Center for the Advancement of Leader Development and Organizational Learning
CALDOL supports the professional development of cadets and Army oﬃcers via several ongoing initiatives, including:
Face-to-Face Resources. CALDOL can, on a limited basis, support units with face-to-face LPD programs designed to facilitate reflective practices and share critical knowledge with other leaders.
· CALDOL resources and maintains the Leader Challenge (LC), a learning methodology that draws upon real stories and experiences to spur professional conversation. The Leader Challenge is a component of the Cadet Character Development Program (CCDP) and can be run at any level from platoon to brigade.
As part of the CCDP, Leader Challenge engages the upper-class cadets in all 144 USCC platoons in a diﬃcult leadership decision as described by the junior oﬃcer or cadet who actually experienced it. In the CCDP LC sessions, Army professionals with varying levels of experience (cadets, staﬀ/faculty volunteers, TACs, 50-Year Grads) engage with each other in small-group conversations about the situation to enhance their understanding of ethical leadership. Participants in Leader Challenge sessions learn not only from the true scenario and their conversations about it, but also from the LC process itself, which highlights the learning value of engaging in meaningful conversations about real problems with our fellow professionals.
· CALDOL periodically travels to field locations to conduct interviews with junior officers about their experiences and lessons learned. These interviews feed content into many of the programs mentioned above, including the Leader Challenge and CCLPD. Interview participants routinely report that they appreciate the validation provided by participating in the interview.
· CALDOL supports the production of post-deployment AAR books specifically focused at transferring tacit knowledge between company-level leaders. These AAR books are written in the leaders’ voices and are provided to an incoming unit prior to deployment, to help facilitate their assumption of responsibilities.
Online Resources. To support units in their demanding OPTEMPO and challenging operational environments, CALDOL maintains a diverse array of online resources.
· As part of its core mission to connect Army leaders in conversation about the profession, CALDOL stewards the Junior Officer (JO) Forum (juniorofficer.army.mil) online professional forum. The JO Forum is open to past, present, and future company commanders and platoon leaders who are committed to improving the effectiveness of company-level leaders. The JO Forum does not require CAC access and is fully compatible with mobile devices.
· CALDOL maintains and produces Company Commander’s Leader Professional Development modules (CCLPDs). These collections of video clips and articles are carefully curated to support a small-unit LPD on a wide range of topics. CCLPDs can be accessed here.
· CALDOL supports the production and distribution of the Leaders Huddle podcast, available on iTunes and Google Play. This podcast puts out new material every other week on a diverse range of topics, including unit training, workplace mentoring, and professional assignments.
We believe that the Army profession is effective only to the degree that its members take responsibility for it, engage in the collective conversation that shapes it, and see themselves as being connected to their fellow warriors—past, present, and future. By engaging in high-quality professional conversation through experiences such as Leader Challenges sessions and the online professional forums, leaders gain greater access to knowledge. However, more powerfully for the profession, they gain a platform to articulate and share their ideas, lessons learned, and wisdom born of experience. They become stewards of our profession, enabled to be professionals on a scale never before possible.
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