My Name is Matthew, and I am a soldier. I have an interesting view that I share from time to time with the folks I encounter as I walk the road. Some of those people have encouraged me to seek out ways to help others or simply share my views or ideas with more people. I will blog on many subjects, from things that piss me off on a daily basis to more important issues such as dealing with chronic depression and the struggles that ensue as a result. I will be taking bits and pieces from emails and rants that I have verbalized as well, so if you see something we have talked about please, smile and nod...Thanks for reading.

Friday, November 7, 2014


        Being a leader is tough sometimes. The people you lead, if you do it right, don't know the crap you go through to take care of them. They don't understand that when they do something wrong it ruins your day because it makes you look like a failure. They don't understand that you are managing several things at once and one little slip up could ruin your entire day. The people you lead also don't fully understand that anything they do is seen as a reflection of you, good or bad. The people you lead don't understand that they aren't the only person who feels the way they do. The people you lead, don't know how you lead others, if you do it properly.
        My style of leading means that I take my people aside and talk to them one on one most often. The reason for this is so that I don't embarrass them in front of peers or people they may one day have to lead. I take my people aside so their peers  don't know if they are getting a repremand or a pat on the back. Sometimes I even take the time to further the rouse by smiling and laughing while saying something like "don't you EVER do this again!" and such.

       The down side of this is that my people think that they are the only ones ever getting into trouble because they never see me repremand the others. Even after I explain this, I still have people who think they are being singled out. I cannot please everyone and I understand it, I cannot make everyone happy and no one likes to be corrected. I can go as far as trying to explain to my people how making mistakes is a natural and normal part of learning. I still find that people get angry and frustrated when they get caught doing the wrong thing and want to blame the leader (me).

        Negative bias is real, and most of this post has been about the things that I don't like about leading people. The truth is, that there have been a few times where I sat back and smiled and thought to myself "GOD I LOVE MY JOB !". When someone you work hard with to succeed finally gets it and does something amazing. Even though they may not name you or say "thank you" to you directly, you know that you helped that person do something great. What really gets to me in a good way is when someone you know you worked hard with is a success story and they come to you in private and say to your face that they thank you for being an outstanding leader. Those same people, when they are doing things right, will accept punishment and correction and thank you for it.

         When I was a younger man, and a soldier still, I was corrected by a leader often enough. One particular time I was being punished for something incredibly stupid I did. The consequences could have been devestating, but the leader saw potential in me and instead of destroying me, chose to take matters into his hands. I was doing push ups for a very long time. At one point, I looked into the eyes of my leader and said "Thank you Sergeant". He got this confused look on his face and said "WHAT?!". I repeated my comment, then went on to say "You could have fed me to the wolves, and I know they wanted me, but you took this yourself and gave me a fighting chance to fix what I had done wrong. Thank you.". The point was made, and I was doing push ups for quite a while longer still. What I took from that experience was that being kind isn't always being NICE. Sometimes what is in the best interest for the people you lead is going to be painful for them and they need to feel that pain in order to move on.

        Being a leader in any capacity requires a degree of responsability uncommon to the average person. You must be prepared to accept the ramifications of your actions and still manage your life day in and day out. You need to also accept that of the people entrusted to you to lead. You must actively push yourself to be the best example to them that you can be lest they believe that it's okay to slip. You must also watch out for them and do the best you can to ensure that every last person you lead has what they need to do the job properly.

        I love my job, and I will continue to do the best I can at it until I no longer do my job. Then I will move on to another job and do that one to the best of my abilities. I will always seek ways to help those still learning and strougling to do the best they can. I will always try to help those who cannot or don't know how to help themselves. That's just the man I am. The Army taught me how to do that, and train people at the same time. I'm fortunate for the lessons I have learned in life and the ones that have taken me to where I am today. I look forward to the challenges of tomorrow and push myself daily to be better than I was yesterday.

I wish you all the best, thank you for reading.


  1. I can tell from your writings that you are a good leader. I am proud that you serve our country! Your first paragraph reminds me so much of my days being a charge nurse and those I led didn't get all that goes into leading. It makes it very hard sometimes. Keep doing the good job that you are doing