I’m a new subscriber to the Jumo Brief. In the most recent newsletter, Brennan recounts a time he left his flight jacket in his office and thought it would end his career.
Of course, it didn’t end my career. It didn’t even matter a week later. I was just a dumb lieutenant doing dumb lieutenant things. But it didn’t feel like it at the time.Jumo Brief
This is such a common thought in the Army. Some miniscule mistake is going to be the thing that ends it all.
I’ve thought that before, and I know most others have.
When I actually think back on it, I can’t really think of any specific instances where this was true. In fact, the opposite is mostly true. I see plenty of leaders making small mistakes and things working out okay.
A mistake is made, there may be some consequence (or not), and learning occurs (hopefully).
Of course, there is a difference between small mistakes (forgetting a flight jacket) and catastrophic mistakes – the types of things that gets people hurt or killed, due to negligence.
A lot of mental energy is wasted in the Army worrying about small mistakes and their potential to be the thing that derails a career. The more I reflect on it though, the more I realize I haven’t actually seen it much.