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What is your UTA score?

SELFRIDGE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mich. -- High performing organizations and teams are successful, constantly looking to improve their performance and searching for new ways to win. The cornerstone for that success starts and ends with people.

We are a culture obsessed with winning and we naturally associate winning with numbers and scores. For example, take the 2014 NFL Championship between the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos. It's not enough just to say that Seattle won the championship, we need to know what the score was as well--in this case, 43 to 8.

A score packs a lot of information in its number.  For example, we infer from the score that Seattle's offense was brilliant and Denver's offense was lackluster; we also infer from the score that Seattle executed its game plan and Denver could not; and we can definitely infer from the score that Seattle out-performed Denver. We can glean all of this information just from the score.

Scores are important numbers because this type of data can provide us with constant feedback for analysis. If you want to continuously improve each UTA - you need to know what your score is--your UTA score. You can devise your own tracking system - nothing too complicated-- simplicity works best--the old adage says - less is more. 

To help you out, here are five questions that you can used to help measure your UTA performance: what do I plan on accomplishing this UTA?; how do I intend to manage my time and training during this UTA?; what do I intend to learn or teach someone this UTA?; where can I be most impactful this UTA?; and am I having fun?  If not, what is my perspective, my attitude? On a scale of 1 to 10, you can measure your performance for each question: low (1 to 4); medium (5 to 7); or high (8 to 10)?  Your optimal composite target score should fall between 40 to 50 points. Let's calculate your May UTA score by answering the following performance questions together.

What do I plan on accomplishing this UTA?  This first question is critical. It indicates that your head is in the game, you are prepared and you have a plan for your training weekend. Jot down three to seven items on a checklist that you would like to accomplish during the UTA. This simple plan of attack will help give you focus, purpose and direction. Three to seven tasks are reasonable and realistic objectives.

How do I intend to manage my time and training during this UTA?  How you manage you time for training is critical if you want to successfully execute your UTA plan.   Basically, it boils down to effectively managing yourself. Time is a commodity that you cannot get back once it has expired.  Have a game plan ready when you come to drill and execute your plan.  "Lost time is never found again" - Benjamin Franklin.

What do I intend to learn or teach someone this UTA?  This is the relational aspect of your weekend. It should guide your approach when interacting with others. It is one of the most critical components to building and sustaining viable relationships. Don't think of learning or teaching from a lecturing or instructional approach, but rather from a mentoring and coaching perspective. The most important factor in your interaction with others is your ability to listen--effectively. Effective listening will help to determine situational communication and actions. "The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn't being said" - Peter Drucker.

Where can I be most impactful this UTA?  As an aspiring leader in your organization, you must strive to understand your organization's big picture and how you fit in. You need to learn how to anticipate.  "A leader is one who sees more than others see, who sees farther than others see, and who sees before others see." - Leroy Eimes. The key to being truly effective in your organization is knowing what your strengths are, constantly developing them and putting yourself in a position to operate from your dominate domain. You will quickly discover that putting your strengths to work in your organization not only improves your organization's readiness, but it helps you to continuously grow and develop as well. It's a win-win proposition because both you and your organization will reap the rewards.

Am I having fun? If not, what is my perspective, my attitude? This is the final question and it your own sanity checkpoint question. Am I having fun yet?  It has been proven that people enjoy more success when they enjoy what they do personally and professionally.  I'm not implying that every task has to enjoyable, but it is important to enjoy what you do, the place where you work and the people around you. If you are not and/or cannot have fun during UTA then is it possible that you are bringing too much baggage to drill with you? "If you don't like something, change it.  If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain." -  Maya Angelou

The questions laid out above are designed to provide you with a constant stream of feedback that you can use each drill to help you get the most out of your UTA. Developing and sustaining a successfully high-performing organization here at Selfridge is absolutely essential-- and your continual growth and development is a critical cornerstone of that success. The commitment to your success should be evident in the Wing's push to implement the new Enlisted Evaluation System (EES).

So, how did you do -- what was your UTA Score? What does your score say about your performance? Are you on offense or defense?  Discuss your score with a peer or a supervisor. More importantly, what can you do to improve upon your score? If in doubt -- you can come and talk to me.