Sunday, December 10, 2006

part 3

In the course of this semester, though we are locked into our class socially 99% of the time, there have been a few brief instances where we are allowed to interact with upperclassmen to benefit from their experience. Recently I talked to a senior who has been critical of my company’s procedures. My ears burned to hear dissension, but looking at it objectively opens doors to new ideas regarding leadership. He said that he is a firm believer in the saying, “Praise in public, punish in private”. One incident he cited was early in Red Phase, when a sophomore had forgotten to put his grommet on his cover when he came out to formation. The platoon leader quickly noticed and took action, sending him to the back of formation to simmer in the anticipation of punishment. However, higher members of the chain of command took notice, and proceeded to chew him out. The problem? “It is a horrible shame to be broken down in front of your peers,” he said. “At this point in the semester, Freshmen think of Upperclassmen as perfect cadets.” Breaking this quiet awe, he said, would make us lose respect for upperclassmen when we are supposed to show it the most. This poignant example, parable if you will, is useful in leadership studies, and I wish there were more in our courses.


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