Officers, Making Simple Sh*t Hard

America’s Sergeant Major sent me the hilarious picture below:

And it underlies a very simple point that I learned through trial and error: don’t get in the way of your guys. Generally, when things are running, I step back and let them run. There is a temptation in leadership to tinker.

As my first Division Chief told me: perfect is the enemy of good. He was right and we had a very good division.

13 thoughts on “Officers, Making Simple Sh*t Hard

  1. CP: Yup, extra time does not mean time to tinker.
    Book: It does not, however, apply to blogging. You must blog.

  2. We all had a saying in the Corps “good enough for government work”. I took it to mean that what we fixed ran, would not self destruct and could take the beating it was going to get. It may have not been a by the book repair but it worked….. Officers tended to just want things to look pretty, they didnt have a clue as to what we did to the particular piece of equipment.

  3. I’m sure we can improve on that t-shirt. Let’s organize a study group and design team.

    Yes, I was a staff officer, how did you know?

  4. DaddyBear: Or you could get the shirt!
    SgtM: it was not by design, but I knew a lot of our equipment and reports as well as our enlisted guy. Some were not so pleased about it, but I had written many of the same reports years before.
    Scott: No kidding.
    Richard: Ha ha, staff officers. They know their way around. The cubicles. We will need an oversight committee for our design team. And a ORM assessment.

  5. As my first Platoon Sergeant told me 23 years ago, “Sir, don’t confuse your rank with my experience.” Words I always tried to live by. Though now a days, there aren’t too many NCO’s running around with more experience than I have. My CSM and I joined the Army a week apart, though I always tell him it’s your battalion to run, I just command it.

  6. This reminded me of one of my favorite bosses when I worked at Ford World Headquarters many years ago. He went out into the field to the plants as a consultant and as soon as he got there he handed out his card to the autoworkers he was there to help. His title on the card read: “I’m the sonofabitch from the home office with all the answers.”

    After a big laugh they all got down to business and solved the problems beautifully.

      • The “Hard Body” in the photo is Master Chief Hershel Davis, USN-Retired. He is a former Navy Seal and has been “gunnin’ and runnin'” since he retired in 1993!
        He revised the T-shirt by adding the Air Force to the back. Yes, they were not around in 1775 but he felt they earned their place. It was a “command” decision! He said: “Put the Air Force on there!” The only committee member was him!

        Hoo! Yah!
        H. Davis II

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