WSMR is taking a new approach to Master Resiliency by ensuring that resiliency is exercised at the highest level through the senior leadership.
“It gives me great pleasure to observe Team WSMR take active interest by discussing a topic which is often overlooked. Today and for the foreseeable future, our Army will be having professional discussions about Senior Leader Resiliency,” said WSMR Command Sgt. Maj. Jimmy Sellers.
The WSMR leadership will be meeting quarterly to discuss ways in which resiliency can be embedded within the WSMR workforce through the example of the WSMR senior leadership.
“One of the most important enablers of resiliency is teamwork. We must learn how to stay empathically in tuned with our team mates and take notice. We need to ensure all hands understand that taking care of each other is a core value and inspire the behaviors that promote true resiliency throughout our team,” said WSMR Executive Director Paul Mann. “Effective team work and support is inextricably linked with an effective and resilient workforce.”
Sellers said that it is important to understand that senior leaders often times live in a rapid and disruptive pace with daily stresses and challenges. Due to the hectic lifestyle of a senior leader it is important to practice resilience in order to be able to balance and deal with stressful experiences.
“As leaders not only are we required to set the example with all that we do. But, it’s a must that we do it in a positive manner that creates an atmosphere where people want to wake up in the morning, come to work and do the right thing,” Sellers said. “It’s value added to leaders. If you have Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Civilians on the team who operate and function at a high level of performance and are more aware of themselves and how they communicate with and treat others.”
Western Regional Dental Command Master Resiliency Trainer Sgt. 1st Class Nathan Akers has been teaching Master Resiliency for the past three years and said the program has helped him better himself both physiologically and psychologically. Though his focus is on Soldiers between the ages of 17-24, Akers said it is important for the leadership to not only understand resiliency but to also practice the skill.
“It’s important that we as senior leaders be as resilient as our Soldiers. We’re here to lead by example,” Akers said. “If we all use the same language and continue to remind these Soldiers, it becomes second nature to them. Without making it okay, you’re never going to get it where it needs to be.”
Akers said the main goal in the training is to teach an individual how to bounce back from adversity and in turn help create a better outlook on life, increase family life and communication.
“Life balance also precedes resiliency. It does not guarantee it amongst individuals, but without, resilience cannot endure,” Mann said.
Sellers said bouncing back from adversity is what enables an organization to operate efficiently and effectively.
“It’s my belief that the senior leader’s role in developing resiliency, not only in themselves but in their subordinates, is critical and vital,” Sellers said. “Our subordinates look up to their leaders and if their leaders are able to show resiliency, it will help the entire team believe more in the program.”
As senior leaders, Akers said there is already a built in experience with adversity and a way to deal with adversity. With resiliency, senior leaders learn that they too can use the tools and develop the skills to deal with adversity and stress in the most positive manners.
“As senior leaders we think we have bigger things to worry about. It doesn’t really matter how big the event is, rather how stressed out we get about it,” Akers said.
“We need to live it, we need to preach it and we have to take this to Soldiers. It shouldn’t be a check the box deal. We’re giving them the language, the skills, and the tools to become psychologically fit Soldiers,” Akers added.
Army Community Service will offer a month long Master Resiliency training beginning Aug. 27 and ending on Sept. 10. The training will be led by Master Resiliency Trainer Damaris Powe. The class will meet every Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. To sign up for the course please contact ACS at 678-6767.