This is a subject that few people ever talk about. And I think that’s a shame. The topic is “what do do with your military career when your heart isn’t in it anymore!” There are plenty of Army Leaders (NCOs and Officers) who LOVE serving and leading their Soldiers and do it because its their passion. And there are just as many leaders, if not more, who have lost their passion for leadership and Soldiering, yet continue to serve because they are approaching retirement or have few other job options.
You can spot the people whose heart isn’t in it, a mile away. I wouldn’t really call them leaders either, even though many of them are in a leadership position. They’re the people who do the minimum. Their Soldiers are never a high priority. They do the bare minimum of what is required in their job so they don’t get fired, but they seldom if ever go above and beyond what is expected of them. These leaders don’t take the time to counsel and mentor and teach their troops like they know they should.
And then there are the leaders who LOVE leading their troops. You can spot these folks a mile away too, because they have enthusiasm and passion. They love what they do. And they are damn good at it. They love leading, helping, coaching, directing and mentoring their troops. They care about their troops like a parent cares about their child.
In every unit, you have both types of leaders.
The question is “what should be done with the Army leaders who don’t love leading and serving Soldiers?” Or, “what should be done with the people serving in leadership positions in the Army who really don’t want to be there?” Ask 100 people this question and you would probably get 100 different answers.
I made a vow that I would never stay in the Army if my heart wasn’t in it. And that’s one of the primary reasons I resigned, even though I had 15 years of good service. I felt that Soldiers need and deserve leaders who care, leaders who have their Soldiers’ best interest at heart. I must clarify I was NEVER a slacker leader. Towards the end of my service, I just lost my passion for the military.
So, if your heart is no longer in it, this is my advice to you. MOVE ON! Find a new career, even if you a lot of time invested in the Army. Don’t do your Soldiers an injustice or hold up a leadership slot for someone else. And if that is not an option for you, find the easiest, least important job in the Army where leadership is not required, and stay in that job until your time is up (preferably a non-deployable unit). Don’t seek out a job, especially a leadership job, that you aren’t willing to give 110% for.
And if you are a leader who is passionate and enthusiastic about what you do, keep pressing forward! We need more leaders like you. Even when you get frustrated from time to time, never lose your passion. It is what makes you great! And it’s exactly what the Army needs.
What are your thoughts? Leave a comment and let us know.