A final lesson on character

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by bruno, May 20, 2014.

  1. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    "The question graduates must ask themselves: If not me, then who?"
    http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/final-lesson-character-article-1.1795644

    This oped by the father of one of the subjects of the book "Brothers Forever" is well worth considering. Almost a companion piece to this is a TED talk by a guy named Simon Sinek on leadership in business. http://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sine...m_medium=email&utm_content=button__2014-05-19

     
    Last edited: May 20, 2014
  2. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Yeah, I know that final quote is likely popular, but I don't find it all that accurate. We can ALL name folks who were promoted or earned medals that shouldn't have. I'm sure we can all think of an O-6 or a flag/general officer who has/had a reputation as a self-promoter. We know people who "play the game", check the right boxes for reviews and are generally known as "slashmates" (Academy term i never say used in the fleet) or sandbags. It's NICE to think medals are always given to the right people....

    but they aren't.

    And while some people given bonuses DO through people under the bus to get them, there are also many who earn those bonuses.

    I love the rose colored classes when verying service. In the end, I haven't seen a huge difference between the military and the corporate world.... with the exception of job security and automatic promotions (something you won't see in the private sector) and maybe less accountability (something you'd see less of in the military).

    BUT it does make a nice quote for the ill-informed.
     
  3. tradecraft

    tradecraft Member

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  4. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    Jaded.....or experienced?
     
  5. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Oh- I don't know I believe he's describing a pretty common situation and I think you don't have a lot of experience in the manufacturing world if you don't recognize just how quick the corporate culture is to throw employees under the bus for the sake of personal G&Os tied to the annual bonus. (And the annual bonus opportunity is pretty darn compelling- I can pretty much double my salary hitting my G&Os and my boss will do a lot better than that); and despite our corporate lip service about treating employees as "valued" or "key to success" or some other mantra, most of the corporate world (or at least the Corporate world that makes things as opposed to talks about things) lives and makes decisions using a very short sighted measure of success. A bad monthly P&L will trigger all kinds of stupid decisions that are exactly what he described- "giving bonuses to people who are willing to sacrifice others for their own gain"; and there are all kinds of short focus Capital projects and outsourcing that occur in order to make good personal numbers even at the expense of employees and often at the long term expense of the company. Wish I could say that his description is inaccurate- but in my opinion- based on 20+ years in the Army and 15 or so in the Civilian world as a Manager of various manufacturing comapnies in the US & Mexico, the concept of the leader "eating last" is pretty foreign to the corporate world compared to the Military where my experience was that most Commanders and Leaders really did try to shield their people, lead by example, take responsibility for their actions and protect the people underneath them who are executing their decisions when those decisions turn out badly.
    Does the Military have "toxic leaders"? Absolutley- no place and no organization is heaven. But the vast majority of military personenl and the institution itself- as least the operational portions of it- understand what makes good leaders, and strive to implement that in the organization. I wish I could say that is the case in the Corporate world but sadly- from my experience with a number of large manufacturing industries (Steel, Foundries, Auto, Bearing and my own); leadership and sacrifice of the type he describes are foreign concepts.
     
  6. MedB

    MedB Parent

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    But here's the thing... it doesn't have to be like that.

    Unlike unicorns and magic fairy dust, great organizations do exist. Further, they are thriving even as others have foundered. And if you are fortunate to have worked for and/or helped create an employer culture that places -real- value on doing right by folks, then you know exactly what I mean.

    You don't have to be the CEO to impact the culture... you just have to be willing to fight the good fight and put yourself out there. It's not easy. It's not quick. But taking ownership of what you -can- impact is a far more rewarding choice than lamenting the things you can't.

    If you can't change the entire organization's culture, then change your little piece of it and connect with others willing to do the same... and all of a sudden unicorns don't seem so implausible anymore.
     
  7. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

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    The bus driver gets you every time!

    [​IMG]
     
  8. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    If it weren't for people throwing others under the bus....how would the bus driver earn his/her bonus?:cool:
     
  9. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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