The primary responsibilities of a CWO are to rank the progression of each soldier says Robert Speyer based on “the four D’s”:
A CWO will then report to the CO about the progression, the welfare, and the morale of the soldiers within the regiment. This mid-management position is essential to the well-being of the soldiers. Sometimes managing hundreds of soldiers at a time, Speyer sought out to build a relationship with each. Part of his success is due to how involved he was with each individual soldier. For example, soldiers would spend two weeks at training camps together where Speyer would evaluate them. This among other drills would foster that relationship development. The soldier’s trainings would give them the opportunity to develop teamwork skills and encourage comradeship.
Speyer believes that part of what made him a memorable leader within the Queen’s Own Rifles was his understanding of merit. For instance, last Wednesday, the regiment organized a barbeque for the soldiers to show their appreciation for their dedication and hard work. Rewarding subordinates builds up morale of the organization and individuals within the organization. This pushes the individuals to work hard making Robert Speyer’s job of rank progression assessing and rank promotion giving easier.
Although Speyer never explicitly said it in the interview, it was obvious that he feared failure. His greatest critic is himself. He competed with himself and wanted to be the best leader he could be for his soldiers. Therefore, he would check-in with the CO regularly to give and receive updates. More importantly, he would talk to other CWO’s for guidance. All CWO’s would have to deal with similar challenges; who to promote how to address soldiers, how to provide progression resources.
Being his greatest critic, Robert Speyer took a variety of small yet effective decisions to improve his leadership skills. Initially, Speyer did not enjoy public speaking. By getting in front of large crowds to give presentations and demonstrate drills, Speyer built up his confidence. He gradually attended more functions and expanded his network within and outside the military industry. As a result, Speyer became much more present in his industry contributing to his success in all positions.