The five federal service academies are, first and foremost, leadership institutions tasked with providing their parent services with the highest quality junior officers. These young men and women represent the "best of the best" and receive a nationally ranked education and world-renowned training opportunity to establish the very foundation of their service officer corps. The academic and athletic portions of the academy experience contribute to their growth as sound and knowledgeable leaders of character and integrity. The academies invest heavily in creating young cadets and midshipmen as leaders because they cast the dye for the uniform cloth representing each service. Given the emphasis placed on leadership development at the academies, it is logical to assume that Greystone would also invest much time and energy in leadership development and training so that our students enter the academies as proven, experienced, and capable leaders of character.
|Lieutenant General Dave Palmer, USA (Ret.), Former Superintendent of West Point and Distinguished Graduate from the Class of 1956 - "Character is your destiny".|
To accomplish this goal of leadership development, Greystone requested guidance from the academies to establish a Professional Development program consisting of a Character Development course, Leadership Training course, Leadership Lecture Series, Character Development Lecture Series, Time Management training, and Effective Communications training (public speaking and communication skills improvement). The Greystone Professional Development program intends to establish a baseline platform. Greystone developed the Character Development and Leadership Training programs from course material received from West Point, Naval Academy, and Air Force Academy Ethics, Leadership and Law courses, and their Honor and Conduct programs. Through the Greystone Professional Development Program, students are introduced to the fundamentals of leadership, ethics, and morality - and then allowed to utilize the leadership skills they will learn.
|Character is the foundation upon which we must build to win respect. Just as no building can be erected on a weak foundation, so no lasting reputation worthy of respect can be built on a weak character.
- R.C. Samsel
The Greystone Character Development and Leadership Training courses empower each Class with the knowledge and understanding needed to write their Honor Code and their Standards of Conduct. Through this exercise, students grasp the purpose behind the academy honor codes and the need for academy discipline, rules, and regulations. The Greystone Class create each document from scratch, and they must agree on content. Once agreed upon, students present their Honor Code and Standards of Conduct in a public forum. In this ceremony, students present their work, answer questions from the community, and at the end, sign each document signifying their intent to live by their Code and Standard. What makes the Greystone program so unique and meaningful for our students is that the Honor Code and Standards of Conduct are owned and enforced by the students. Members of the Greystone Honor and Conduct Committees are tasked to investigate all suspected violations and present their findings to the Class. The Class then hears the facts of the case and votes as to whether a violation occurred or not. The Greystone Honor and conduct Mentor (LTC John Young, USMCR (Ret.)) oversees the entire process. However, it is a powerful learning tool to ensure that Greystone students live by a higher standard...the academy standard!
In addition to developing the Class Honor Code and Standards of Conduct, the Character Development and Leadership Training courses provide students with real-time opportunities to test their values, beliefs, honor, integrity, and courage to do what is right. Through Class interaction, role-playing, and guest speakers, students are provided with a hands-on experience that forces them to assess their decisions and actions as leaders of character and honor. Classroom exercises expand beyond the confines of the campus into teambuilding and leadership opportunities provided by our outdoor team activities (camping) and participation in the ROTC JFTX (Reserve Officer Training Corps, Field Training Exercises and Labs), where Greystone engages other ROTC units. Our objective is to train students in the fundamentals of leadership and character. When ready, present them with opportunities in which they can test themselves individually and as a team. The Greystone Character Development and Leadership Training program has played a role in a bare minimum number of academy conduct offenses and "zero" honor offenses. Over the past 15 years, 16 Greystoners used their experience with the Greystone Honor Committee to serve on academy honor committees. Ten former Greystoners assumed leadership positions within the various academy honor programs as seniors. On the world stage, Greystone graduates have played a role in international events as members of SEAL Teams, Rangers, Green Berets, and on ships afloat worldwide - and they did so as leaders of honor and character. Other recent Greystone academy graduates are in Flight Training, Nuclear Submarine Training, Intelligence Officer School, Surface Warfare Officer School, The Basic School (Marine Corps) – they are living their dream honorably!
One of the more significant portions of the Greystone experience is the students exercising their leadership and decision-making skills. Students learn about the program operations and our expectations regarding their academic, athletic, and leadership performance directly from the Staff during the first semester. This portion of the program is extraordinarily time-consuming and manpower-intensive concerning individual counseling and team organizational meetings. However, the students soon learn, internalize, and practice a Greystone student's higher expectation. This is of extreme importance to their development as effective leaders because upon their return from the Christmas Holiday, the students assume the authority and responsibility for the Greystone program's day-to-day operation.
|I believe that you can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.
- Zig Zigler
It is imperative the students work as a team – all are assigned leadership responsibilities and therefore they must exercise what they have learned as leaders, teammates and followers to accomplish all tasks. The ultimate goal of the Greystone leadership program is that students demonstrate they can succeed as leaders on their own without guidance provided by the Greystone Staff – thus developing their self-confidence. They will try as a leader – sometimes they will succeed and sometimes they will fail – but failure only means they will try something else in order to succeed. As a leader, they will soon realize that giving up is not an option – success requires making decisions until they succeed. When other students depend upon them as their leader to succeed, this lesson and experience becomes priceless. Leadership is best learned, not necessarily by reading a book, but by putting it to the test and that means experience! This experience not only serves to empower the leader, but it also helps to bind the team closer together as a unit. By learning how to motivate and inspire their teammates, Greystoner’s also learn to help others to accomplish their established goals. Leadership by oneself is not leadership – it requires others who trust in the leader to succeed!
During each semester, students are selected from the Class to serve as team leaders and organizers. For example, students are assigned within the Administrative Chain of Command as the Class President or Logistics Officer. However, not all students will be awarded a leadership position during the Fall Semester. The students rotate positions during the Spring Semester to ensure that all students have a leadership responsibility. Having such responsibility forces students to work together as a team toward a common or shared goal. The "Team" concept serves Greystone well because it forces students to be involved and help each other. In so doing, the team improves its overall performance level – weakness is replaced with strength for both the team and the individual. This has application in all Greystone activities, including academics, athletics, and leadership.
Integrity is the commitment to do what is right regardless of the circumstances - no hidden agendas, no political games. do the right thing, period.
- Ken Carnes
At Greystone, emphasis is placed upon the development of an individual's moral compass. With students joining the team from around the country, not every candidate arrives with the same set of core values or an understanding of character and integrity – not every moral compass is necessarily aligned to true North. There is no "rule book" or "regulation manual" within Greystone – the students will receive that and more when they arrive at the academies. Instead, our focus is to develop a reliable "moral compass" that the candidate will come to rely on as part of his or her decision-making process. What it boils down to is the development of the ability to determine on their own what is "right and wrong" – and then motivate them to act on what is right because it is the right thing to do! This is not an easy undertaking for candidates who are 18 or 19 years old; however, success in this endeavor will help them immensely when they arrive at the academies and assume the responsibility as a leader. Once developed, some of our students refer to it as their "inner voice," and some even say it sounds much like the Director's voice; however, it serves as their guide, empowering them to become more confident decision-makers. Where they are going in their military career does not often afford them the luxury to create a study, take a poll, or read a report to decide on and then execute an effective plan of action. This is where a strong moral compass comes into play, and therefore, we spend a generous amount of time working with students to exercise their sense of character, which then refines their own ability to determine what is right or wrong – we align their moral compass. By dedicating much of the program to developing a higher sense of character, integrity, and honor, Greystone students are better prepared to make that seamless lateral transition into the academy lifestyle.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.
In addition to the formal Professional Development courses taught on Saturday mornings, students attend evening lectures as part of the Hatchett and Klocko Lecture series. Students hear from exceptional leaders of character and integrity who have experienced what it means to be a leader in the military and civilian world. In addition to the lectures, students can discuss with the speakers and ask questions – a vital key to our leaders' enhanced development. To supplement their professional development as future leaders, Greystone students are members of the Greystone Effective Communications program that meets every Friday. Through Effective Communication, students learn the art of public speaking. They can think critically and speak effectively – and then are required to utilize what they have learned into practice.
Lastly, Greystone students participate in Community Service. Through their involvement as teacher assistants in the local elementary school, Greystoners exercise their team building, leadership, and instructional skills. Their Community Service also enables students to learn the meaning of "servant leadership" and have the chance to exercise their leadership skills as a mentor and a team leader in an organized environment. This empowers each candidate to develop their self-confidence further and feel a strong sense of accomplishment. What they are doing for others really does matter and makes a difference.