Developing a Missile: The Power of Autonomy and Learning

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Leadership is a very crucial aspect of a team of workers who have a common goal. Leadership determines the extent to which any given team can achieve its set objectives. Apart from that, it ensures an enabling atmosphere within which each member works. Good leadership is a motivation for workers as it helps them unleash their full potential. The essay describes the traits of Air Force Program Manager Terry Little’s. First, it outlines the formulation of the vision for the project of the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) program. It also analyzes key actions that Terry took in order to foster higher levels of performance as well as subsequent recommendations. The essay as well Describes the fallacies, consistencies, and inconsistencies that emerged from Terry Little’s leadership tactics, and finally, it recommends three strategies to the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile program management team with a view to improving its operational performance.

Vision Statement for the Team Project as Project Leader for the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile Program

As a project leader for this prime project of the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile program, I would formulate a vision focused on the main objectives of the team as established in the principles and values of the Department of Defense. This vision would entail the inculcation of visionary leadership that would steer team members in realizing their inherent potential for making the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile program a reality. It would also strive to make the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile program the best initiative in the Department of Defense. Such a goal would require teamwork, visionary leaders, sacrifices and selfless service in the department.

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Key Actions That Terry Little Took To Foster Higher Levels of Performance Terry little proved to be goal-oriented by being hands-on whenever he was required to do so. Upon realizing that the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile program had seriously failed, Terry made a bold decision to propose a contract to people who would revamp the project and steer it in the right direction. This demonstrated how much he cared about his work duties and his high sense of responsibility.

Besides, Terry swiftly called a meeting in which he announced a substantial change in work principles. Although at that he might have sounded a little bit dictatorial, he considered this time extra-ordinary and thus believed that it required extraordinary measures. Following this step, Terry would defend his decision in order to ensure that the team members performed their duties differently. He believed that nothing was bound to change if team members would continue to work in the same style. Using a no-nonsense approach, Terry proved that he was not ready to sacrifice the standards and the aims of the Department for compromise. In fact, he would issue a stern warning to anyone who was not ready to comply with his directive for any reason. Of course, no one would have dared to do such a thing even if most of them did not agree with his principles.

Apart from that, Terry took a bold step to empower the team under his supervision to challenge the difficulties that the department was facing. He encouraged everyone to utilize the best of their intelligence and aptitudes in order to steer the group towards the achievement of the set goal. Here Terry proved that he was very goal-oriented and he settled for nothing else than success. He was ready to do anything he could just to make the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile program successful. He also realized that he could not yield much success alone, and that is why he recognized everyone’s contribution to the project. This is a quality that many leaders perhaps do not possess.

Moreover, Terry proved to be an organized administrator when he took the initiative to present a concise unified plan of the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). It depicts that Terry is a leader who had respect for protocol. He knew and understood his responsibilities and he was ready to be accountable for the results. It is obvious that all the members working under Terry’s supervision would not lack direction at any moment since Terry was always aware of the situation and constantly updated his colleagues about whatever task was required to be completed.

In the same breath, Terry proved to be in complete command of his team. Although his subordinates would occasionally complain about his manner of leadership, he ensured that the right thing has been done whether the doers were happy with whatever work to be done or not. In his dialogue with one of the team members after getting involved in an accident, Terry is heard asserting that all he cared was security. He never cared about anything else in the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile program. He was very keen on the priorities of the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile program and he did nothing that would be seen to be contrary to it. H dedicated all his time and mind to the success of the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile program.

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Finally, Terry believed in accountability and therefore he let all of his subordinates defend their own positions by performing to the expectations of the department. He was not ready to defend anyone who did not deserve the kind of favor. This is also a good ay of inculcating discipline and responsive behavior among the workers. No one will feel being shouldered by another member or the boss.

The Fallacies, Consistencies, and Inconsistencies That Emerged from Terry Little’s Leadership Tactics, Geared toward Inspiring the Team to Greater Heights Observing how Terry steered the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile program, one could identify a number of mistakes, consistencies as well as inconsistencies that characterized Terry’s style of leadership. First, it is fallacious for Terry to claim to be fully in charge and tough at his job when indeed the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) program had stalled only nine months later after its launch. For this reason, one will obviously fault his leadership style. This style does not reflect that of a leader who is sure of his position but rather is corresponding to the one who has a superiority complex. Terry was never ready to implement any suggestion from the subordinates. His manner of behavior showed that he did not believe in his juniors’ competency. He preferred making decisions for them rather than with them. Perhaps this is what brings a lot of inconsistencies about this project. Furthermore, Terry claimed that his job as the leader was to facilitate the processes, to do whatever was necessary to speed up the bureaucracy. But even before the members could start with the work, the spirit of giving up had already been noticed. This confirms that as much as Terry showed a lot of enthusiasm for his job, those working under him did not see him as a leader who would drive them toward the set vision of the program. Had I been the leader of this program, I would have employed transformational leadership in which I would involve every member of my team in a constructive decision-making process. Then I would integrate all the suggestions into one comprehensive vision. I would not pretend to be competent at everything, as that scares away members and denies a leader their support.

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First, the team should conduct a benchmarking exercise to learn from their colleagues in other areas or even countries. Secondly, the management should consider reshuffling the leadership of the program. The manner in which Terry acts shows that he is quite insecure and this is a sign of incompetence. Thirdly, the members of the team should find all means possible to ventilate on the manner in which the leaders should handle them. Keeping quiet and pretending to be compliant with everything is beneficial neither for them nor for the program. In response to this, the incoming engineer has tried to make suggestions that would revamp the program by suggesting the visit to the suppliers of a prime contractor for more ideas about the program. Secondly, the new contractor has proven to provide inclusive leadership. He is even bold enough to challenge Terry.


The management of the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) program ought to take appropriate measures of ensuring sound management skills prevail in the program. The behavior an mannerisms of Terry Little do not resonate with those expected of a good, visionary leader. Those working under Terry should take responsibility for agitating for sound leadership by challenging his manner of leadership. Where there is no dialogue, there is autonomy which is strenuous to some members of the team. Appropriate changes will ensure success for the program.

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