that the best leaders are decisive, able to approach issues collab- oratively and understand how to ask the right questions.

“You know, instead of taking a basic answer for ‘Why are we doing things this way?’ they were able to ask why and then continue to ask why, until they really got to the root of the problem.” She said that things will likely be messy as the Army is planning for the future of work, and that’s just part of the process. “Now is not the time for people to be standing on the sidelines criticizing the mess—now is the time for everyone to be in the mess with one another and figuring out together, so that we can move forward in a better way.”

THE SQUAD MENTALITY For a case study on the importance of effective teamwork and communication, look no further than one of the Army’s smallest and most storied unit types—the special forces team. Soldiers in those units, particularly in combat situations, have to be able to communicate effectively with every other member of the unit, no matter their rank, position or title. If the radios are down and the chopper is not coming, the alternative is not to just sit there and wait. Soldiers have to think on their feet and they must be empowered to create mission success.

So, what is the thing that allows a unit to operate that way? “Tey have a level of trust that is unmatched. Tey are vulnerable with one another. Tey are capable of saying to one another, ‘Tis isn’t working for me. I can’t do this. I need you to help me. We need to do this together,’ without fear of judgment, and with the expectation that we all need to be honest with one another—or face potentially dire consequences,” she said. Of course, most of the Army’s work doesn’t take place in that extreme environment, but Muskopf said Soldiers and civilians alike can aim to be just as cohesive and effective.

“Tat takes a lot of self-awareness and self-accountability, and— how many times have you seen the ‘martyr on the mountain,’ you know, that person who will never accept help? ‘I’ve got it.’ But in reality, and in those kinds of teams, you can’t afford to do that. Tere will be negative repercussions. You have to really know, ‘Here’s what I need help with. Can we do this together? Yes, great, let’s go.’ ”

“So, it’s not the proximity that matters,” Muskopf said. “What are we doing to build the cohesion on teams? Are we looking at team members as people who bring skills, values, ideals, personal- ity traits, into the environment that make the team better? Maybe there’s one person on the team who’s always the comedian, and

74 Army AL&T Magazine Winter 2022 REAL, VIRTUAL WORK

Elyse Merkel, Dion Collins, Ed Carter, Alaina Farooq. Matt Fohner, Kim Yee and Eric Mscicz, clockwise from top left, participated in the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Philadelphia Division virtual event, “Collaboration in a Remote Environment,” on May 25. Panelists shared their experiences with telework, and spoke about collaborating, building and managing teams virtually, communication techniques, virtual meetings, mentorship, technical development and more. (Photo by Brentan Debysingh, Naval Surface Warfare Center Philadelphia Division)

can make everything light when it needs to be, and maybe there’s one person who’s excellent at organization and keeping everything moving and timely. How do we figure those things out? How can we do that more purposefully? Let’s look at the teams we’re a part of, whether we get to choose the members or not, and figure out those strengths that add value to the team.”

CONCLUSION Ultimately, Muskopf believes that the COVID-19 pandemic has created unique opportunities for growth in the federal govern- ment and private industry alike. “I used to work with a Navy

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92