I just read Kayla Williams book, Love My Rifle More Than You. It is a moving, gritty story of life as a woman soldier in the second Iraq War. I highly recommend it. But, I found that that the stories Williams tells demonstrate the same leadership issues that occur in civilian life.
She experienced leaders who knew their stuff, cared for their men and women, rewarded good performance, and dealt with less than adequate work. But Williams also experienced leaders who put their own interests and safety above those of the soldiers. And she met some who valued the position but didn’t have the knowledge and wouldn’t take the responsibility that came with the position.
Many people want to rise in their profession for the prestige, but seem unaware of the responsibilities that come with the position. They may have the leader title but continue to do the work they did before the promotion, leaving the staff in their units leaderless. Others were promoted because they were adequate in their previous positions but adequate is not good enough at the next level.
I have a relatively jaded view of what can be expected from one’s leaders. As I’ve written elsewhere, working for superb leaders is a rare treat. One learns to be satisfied with OK and tries to live through awful.