The Good Idea Fairy

[May 18, 2023]  As I put pen to paper (yes, the old-fashioned way), Memorial Day is only a few days away.  I’m lucky to have served some incredible folks during my time during my military time, in peace and war, and under some extreme circumstances.  This means taking the good with the bad, learning that the human way is never perfect and that getting our military mission done was often messy and convoluted.

Everyone I’ve ever known knows this, and, well, that is the way of the world.  A few of these military heroes were also, as I called them, good idea fairies.  At the last possible moment, they would come up with an idea that would throw a monkey wrench into our military decision-making apparatus.  Frustrating?  Absolutely!  Comical?  Sometimes.

I would always ask myself, where were they days ago when we asked for new ideas?

I learned not to get angry with them or frustrated or unhappy with their last-minute input.  Ultimately, they are my comrades and might have something important and worth saying.

They fought alongside me to “get er done,” and, come hell or high water; they would do anything for you.  They would give you the shirt off their back, they were always there when you needed them, and we got along great (most of the time).

Coming up with new ideas, just as a detailed, deliberate, strategically planned decision is being put into action, sometimes puts me back on my heels.  I had to start over or take time to incorporate their new ideas into our upcoming mission.

They were still good idea fairies.  Darn it.


Please read my books:

  1. “55 Rules for a Good Life,” on Amazon (link here).
  2. “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” on Amazon (link here).
Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

17 thoughts on “The Good Idea Fairy

  1. Doc Blackshear

    “It Takes More Than Good Ideas …”
    Sure does great to have another look at Good Idea Fairies. Thank you Gen. Satterfield. Big fan here of your website for many years. Today’s article is one of the best. Keep up the great works you are doing here and with helping our military veterans. Enjoy Memorial Day and I’m sure you are giving a speech or two.

    1. Douglas R. Satterfield Post author

      Thank you, Doc. I will not be giving any Memorial Day speeches this year because of my recent surgery. I still cannot get into regular clothes and I’m sure that being the main speaker wearing pajamas might not go over well with the organizers. Be sure to come out to local Memorial Day services.

      1. Julia

        Hi Gen. Satterfield, it is always good to see you make comments here – showing us you read the comments section/leadership forum.

        1. Bernie

          Hi Julia, this is why we all come here, not just because we are fans but because we want to learn something. You can always get something good from reading this blog. I love it and those that write comments here are also those you can rely upon to tell you honestly that your ideas are good or, yes, sometimes they say what I write is stupid. Got to have a thick skin but they are always polite.

      2. Eddie Gilliam

        Excellent advice. Speedy recovery from your surgery

  2. Idiot Savant

    Very funny. Oh, and yes frustrating. My kids are like this. They are all good idea fairies. I should know. Once we agree on a vacation trip, they give us good reason to change it, of course, all at the last minute.

  3. Liz at Home

    Excellent article, Gen. Satterfield. You made me smile today. And in your Daily Favorites, you have AGAIN, The Babylon Bee. Oh, I love the warning label. Keep up your wonderful website for us knuckle draggers living in flyover country. BTW, my husband thinks you great as well.

    1. Fred Weber

      Yo married! Rats. Thought I might have a chance. Just kidding. Love your comments.

  4. Yusaf from Texas

    I know a bunch of these good idea fairies. My wife is one of them. I just smile.

    1. Desert Cactus

      I’d just smile too if I were you. If she is also from “TEXAS”, the great state, then she is probably carrying a firearm openly and might just use it to extract a little justice on you. Ha Ha Ha….. stay safe Yusaf.


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