Always 70 and Sunny
Always 70 and Sunny

2023 Leadership Challenge: The Rotating Q


Lots of guys have provided their 2023 Challenges, both individual and group. Thank you. I have two private challenges so far that people have shared with me. Good stuff.

I’ll add one for the group. The Purpose of F3 is to “… plant, grow, and serve …for the invigoration of male community leadership.” We do this through all 5 principles. Dredd and OBT selected principles that are very simple and entirely intentional. Each man should strive to live all 5 F3 principles every week. This includes one easily overlooked: live the Rotating Q. 

Some guys Q all the time. Some guys almost never. Let’s spread the love and leadership in 2023. We have all heard the phrase about teaching other men to fish…

This is not a dig on specific guys Qing. For example, we celebrated an accomplishment this week with Doozy’s 100 Qs. That shows incredible dedication and a ton of work to prepare 100 times. Lots of hard work goes into each Q (and lots of Mankillers). In particular, Doozy showed an enormous willingness to post at certain AOs when only 1-2 other guys are likely to be there. That’s dedication. T-claps. It’s not easy to post by yourself.

That said, with only 5 principles for F3 (“led by a rotating Q who participates in the workout”), it surprises YHC how many AOs have the same 2-3 people lead a majority of or almost all of the workouts. We should challenge ourselves (and challenge each other) to better achieve the purpose of F3.

When there are only 3-4 attendees at an AO, there is only so much we can do until we get more attendees (a separate issue that lots of guys are chatting about how to address). With 7-15 guys regularly posting at many AOs, having the same guys lead most weeks is overkill, limits the growth of the other men, and misses the point of how F3 builds men who can reinvigorate their Community. 

Dredd pulled idea of the rotating Q from the US Army. Other services use the same idea. Over 250 years, these organizations have learned a thing or two about developing new guys into veteran leaders. The rotating Q is a concept rooted in asking a newbie to take on a small task, almost any small task. This is often described as a reward or sign of a leader’s confidence in a young soldier, sailor, airman, or Marine. It is an opportunity for that person to grow and lead in a relatively controlled environment. How badly can one sailor ruin PT through poor leadership? Usually, not too badly. Sometimes, it can be bad. But, guys learn. “Push yourself” means more than “push yourself physically.” My nephew, a 20-year old Marine, took on leading PT recently. He did fine; not awesome (so he says). However, to the sergeant, lieutenant, or captain leading a young person who improves regularly by leading PT, maybe soon that person can lead others in more complex, “real” work. Or, that’s the concept. The downside is that an officer or NCO who does not delegate small tasks, such as leading PT, will struggle to develop his team over time. His new guys will only have learned to follow the officer’s specific direction. They will have missed an opportunity to grow into leading on their own. This will result in failure for the troops and the unit (and obviously failure for the leader as well). 

This is one area the Russian Army is struggling in Ukraine – every man looks to the head guy for almost all direction. Most recruits do not learn to do anything on their own. The system discourages leading. The men do what they are told. When the Ukrainians kill the head guy, the Russian team cannot continue. Ukraine’s military knows this, so they target the head guy. Some of you may remember last spring when the Ukrainians were counting the number of Russian generals killed in combat. That was intentional. From Ukraine’s perspective, the “single leader” approach is an excellent way for the Russians to lead their army to failure. By contrast, the Ukrainians (and the US) teach “next man up” through incrementally developing talent. That is F3’s approach. But, only if we develop leaders who actually do it.

The intention of the Rotating Q at F3 is that as a man becomes better at leading a workout, he will grow more confident, comfortable, and competent at leading anywhere, and that will translate to life / family / work outside the workouts. In short, the purpose is to train men during the First F to lead outside F3.

52 weeks a year means each AO meets 52 times. Simple math: 10 pax at an AO on average and the math comes out to about 5 Qs per man. No Toll, RAMM, Spider Run, SOT, FW, Hoedown, Gridiron, Rock N Roll, Currahee all have attendance in this range. Some other AOs are just about there.

Getting specific for 2023, for those of you who are the Site Qs, this is an opportunity to recruit, plant, and grow additional guys to Q (and probably specifically ask some guys to downshift / share the load). Examples:

Punisher: we have let one guy Q 21 times. Those of us who attend Punisher need to help Chum.
Wednesday Broga: The PAX is learning the lingo, and recently, we have started to give Last Call a breather.
First Watch: a different Q almost every week, rotating through at least 14 different Qs in the last 20 or so weeks. Living the dream.
The Clinic: With the Site Q changing the day of the week, time, time zone, and location, this a challenge.

Some of the other AOs…same guys signing up, same guys lead, and pretty soon, we look like the Russians. Challenge yourself to recruit others to Q. If you are not signing up to Q, set a goal to step up and challenge yourself in 2023.

Let’s live the principles. F3’s mission is not for a handful of guys to lead all the time – the mission is teaching other men so that they are ready to lead.


About Author

Comments have been shifted to Slack. Please post all comments on backblasts in Slack.