Prior to taking command, I read a comment by an unknown Army field grade officer which argued that military leaders are in the business of organizational improvement; he called it the business of MakeSh*tBetter.com. We come in, make the organization better, and then we move on. His message resonated significantly with me and has become the bedrock principle of my leader philosophy.
When I assumed command of Beast Company, which was already an outstanding organization, my top priority was to improve existing systems or create new ones, develop leaders, build a professional and aggressive culture, and ultimately make Beast Company even better, more effective, and more lethal.
I poured my blood, sweat, and tears into command; I loved my Soldiers and their Families. Being “Beast 6” was the highest professional honor of my career. My outgoing change of command was an emotional event for me. My successor is a phenomenal officer and is taking Beast Company to the next level. Even though I was comfortable passing the guidon to a stellar officer, I was unsure what life after command was going to look or feel like.
One month since relinquishing my command and I’ve learned that life goes on and I am still the same person. Recently, I’ve reflected on that comment about military leaders: “come in, make your organization better, and then MOVE ON.” After 18 months of living, breathing, and leading Beast Company, I’m glad to realize that duty did not and does not define me. I’m excited to move on in my career and I look forward to coming into a new organization to share my experiences from command, apply what I’ve learned, and naturally, make it better.
I encourage you to remember that principle throughout your career and numerous duty positions. We as leaders are called to improve our organizations. When our time is over though, we must move on to improve another one.