Posted on Aug 20, 2014
MAJ Executive Officer
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Note about resumes, they do not show the negative but if you figure the good comes with the bad. In the Army it seems when you are very active in a unit ones increase ones exposure. I got active and did a lot of stuff but increased challenges also meant increased risk of failure. I got my ass chewed on occasion as part of my development but I did not put that on my resume. I saw others coast, do the minimum and seldom or never fail; they relied on the fact no failure meant hard to get a negative evaluation. When it is hard to find something negative about them on the evaluation, they would often get a glowing report. Seldom does anyone ask those who only do what they are told, what did you really do. Innovation does not arise from such work but it is still hard to criticize someone unless you truly account for their deeds. The practice of doing the minimum is often called “flying” or “operating under the radar” but it can though seldom backfire. There is no block for takes prudent risk which is likely why most of my Captain’s Career Course students would argue during the leadership block of instruction that the Army was risk adverse. Resilience by the Army’s definition was supposed to be the saving grace, by evaluating how one recovers from set-backs (failure). However the weekly stand downs and death by power point beat the resilient horse to death. Resilience as a result of endless sensitivity class, instead of ranges and road marches, resilience often resonates of concepts of weakness, sitting in a room talking about mental illness, and worst of all failure. Put resilient on an OER and watch what happens to that person’s career; even if it is in regards to a Commander who held his unit together during a tough deployment. With no consistent way to give a subordinate an evaluation that acknowledges his or her ability to overcome setbacks, or tell them they need improvement. Is this not a zero defect environment. The Army is actively seeking to root out failure of any type, no matter how remote but has failed to consider those without the experience of failure are suspect. So playing the odds of success and failure (the good with the bad), I wonder without the bad to omit from a resume what would have been the good that a below the radar career can contribute to a resume? I guess those that just fly below the radar just keep going until they retire, fail PT, or bust tape. I failed on occasion, got my ass chewed, but got a lot done, decided to transition to the National Guard, had a great resume and got a great job.

Disclaimer there are extremes: rock stars who almost never fail, who knock it out of the park daily (truly top individuals); then there are those who fail to try (true bottom) or are just extremely unfortunate to have been limited in some way (doomed).
Posted in these groups: K14817871 Resume11bcd87 Failure
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SFC Mark Merino
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These are some deep thought questions and I was wondering what information you used for your dissertation? If someone operates at their full potential but falls short of the leader's designs for them, are they truly a failure? Where is the line between pushing your subordinate to succeed vs. diminishing their self worth by a leader's perceived failure?
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There are still bad leaders, the question are good leaders born or raised (nature versus nurtured) comes to mind. I believe both but either way here come the ripples of consequence but will make that another post. So the answer to your first Question. I read over 350 peer reviewed articles, white papers, dissertations, and books to survey the existing body of knowledge. What I learned was the system was over complicated and built to repair perceived problems by those try to rebuild the Army in their own image. However some times diversity was a hot issue but was forced by a static of population. That fairness was a concern so attempts were made to make the system objective but what usually resulted was increased subjectivity or apathy by leaders. I am now preparing to revisit the dissertation so that I may finish it.
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Answer to your second question... depends, ideally no but usually according to the system takes on the tone of the evaluation that resulted.
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Answer to your third question with a zero defect attitude, its a gamble. If a leader is will to underwrite mistakes and effectively counsel the line is set just above the subordinates ability and coupling challenging tasks with familiar ones that need to be maintained (band of excellence).
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