All time long during military service as an officer who has certain responsibilities for accomplishing different kind of tasks, and lives of people at first, I have to make decisions. Sometimes with lack of time, under pressure, in stressful circumstance, my service expects a solution and every time it has to be a good one. At the same time this is not one time event, visa versa, it is integral part of the military service.
To have an ability to think critically gives a great advantage in this case. Critical thinking related closely to creative thinking, decision making and problem solving, and all together provide great help for successful implementation of my duty in present and future. Therefore, what they are and how these relate to my service ???Successful organizations recognize that critical thinking and creative solutions to problems significantly enhance business potential. Todays decision makers must use a variety of thinking styles, methodologies and creative processes.
??? ???Critical thinking involves logical thinking and reasoning including skills such as comparison, classification, sequencing, cause or effect, patterning, webbing, analogies, deductive and inductive reasoning, forecasting, planning, hypothesizing, and analyzing.??? We can find a large number of examples. I was really impressed with reading about William Bratton.
When he was appointed as police commissioner of New York City in 1994 the overall situation for that time was very unpleasant; officers were underpaid, crime was far out of control, and people preferred rather go out of the City to suburbs to look for better and safer life. In couple of years even without increasing of budget for police department, he turned New York City in the safest large city. Such people make history; to understand what the problem is, to find the right solution, to act maybe in irregular manner, to think critically- that was the way of success. ???Creative thinking is the ability to imagine or invent something new, the ability to generate new ideas by combining, changing, or reapplying existing ideas. Some creative ideas are astonishing and brilliant, while others are just simple, good, practical ideas that no one seems to have thought of yet.
??? During World War 2, when it was final battle for Berlin, Marshal Zhukov proposed an idea to use the lights of anti-aircraft guns to make enemies blind. Then he asked his generals what they think about that. All of them expressed a doubt of possible success to outcome. After he took them to the training ground and as it was nighttime he suddenly gave a command to turn on prepared in advance some of those lights. Generals were mixed up and confused, unable neither to do something nor to get orientation, it was clear, that idea is going to work. It was simple, good, practical. Next point is related to decision making which is ???an essential skill for career success generally, and effective leadership particularly.
If you can learn to make timely and well-considered decisions, then you can often lead your team to spectacular and well-deserved success. However, if you make poor decisions, your team risks failure and your time as a leader will, most likely, be brutally short.??? During my service I saw different officers and commanders. I saw plenty of decisions and some of them were just great, another not really.
Nevertheless, it is for sure that your career depends of what kind of decisions you do. Sometimes seems like whole your life depends of only one decision and everything is divided on before and after. I have read somewhere a story about large tactical exercise. It was a time right after World War 2, so all the soldiers and officers were experienced. However, as soon as they were acting according to scenario in order to impress a high authority, something went wrong. Battle line was broken and units were about to fall into a panic.
In this case one of the battalion commanders gave the order throughout the radio ???act as in battle???. In couple of minutes line was recovered and everything set on its place. Decision can safe your career, put you up on the service leader, or make your service much more shorter than you have expected. One more thing I want to talk. The activities of decision making are closely intertwined with problem solving. ???There are many approaches to problem solving, depending on the nature of the problem and the people involved in the problem.
The more traditional, rational approach is typically used and involves, clarifying description of the problem, analyzing causes, identifying alternatives, assessing each alternative, choosing one, implementing it, and evaluating whether the problem was solved or not.??? Army??™s Seven Step Problem Model gives me clear understanding of algorithm to act. First, identify the problem. Some of the greatest said that ???identified problem is half-solved problem???. This is quite important, because people often try to get certain solution, but still do not realize what they are looking for. Second, gather information. All facts, assumptions, opinions can be useful. Third, develop criteria, which are built on yours gathered information.
Forth, generate possible solutions. Usually these are several alternatives to solve the problem. Fifth, analyze possible solutions, screening them and benchmarking. Sixth, compare possible solutions to choose the best one by any comparison techniques. Final seventh step is to make and implement the decision.
Even good solution could be lost if you do not persuade your colleagues or subordinates. All of these terms are rather closed and go side by side. Moreover, they are whole part with contemporary military service. Clear understanding and keeping in mind their techniques appears to be very helpful for successful service. Looking at these and many others examples I can see clearly how people, commanders were acting in different periods of history and with varieties of situations.
In addition, if I put an aim ahead of me to grow up as an officer, to improve my leadership qualities, that tools exactly what I need.