[December 17, 2021] And I still do. I continue to encourage and promote the most competent people I know. I “go to bat” for those who show promise, those that have the right attitude, motivation, willingness to work hard, and smarts to get the job done. I did this as an Officer in the U.S. Army, and I still do it today.
I give them a hand up whenever I get the chance. If I know about an event, opportunity, network contact, mentor, or anything that might advance their career, I tell them about it, and I help them (whenever I can) over short-term hurdles. Never did I miss the chance to help.
On the other hand, those that did not show promise had a nasty attitude, failed to show respect to others or me, or were just plain lazy; I consciously kept them in the dark.
I asked myself, “Who deserves better treatment, the hard worker or the lazy slob?” The answer was easy. I still do that today. It was a matter of priority for me. I had only so much time. The best Soldiers got my help the most.
I’ve been told what I did was unfair, that somehow I’m discriminating against people. I was asked to treat everyone equally. And, the obvious question asked of me was, “Why don’t you treat every person the same?” Well, I don’t treat everyone the same for many reasons. But let’s not confuse reality with vague concepts like “equality” or “fairness.”
During my career as an Army officer, I ran across a wide range of people with various skills, knowledge, and drive (motivation). If they were serious about being a good Soldier and had the motivation and right attitude, regardless of their abilities, I helped them.
That was my definition of being fair. But I never treated everyone the same. No one does. If you think you treat everyone the same, you are lying to yourself and others. I tell the truth, and sometimes that truth is brutal and prejudiced.
The higher the rank I obtained, the easier it was to help others. Yet, I gave more opportunities to the best Soldiers. And I also went out of my way to show everyone the best way to succeed. If a Soldier showed extra promise by following my advice, I would lend them help. But the worst thing a Soldier could do would be to expect to get something they had not worked for.
Today, I still go out of my way to assist others, but only those I think deserve it.
Please read my new book, “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” at Amazon (link here).