Keeping it all in check

As a leader you like to imagine you make a positive impact on those within your sphere of influence.  In the past I have discussed the impact of words and their consequences. Every once in a while you hear from a Marine you knew and are reassured you might have done something half right:

 I used your class on the promotion warrant from your blog. My Marines loved it! They said it’s one of the best classes they ever received.”

Or perhaps one of your old Marines is now an instructor at The Basic School and reports back  a conversation overheard between Warrant Officers: 

“America’s 1stSgt is a machine. He’s very intimidating…”

One of my NCOs recently returned from the Sergeant’s Course he attended for six weeks. He had been assigned to write a paper on mentorship and based it on me. My chest swelled with pride believing I had such a profound influence on a Marine NCO. This swelling quickly spread to my neck and head as well.  

It was the worst grade he received during the entire course. I deflated like a whoopee cushion. 

And to think hubris was nearly within my grasp! 

America’s 1stSgt

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  1. Well, here’s a tiny bit of praise that can hopefully puff that ego back up. 😉 There was a discussion about “The Walking Dead” going on at LibraryThing (a book sharing and random conversation website), and when one lady complained about the TV show, I instantly thought of your article about the show. I linked to your blog entry and this is what she said:

    “Love that article! He touches on a lot of the stupid things the characters do.”

    I will continue to shove your blog in everyone’s faces. Once, I also quoted your Zombified Christmas carols, and everyone thought they were “weird.” Mission accomplished!

  2. I once told one of the kids:

    “Airman! You will polish that water fountain until my reflection looks so f**king beautiful it gives me a hard-on!”

    So our squadron commander comes strolling along a while later and spies our Airman hard at work, scrubbing away at that water fountain.

    “Getting that fountain clean enough, Airman?”

    “Not until MSgt B gets a hard-on, Sir!”

    …we all have a legacy to live with.

  3. The problem, A1stS, wasn’t your leadership; it was his writing. Just sayin’.

    I often discuss your writing with my children, because I find it a useful counterweight to the politically correct, relativistic, remarkably uninformed stuff they get at their schools.

    My favorite leadership moment was when my high schooler said that one of her friends is just like I must have been in high school. “A nerd?” “Well, yeah, but an awesome, charismatic nerd.” That’s when you know you’re making a difference.

  4. Great job Top…You’ll be right up there with Chesty in Corps legends.
    The NCOs in my platoon came up with a thing if I wasn’t around…”What would CRD do?”
    I had key fobs makes up with that on it and gave them to any of my Soldiers when the did a good job. I even had the CO and BN staff coming up to me and asking what they had to do to earn a key fob.

  5. A1stSgt:

    My bet is that the paper grader was heart and minded to the ol’ Army/Navy cabal that just plain resents the very existence of the USMC.

    They’re still out there.


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