Saturday, October 14, 2017

Hello Hello, but I must go!

It's been fun, but it's time to hang up the hat on this blog, for a lot of reasons:

It's not fun anymore
Yup, it's not. I used to really enjoy writing articles and sharing. Of late though, it's just not engaging enough. because I never really built that big of an active following here. I've met a few awesome people, but of late the new contacts have trickled off. Also...

I don't have that much time anymore
Literally. Like, I am always busy. My current job keeps me crazy busy, and I've been doing more stuff for myself lately in terms of education. That alone sucks up my time, plus my kids are growing up and I want to spend more time with them. I've also noticed that...

I get nothing much out of this blog anymore
That may seem crass, but it's true. I get nothing out of blogging now. When I blog for Da Tech Guy, I get paid. When I send articles to USNI, I get the chance to win money. But when I blog here, I stick my neck out and get...some engagement, sometimes? The risks are high, with little to no benefits. And to the most important point...

I value local engagement over the Internet
That has become big for me. After Rebecca died, I needed help from people locally. I realized that I spent a lot of time engaged online with people I've never (and may never) meet, and while that's nice in theory, in reality it is extremely isolating, especially when neighbors and friends came, in some cases, from thousands of miles away and at great expense, to support me and my family. I get tired of engaging in Internet fights on Facebook with people I rarely ever see. I much prefer engagement in person, because rational arguments in-person, even when I disagree with them, are way better than a 140 character snippy reply.

So I'm done. I'll leave the blog up for a while, just in case I change my mind, but I doubt it. I'll keep writing at Da Tech Guy, and I may start something new in the future, but as of now this is the last post.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

You can keep your draft

(x-posted from Da Tech Guy)

No, not the NFL draft...that one where we take people and put them in the military.  Well, most people anyway...

Dennis Laich seems to think bringing back the draft is a great idea, as he is quoted  saying so here in this Military Times article.  He argues that it will be cheaper (due to making pay cheaper), close the civil-military gap, and bring in talent from Ivy League and other places.  I'm in the military and live it every day, and I personally think the draft (and the current Selective Service) should go away completely.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Getting Respect: Communicating Well

Yes, I note the irony of "communicating well" and posting this quite later than I wanted to...

What you learn quickly in any leadership position is that communication is hard. You may think you're crystal clear on something, only to have your Sailors go off half-cocked on something and bring on unintended consequences.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Getting Respect: Differentiating between people

You would think the phrase "I treat people all the same" would be a good mark of true equality, but when I hear someone say it, I shudder. You're not supposed to treat people the same. In fact, doing so is a key reason why junior personnel are losing respect for the chain of command.

Let's start with giving mentoring time. Personnel that have lots of problems tend to consume our time. You have to write counseling chits, which get stored in a binder. Then when you realize a Sailor isn't going to last, you have to bring in legal, which involves more paperwork. Then, since Sailors have rights, you have to give them time to talk to the defense legal people, even when it is painfully obvious that the Sailor is in the wrong. When it's all said and done, you've dumped a lot of time on a crappy Sailor, only to have them swear at you in a final form of disrespect on their way out the door.

Yup, been there, done that. And good leaders will continue to do this.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Getting respect: Sometimes you just need to do

The last few months, I keep hearing about "respect," typically as in "someone is not respecting me as a (chief/division officer/naval officer/petty officer/whatever)." I am told that Millenials don't respect their chain of command, and that if we could only harken back to the old days, we would be far better for it.

To that I say, bullshit.