|Is this what it takes?|
Photo credit: Not Worth Mentioning
They shunned boldness for fear of making an attention-grabbing mistake. The prevailing culture of 1/1, at least among the officers and senior NCOs, was careerist: laugh at the colonel's jokes, don't get anyone hurt, and stay under the radar.Later, he describes what made his own company commander different:
The question on all our minds was "Why Bravo? [Fick's company]" Captain Whitmer was too self-effacing to say it, but I knew the answer. Among the battalion's company commanders, he was the iconoclast, the outcast stepchild who trained his Marines to be good instead of look good. He pushed us hard, questioned authority, and couldn't even feign obsequiousness. But when the first real mission called, the battalion turned to him.As in the past, I hesitate to compare the chemistry world to the military. However, when I think about how to evaluate a leader or a manager from below, I often think about the same criteria: 1) Does this person care more about his or her career than those of the people under him or her? Are they going along to get along? and 2) are they doing their best to advance the training and the careers of the people they are in charge of and/or responsible for?
From a grunt's perspective (that's me), it must be so hard for a line supervisor to know when to push back against The Powers That Be. Too hard, and you're going to get tuned out. Too soft, and you'll ultimately be the person on the right up there. At the same time that you're pushing back, you have to make sure that you're good at your primary job, that you're not opening yourself up to reminders to stay in your own lane and worry about the problems in front of you.
I dunno -- just the early morning musings of a youngish chemist.