Posted on Dec 15, 2015
COL Mikel J. Burroughs
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How many individual service members have come up with great innovative ideas while serving and your leadership or another leader has taken your idea, implemented it, and taken the credit for it?

RP Members I've seen way too much of this in the Army during my time! What about other service branches? Share your stories!

True leaders will give credit where credit is due and they will create a stronger team - a Toxic Leader will steal your ideas and take credit themselves!
Edited >1 y ago
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Responses: 91
SFC Craig Dalen
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It's very sad that this happens way too much in the military. I tend to implement my own ideas without permission which has gotten me praise and in trouble but I would rather ask for forgiveness than permission. This is a part of leading, setting the example and initiative.
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COL Mikel J. Burroughs
COL Mikel J. Burroughs
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SFC Craig Dalen Absolutely - very good point!
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1SG Claims Assistant
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This has happened to me over and over again.
But I choose to see the glass as half-full; my ideas were good enough to implement. I am glad to contribute, and don't need accolades to do what needs to be done.
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PO1 Kevin Arnold
PO1 Kevin Arnold
>1 y
It hurts though, especially if it ends up getting relieved of duty.
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Sgt Martin Querin
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SP5 Jerry Mucha
SP5 Jerry Mucha
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Good point 1SG Healey, and you have a good attitude about it, but somewhere along the line it is something that could affect your promotion ability and the lack of these accolades could affect it.
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1SG Claims Assistant
1SG (Join to see)
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SP5 Jerry Mucha - I've got no shortage of accolades. I'm just saying that the more important thing is that the good idea gets implemented. I'd rather have that than recognition any day.
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SFC Instructor
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I was just talking to one of my soldiers about this this morning! As I picked him up from his house at 0535 for 0630 pt, he was sharing with me one of the ideas that he shared with his squad leader. His squad leader told him not to worry about it, then was using the idea a few days later. Do I think it's right? No. Will I address the squad leaders in the form of an NCOPD? Yes. I believe that the more NCOs that become aware that this is toxic, the better. As our army evolves, we need smarter, better leaders for tomorrow's future that let their soldiers evolve into leaders that have those critical thinking abilities, not leaders that put that wall in front of them.
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SFC Instructor
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>1 y
@SFC Don Ward that is an excellent question..... aside from the fact that aviation is a small community and that we've all been young new leaders, I was close with my soldiers at the time that said incident occurred. From PVT to SGT within my section, I did what I could to provide the best leadership possible for my section to be able to flourish. You would cut neither down. Instead, you find answers for both. I know that's not always possible given that we are required to maintain a high optempo most of the time due to mission requirements, but I've always managed to advise and mentor even the lowest man/woman on the totem pole within my platoon. Some of the most excellent leaders throughout my career have exemplified this for me and have always taught me to "Lead from the front-Audie Murphy"
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1SG Michael Farrell
1SG Michael Farrell
>1 y
My approach was fairly simple in uniform and continued through my civilian career. I encouraged my soldiers to do their jobs to the best of their abilities, and if they thought they had a better idea, try it out. Results were generally great, and always interesting. Did the same thing as a HR Director and Executive Director of a major nonprofit. (Both of which were a lot like being a First Sergeant.) The way I would explain it was that I needed to select them, see that they were trained, and then still do their jobs, what did I need them for? As for ensuring that they got credit when it was due, I made a point of it in conversations with my bosses, on EERs, and award recommendations. More importantly, if one of my soldiers or my civilian staff ever was doing the right thing and making an effort to try something that went horribly wrong, I took the blame. Cohesion, loyalty and trust have to start somewhere, and if leaders can't step up and go the extra mile to develop and empower soldiers and protect them, who will?
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SP5 Jeannie Carle
SP5 Jeannie Carle
>1 y
1SG Michael Farrell - Appreciate your comment!!! In my unit (2ag 2 InfDiv) in So Korea - we got "attaboys" for nifty ideas that worked! SOMEtimes (though rarely in AG) we got recommended for an ARCOM. Our top CDR didn't believe in those for "clerks", so I had to wait for mine when I got back Stateside, working at PCF. The "Manchu Certificate of Achievement" I received from a unit I helped so much means almost more to me than the ARCOM.
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SP5 Jerry Mucha
SP5 Jerry Mucha
>1 y
I appreciate your attitude and leadership on this question.
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