hammarskjold

            Comment


            • #7
              Correction. "tone" not time.

              TGU Instructor TG Pathfinder

              Former TGU Dean Former ARMA Admin Former Irregulars Officer

              "Do not seek death. Death will find you. But seek the road which makes death a fulfillment." - Dag Hammarskjold

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Leadership Development: Lessons Learned and Good Ideas for FTLs, Squad Leads, Co

                Regarding arty leadership:

                The primary knowledge required of an arty leader is to know all of the common mistakes for all of the roles, and the "best practices" to ensure no errors. For instance, make sure the gunner is calling out "fired" on direct chat so loader knows to load next round, as loader sometimes does not hear the gun shoot, resulting in the loader waiting for the gun to fire, and the gunner waiting for the next round. Make sure each person on your team has pen and paper and writes down the firemission data so they make no mistakes. Other best practices like this are the sort of things an arty leader should know. Of course, arty leader should have extensive knowledge about how arty works, as if the gunner or loader has an issue, arty lead must know enough to solve it. (Stuff like how to use poles or a second collomator if the first one cannot get you on target.)

                Your main job, as distinct from your knowledge, is to care for your men and ensure their proficiency. Ensure they know exactly what they are doing, espectially if you have not worked with them before. Do this way before you ever have a real fire mission, so that when the FO calls, the rounds are on target. Double check everyone on the first shot, assuming you do not know from before they are experienced. In the downtime, keep them from getting too bored, and maintain their morale. Build a team spirit of sorts, because without that arty can be dull.

                Finally, be familiar with advanced arty tactics and know how to use them- namely walking fire, and double tap.

                Three silimar tasks/roles for the arty leader;
                1.) If there is one gun, (3 or 4 people): The arty leader traditionally takes fire missions from FO, runs the computer, and gives orders to the loader(s) and gunner.

                2.) If there are two guns but one computer (5 people in arty) the FCO/arty leader will man the computer and feed data to both guns. This creates some errors, as the guns will be slightly off due to trying to share one firing solution (where to be accurate they would need two). However, it is more rounds (roughly) on target.

                3.) If the arty squad is large enough that there are two completely manned guns separate from each other with their own battery computer operators, (7 people in arty) the commander receives fire missions from FO, and can give orders to the two battery computer operators. This is necessary because each gun's firing solution will be slightly different. Meanwhile the arty leader oversees everyone, answers questions, and troubleshoots. This setup requires so many people as to be very unlikely in a TG mission.
                Last edited by Garthra; 09-01-2012, 01:22 AM. Reason: additions and edits
                The question foremost in my mind is "what will bring the most tactical fun to the server?"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Leadership Development: Lessons Learned and Good Ideas for FTLs, Squad Leads, Co

                  Regarding micromanagement:

                  I threw this video together a while ago. Needless to say, when I made this I didn't fully understand the scope of a leadership position, so I'm not sure how much my opinions have changed. But I do believe that leaders should be allowed to lead, still.


                  I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones. -Albert Einstein

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Leadership Development: Lessons Learned and Good Ideas for FTLs, Squad Leads, Co

                    The following is a short-list, brain dump that I apply when in a leadership position (CO, SL, FT). While many of these have already been touched on and can be discussed in greater detail, I find three core things boiled down are consistent:

                    Meet the Minimums
                    Don't take a lead position until you have experience in the role's capacity AND you are an effective communicator -- you will be required to maintain, direct and educate your subordinate players effectively. For example, I don't have enough arty experience yet, so I wouldn't take on any lead position in that capacity.

                    Take Notes
                    Keep notes handy on the elements you're responsible for (eg. a CO notates all the squads, an FTL notates his element members, etc.). I have a stack of 3x5 cards I pull from when leading. On one I write down an overview of the platoon structure (since you lose that in game) and include details on my immediate subordinates under my command. I also take note of assigned radio channels on this card. On a second card, I ue for notes regarding game progress (eg. grid refs, JIPs, orders, etc.).

                    Communicate Effectively
                    1. "Six, One: Message."
                      Use effective radio comms. This requires practice! Some of the best games I've ever had were due in large part because of excellent grade communication. Read the Radio SOPs (again).

                    2. Order with Intent and Task
                      When you are ready to execute, relay orders by mentioning the intent first, and then the specifics, "SL: Whiskey 1, we are tasked with X... Alpha will XY.... and Bravo will XZ...", then ask for questions so that there is no confusion.

                    3. Share the Knowledge
                      During operations, assume your subordinate responsibilities are experienced professionals first (let them do their job). Then, if you notice a problem, educate or direct briefly (a lot came be learned quickly for newer players with some simple direction). If there is still a problem or the inexperience is too high reassign the responsibility.

                    4. Acknowledge People
                      Always acknowledge folks when you are addressed. If a subordinate tells me, "we should go grab that truck..." and I'm holding for some other larger purpose, I would respond with something as short as "Noted" or a more elaborate discussion on the matter as applicable to the situation/command.

                    5. Share the Experience
                      Give your immediate subordinates intermitent overview summary of the progress, depending on common knowledge. Since SLs are on the Commend Net, common knowledge already applies, but they need to pass that down to their fireteams and the same for FTLs depending on the common knowledge setup. When idle, I generally will pass down our 6-digit to element members when they don't have GPS so they can see where we are on the map. I'll also, relay any major events to them, and reasons for why we're just sitting idle. Information will help alieviate bordom.


                    In general, I like to create an experience for folks that while under my pseudo-command, I feel responsible for the value they get from the time they spend! While under my direction, as gamers, they should have a good time and not be bored, berated, or killed-- because after all this is game play and it needs to be kept interesting! :)
                    sigpic
                    I run my $#@! new school style with old school roots...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Leadership Development: Lessons Learned and Good Ideas for FTLs, Squad Leads, Co

                      Very nice collection guys! And a Very good idea Garthra :) This stuff will be helpfull a lot
                      Last edited by Pax'Jarome Malues; 09-01-2012, 11:23 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Leadership Development: Lessons Learned and Good Ideas for FTLs, Squad Leads, Co

                        Originally posted by Garthra View Post
                        [U]
                        3.) If the arty squad is large enough that there are two completely manned guns separate from each other with their own battery computer operators, (7 people in arty) the commander receives fire missions from FO, and can give orders to the two battery computer operators. This is necessary because each gun's firing solution will be slightly different. Meanwhile the arty leader oversees everyone, answers questions, and troubleshoots. This setup requires so many people as to be very unlikely in a TG mission.
                        Just a side note:
                        Having a multi-gun set-up with multiple computers actually reduces the effectiveness of an artillery battery. The whole point of having guns firing on a parallel sheaf (rather than a converged as you describe) is to increase the area affected by the fire.
                        Blackpython / ZephyrDark
                        Former 31st RECCE Member

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Leadership Development: Lessons Learned and Good Ideas for FTLs, Squad Leads, Co

                          Originally posted by ZephyrDark View Post
                          Just a side note:
                          Having a multi-gun set-up with multiple computers actually reduces the effectiveness of an artillery battery. The whole point of having guns firing on a parallel sheaf (rather than a converged as you describe) is to increase the area affected by the fire.


                          I see, so you are going for area over accuracy. A good point BlackPython. I was presuming accuracy was the goal, and I see now that it might not be as long as the error factor is small enough to still land rounds on target, which it should be if the guns are close together.

                          Ok, so correction- if you have one target and two guns you may not want them on separate computers, as the increased accuracy may decrease the kill radius you could get by actually missing your target slightly. Thanks for the correction.

                          I still think two computers and two guns could be used to good effect to hit multiple targets at once, say on an infantry group and a nearby (but not right next to them) bunker, but for one target not so much. BUT as mentioned earlier, this is a very rare circumstance in the sense that it would require far more players then TG typically has.

                          FYI- computer died, so I will be off for at least 3-5 days while I sort it out.
                          The question foremost in my mind is "what will bring the most tactical fun to the server?"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Leadership Development: Lessons Learned and Good Ideas for FTLs, Squad Leads, Co

                            Lesson #1 - Know thyself.

                            Be realistic in your expectations, lest you be driven insane by your men and led to failure by the distraction of it all.

                            -Know who you have to handle the most, least, and how to handle them.
                            Figure out who the people are in your fireteam, squad, or platoon that will be a blessing or a curse. This isn't anything personal my lovelies. Myself included, many nights i'm on my A-Game, equally as many nights I'm singing B-Sides and you wonder why I even bothered to load into the mission. We are human. Know what you're getting into and plan/prep accordingly.

                            This may mean extra special attention to detail when giving ThirdSin orders, because you're pretty sure he was singing FreeBird when you transmitted your order to him. It could mean being less detailed (saving time and valuable mental energy) leaving more discretion in the hands of Morbo, who IMO has good instincts and will stick to your plan or ask for orders when he should.

                            Don't forget, you're managing PEOPLE, not bots, and not copies of you. Don't expect it to magically happen or anyone to be a mind reader.

                            More importantly, you won't be very good at it right away. You won't. You have to practice and try new things. You will make bad calls, and missions will fail because of YOUR decisions. Oh well, I guess Morbo isn't going home to his family after you sent him into that ambush.... wait, its a just a game.

                            Plenty of good theory and advice in the thread, but none of it can replace PRACTICE. Ask one of the regs or people you like taking orders from to be your XO on a mission, or be their XO to learn more. I think this group is fairly easy going with this stuff. Ask, Practice, Have fun.
                            Q: How many members of Congress does it take to change a light bulb?
                            A: None. There is nothing wrong with the light bulb; its conditions are improving every day. Any reports of its lack of incandescence are delusional spin from the liberal media. That light bulb has served honorably, and anything you say undermines the lighting effort. Why do you hate freedom?!?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Leadership Development: Lessons Learned and Good Ideas for FTLs, Squad Leads, Co

                              Really good ideas in this thread - wow.

                              Still, need some training and practice as FTL leads. I just put in a request for a TGU class to hopefully learn more about the fundamentals. I'd love to pick the brains of the senior TG members, including Dimitrius, lowspeed, UNKL, etc.

                              My biggest problems in a leadership role are:

                              -endurance - I tend to run out of steam after a few hours
                              -communication - forget the proper radio language/terms when communicating and under heavy pressure
                              -planning vs contact with enemy - many engagements on TG tend to lose steam after we take casualties and such
                              -unsure of what to do in certain situations - ie, we take heavy casualties, we get lost, lose comms with command, etc.

                              As far as I can tell, TG Arma doesn't really have a set of strategy guides or SOPs for these tactical situations, do we? Most of our SOPs have to do more with tech support, radio communications, in-game etiquette, etc.

                              Maybe I just need more practice in-game.
                              "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."
                              -Einstein

                              Comment

                              Connect

                              Collapse

                              TeamSpeak 3 Server

                              Collapse

                              Advertisement

                              Collapse

                              Twitter Feed

                              Collapse

                              Working...
                              X