“He seemed to find it surprising soldiers would have good things to say about him”

A fascinating profile of the US Army’s top enlisted leader, Sgt Maj Michael Grinston, reminds me very much of the brilliant modesty found in American heroes like President Grant.

…while much of Grinston’s motivation over the years stems from his belief and desire to be with and help soldiers, that doesn’t mean his soldiers always liked him…. “I was mean,” he said. “There’s no way I could lie to you, if you were to talk to my soldiers … I was not nice, I was not fun. I wouldn’t want me as a drill sergeant.” That’s not all there is to it, of course. Soldiers who have served with him described him as technically proficient — impressively so. […] To those who know him, that is the real Michael Grinston — a soldier who confronts things head-on, not some soft leader who is more focused on nail polish than winning wars. […] Despite the many things he’s accomplished over his long career, he seemed to find it surprising that the soldiers who he served with would have overwhelmingly good things to say about him. When he learned that they did, he responded, “I don’t know why.”

Clearly this is a man who cares deeply about others, who works hard and takes care of those in need. He is the very definition of the “Alpha” personality, the doting pack leader — a proficient parent who can take on development of dependents (the “Betas” capable mostly of caring only for themselves) to help ensure they will survive.

Interesting to read that being so good at leadership by establishing care made him perceived both as mean (high Alpha standards for his pack) and also soft (applying standards in a way that undermines the influence of Beta personalities).

It reminded me of an old post I wrote about how wolves in reality prefer fishing to hunting since risk of casualty is lower.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.