Tennessee Army National Guard Chief of Staff gives tips on leadership
Col. David R. Bates, Chief of Staff for the Tennessee Army National Guard, addressed delegates Thursday evening. Bates was sworn into the Guard as an enlisted solider and moved up through the ranks. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Cumberland University and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. He has 39 years of service. He was recently assigned as the Regional CORPS Advisory Group Commander and was deployed to Afghanistan from February to November 2010. Tennessee is the 17th largest state but has the 6th largest National Guard presence with 10,637 soldiers.
Col. Bates spoke on leadership and then took questions from the audience. “True leaders have to earn respect, confidence and loyalty of those around them,” he said.
“Here are some qualities of a good leader. Be fair and consistent. Always be someone a person can rely on,” he said. “Give consideration to both sides of a situation. We always say the first report is always wrong. People misunderstand things, so gather and evaluate as many facts as you can before you make a decision.
“Avoid favoritism. Hold everyone to same standards. Use good judgment. Develop the ability to think things through and have a common sense attitude.
“And finally, take initiative when those around are still talking about it,” he said.
Col. Bates concluded with four characteristics “that have made me successful.”
1. Have determination and work hard
2. Set a goal/believe you can reach it
3. Listen to mentors who give sound advice
4. Never give up on yourself
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