Wednesday, December 17, 2008

the nature of the beast...

I'm learning slowly to play army politics. What I mean by that is, I am coming to the realization that everyone has different problem sets, and while each furthers the same goal (winning the war) sometimes they are at odds. For example, a unit you're with may want capability X. If you are capable of providing capability X then they might want you to perform that mission. But, what if you're like me--a leatherman of tools which can provide capability X poorly, but capabilities Y and Z extraordinarily well? Do you give up Y and Z to do X, or do you try and find a place where you can do Y and Z and thus, fully leverage your capabilities to fit the wider goal of winning the war?

That is the situation I find myself in now, working for a unit that seems very well run, and has some really good Officers and NCO's working for them. Their problem set requires capability X, which I can provide, but which is not my primary capability. Doing so would render my other capabilities useless. Now, that puts me (proponent of capabilities Y and Z) at odds with another Officer (who I consider a good Officer who is only trying the best to solve his problem set) who wants capability X. And thus, politics.

When I was in school, we jokingly used to have to tell upperclassmen when they were wrong in answering a question, "That is correct Sir, however, there is a better answer." I thought it had no training value, until now. Telling someone senior to you that he is correct, but that there is a better way to do it is a skill that I am not very good at...but will soon become well trained in.


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