Army National Guard holds annual senior leader training

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Photo courtesy of Sgt. Darin Douin

AUGUSTA (12/10/2021) (readMedia)-- Commanders, senior enlisted advisors and senior staff all gathered at Camp Chamberlain Dec. 4 for the Maine Army National Guard's annual senior leadership training. Approximately 90 leaders attended the event, with additional personnel joining via Microsoft Teams.

The theme for the event was "Command Climate," following last year's theme of "Coaching and Mentoring."

"There is no other training event on our calendar that brings this collection of leadership together," said Brig. Gen. Dean Preston, Maine's land component commander, in his opening remarks. "To me, that validates the importance of today's training. I want these leaders to discuss strategies that can improve our organizational climate; to address specific concerns, issues and ideas about the health of the organization."

Dr. Monika Bissell, president of Maine College of Health Professions, was the guest keynote speaker and gave a presentation on leadership styles and how organizations respond to them. Bissell discussed setting conditions for an organizational culture, how trust is built or eroded, and how to identify best practices for maintaining a healthy positive climate within an organization.

"Leaders are duty-bound to create environments in which people's needs are met and they can achieve self-actualization," Bissell said during her remarks. "This is the essence of culture."

Following Bissell's presentation, leaders conducted various breakout sessions, both by rank and by command grouping.

"When you get all this experience together and get them all talking about a specific topic, you are going to hear some incredibly useful anecdotal accounts about applied leadership," Preston continued. "And more importantly, the anticipated as well as unanticipated results of that applied leadership. Our job is to listen."