Today, we’re going to cover the fourteenth lesson I learned from the book Starship Troopers. This is the fourteenth lesson in 17-lesson mini-series. If you haven’t read the previous post yet, please do so right now and try to follow it in order.
Lesson # 14: Having No Leader is Better Than Having the Wrong Leader
Quote: “The M.I. never commissions a man simply to fill a vacancy.”
My Take: In most cases, it’s better to have a unit vacancy than it is to have the wrong leader in the job. When there is a vacancy in a unit, especially in a leadership position, senior leaders should take their time to fill the position to make sure they find the right person for the job!
You see, many units are desperate to find people to fill their unit vacancies. As a result, they will hire the first person that applies for the job. Personally, I think that’s a big mistake. I think you should hire someone for a job because of their credentials, their experience, their abilities and their potential, not because you need a warm body to fill a duty position.
Throughout my career, I’ve seen units hire people for the wrong reasons. As a result, it was the unit and the Soldiers that paid the price. I’ll even admit that I hired a few people in my career out of desperation to fill a slot in the unit. And in just about everyone of those cases it bit me in the butt. I very quickly had buyer’s remorse and regretted my decision. Worst of all, I had to spend more time to get them OUT of the duty position than I did getting them in the duty position.
Hopefully, you can learn something from this valuable lesson. The bottom line is that you should never hire someone JUST to fill a duty position. Instead, you should hire someone based off what they bring to the table. If they aren’t qualified for the job, don’t give them the job, even if you are desperate to fill the slot. This will only backfire on your later on and worst of all, it’s the Soldiers who will suffer the most.
What are your thoughts? Leave a comment and let me know.