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Episode 127 S4-3

Setting a Tone


Special Guest:

Battle for the South Ch 3

L. Douglas Hogan

In this chapter of Battle for the South, Master Sergeant Bennet catches up to Star and Sean on the river boat. In order to get the information he needs he must establish a tone immediately. Here to talk with us about establishing a tone, what that means and how you can apply it to your survival leadership qualities is L. Douglas Hogan, author of Oath Takers and The Tyrant Series.

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Establishing a tone refers to setting up the parameters and style of leadership based upon the people you are leading. A leader must be able to adapt the tone to fit the situation they are in. The specific tone must be a fluid concept so that the leader can adapt and overcome any circumstance. The people you lead are not automatons, a leader needs to flex because different people will respond to various motivators.


You must find out what tone will be appropriate for your team. What will the team respect you for? What leadership style do they respond to best?


There are many benefits to setting an appropriate tone for your team. You will maximize the team's effectiveness and cohesion. Without a solid tone you do not have a team. You have a group of people acting on more of an independent basis, each going their own direction because there is no leader to follow.


People are either naturally born leaders or become them when they are thrust into the moment. The leadership seed that can blossom in that moment can create a very powerful leader. Remember that learning and doing are two very different things. You can read all day long but until you have to apply those concepts through communication and diplomacy you really don't know what it is like to lead.


There are disadvantages the leader must endure to maintain the tone. The specific disadvantages differ with the tone that is set. Hitler and Gandhi both set tones. They were very different tones. One was a dictator using fear and one used peace to protest his concerns to the British Government. The dictator can only maintain his tone when he can use fear to ensure control. Once that fear is gone the dictator must face some very hard consequences. Although Gandhi made many self-sacrifices to peacefully protest, he earned the respect of many followers who gave him control because they respected him.


In a supervisory role you need to have fairness and firmness across the board. You are not going to treat individuals with different needs the same way. If someone has antisocial tendencies you will have to gently motivate them while someone with passive aggressive tendencies will need a firmer hand.


If you lead, rather than dictate or manage, people will want to help you accomplish your goals because they respect you and want to join in your success. It becomes a rewarding experience for both the leader and the supporter. Treat your followers with respect and help them achieve their goals.


A long term survival situation will require a mix both military and civilian leadership skills. Military tones of leadership styles have been developed through trial and error over centuries. Once you agree to join you sign yourself over the United States Government, agreeing to be ruled by a combination of dictatorship and leadership. Rank allocates authority over another individual but the individual's character will decide if he becomes the leader his is supposed to be or not.


In survival groups, most decisions always default back to the leader but these groups are usually lacking in a command structure. In most military settings when a leader is lost it is clearly understood through rank who will be the next leader. That clear understanding needs to be established in a survival group as well, far in advance of a disaster. Everyone in the group needs to understand the process and succession. Everyone should be part of a rank and file system and receive leadership training. You never know when you will be called upon to lead. However, you must never outwardly show a sign to a leader when you are in a survival situation. Knowing who is leading the group is a big advantage for an enemy.


The leader of the group needs to know everyone's skills and put the right person in charge of each task required. They must know how to delegate resources appropriately. Trust in you supporters to do their job and that trust will be reciprocated.


In situations of distress there is a tone known as Command Presence. This concept is taught in the Use of Force Continuum by correctional facilities and law enforcement agencies. Command presence refers to the ability to step into any given situation and be recognized as the voice of authority. The person in uniform, whether that be a police uniform or a designer suit, is recognized immediately as the commanding person. This is established because of the way they hold themselves and often solely because of their attire.  Often times their presence can be enough to de-escalate stressful situations.


In a long term survival situation this command presence can be hard to gain through uniform identification. The person with the command presence must be recognized and respected or they must possess the auditory skills that can stop people immediately. There are many ways to establish a command presence: violence, trust, or a track record of solid decision making are a few examples.


It is a tricky business deciding what tone to set for each situation. Follow your instincts. A good leader will anticipate the needs of her supporters and adjust. Learn what motivates them and how you can use that to get goals accomplished.


Once very important thing to remember when you are in this leadership role is a leader should never lose personal emotional control. Freaking out or blowing up doesn't inspire others to follow you. A leader also needs to make decisive decisions. Listen to your supporters and make a solid choice.


Please feel free to leave tips and pointers on creating a MAG (Mutual Assistance Group) below.





Introducing No Light Beyond


Mason Loss was a single father, separated from his seven year old daughter Lydia Nicole, when the United States was suddenly devastated by several massive coordinated EMP attacks. Having sustained life threatening injuries in his search for her, he awakens from a two-year coma to find that the world is not the way he left it. To make situations worse, Yellowstone has erupted and expelled an ancient microscopic organism that threatens the course of human survival. Now, Mason must traverse the ashy suburban landscape in search of his now nine-year old daughter. Along the way, he discovers a far more terrifying enemy than humankind can safely manage.

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Battle for the South Ch 3

L. Douglas Hogan

L. Douglas Hogan is a U.S.M.C. veteran with over twenty years in public service. Among these are three years as an anti-tank infantryman, one year as a Marine Corps Marksmanship Instructor, ten years as a part-time police officer, and seventeen years working in state government doing security work and supervision. He is the best-selling author of “Oath Takers”, has authored four books in a series titled Tyrant, and is working on the sixth a final book of the series. He has been married over twenty years, has two children, and is faithful to his church, where he resides in southern Illinois.

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