Sunday, July 20, 2008

If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It

Throughout the realm of analogous phrases, this particular one has a special one in my heart. Obviously, mechanics are here in the combat zone to do just that, fix things; however, until a piece of equipment breaks down, or deadlines, then there isn't much for them to do. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on who you are), this is seldom ever the case since both the geographic locale and over usage of vehicles and equipment constantly require repair and/or modifications. On a similar note, this metaphor has also guided my approach to managing the motor pool. Believe it or not, there are several procedures involved in the repairment of the Army's equipment. Orders, tracking information, accountability documentation, diagnoses, and the like lead to mounds of paperwork that I and other members of my staff must consolidate in order to provide the types of services with which we are tasked. Many of these processes are set in stone, while others may vary depending on one's management style. All of the individuals under me have been over here for roughly 8 months, and for many of them this is their second or third deployment. Therefore, one would expect them to be well versed in their daily activities and duties. So, why would a newly installed, inexperienced Lieutenant want to change any of the processes and procedures they have become so accustomed to? I have asked myself that question a hundred times over and I keep deducing the same answer every time... because he's an egotistical, self-aggrandizing, prideful, moron! Hopefully, none of you think this is a description of myself. Which is why I have maintained the "IF IT AIN'T BROKE, DON'T FIX IT" mentality towards my job. These people have been here long enough to be very comfortable with the work they are doing and the manner in which they do it. For me to come in and try to change that could either ruin the good things or exacerbate the bad. This is not to say that if something looks down right out of place, that I will continue to let it be the case. I know wrong when I see it and will correct what needs to be corrected; but for now, I believe I have fallen in on a great, hard-working group of soldiers and a supervisory staff that is almost unmatched in its expertise. I look forward to telling you about them in the upcoming months and hopefully my time spent here will be rewarding, both for me and for them.Take care.


Anonymous said...

Hey man!!
It sounds like you are a man who truly understands leadership. Leaving the unbroken alone is at times one of the hardest things you can do as a leader. True leaders lead only when they need to. Thanks for being over there for all of us - we can never say thanks enough.

Anonymous said...

By the way, I've read all of your other posts. Truly fascinating stuff - keep it coming! Thanks for keeping us updated. We will continue to pray for you and L. We look forward to our next El Charro meal with you all!

Claire said...

Sounds like a great approach Jesse! Matt arrived at Taji yesterday so I'm sure you'll get an e-mail sometime soon!