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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Leadership Traits

Yesterday I promised someone I was going to post this, but failed.  I apologize.

While writing a one page paper for our UMass Lowell Continuing Ed class I was looking for a phrase I remembered from early in my time in the Air Force, regarding leadership.  I found it out on some blog.
I will attest that Air Force fighter pilot training is best encapsulated as a “fear, ridicule and sarcasm” system.
This is from a post on statistics under the title "The Sports Illustrated curse and regression to the mean" about Quarterback Bret Farve and a January 2008 edition of the magazine.

The comment I quoted had been prompted by this earlier unsourced comment
It’s generally accepted that positive feedback is the best way to get students to improve, but the US Air Force came to the opposite conclusion using data similar to the “Sports Illustrated” model. Of course students improve at an “average” rate. Sometimes performance fluctuates above that rate, sometimes below it. Flight instructors found that when they chewed out a student after a below average performance, they usually improved to average next time. When the student was complimented after an exceptionally good performance, they usually deteriorated closer to average the next time. The conclusion was negative feedback worked better than positive feedback.
I don't know the author of this particular comment, Mr Alan D McIntire, but I have asked a couple of people who might know, but they are on the Coast and thus won't respond in time for this post.

Regards  —  Cliff

  The movie was The Class and I thought the phrase aptly described the teaching style portrayed by the lead actor in the film, junior high school teacher François Marin, played by François Bégaudeau (who also wrote the book the film is based on).

1 comment:

drlin said...

Cliff, Your post is accurate if sad regarding pilot training. However, all the studies of child-rearing, (applicable to pilot training, education, management etc.)indicate that reinforcing the positive ("You did a good job cleaning your room this morning!") is much more effective, than reinforcing, hence strengthening, the negative ("You are a total slob!")The person's RAS will then reinforce "it is like you to be a slob, you would be crazy to keep your room clean." The RAS is there to keep you sane, which has nothing to do with reality. Sanity is maintaining the picture you have of yourself: I am a neat and clean person; I am a good fighter pilot; I am a good parent; or "I am a slob; I don't know how to fly a fighter jet effectively, etc." Sorry, but I have a lot of evidence that Mr. Aland D. McIntire is wrong! Cheers! Dr. Lin Bothwell, USAFA Class of 1964