I want to talk about promotions... specifically military promotions.
Let me explain.
One of my High School classmates is now a Major General in the United States Army. He was in many of my classes... smart, but gave no sign at that time of being brilliant. His brilliance was in athletics- Football, Basketball, Baseball, Track. He was good at everything he did athletically, and an All-Stater in Football... he played Linebacker behind me at the left Defensive Guard position.
He was also one of the "good guys". He always seemed to have a smile on his face and a group of classmates around him. I can't think of anyone that disliked him.
My opinion is that it's true in any vocation-
He's the sort that will rise to the top. In NO WAY do I mean this negatively... if you can make those around you comfortable, they're more likely to listen to what you are saying. If you are also good at what you do, you'll be successful. I guess my point is that good salespeople succeed where others fall short, and successful folks are good salespeople.
My experience in the Army was that education and punching the right tickets would get you promotions, up to a certain point. I knew exactly what education, both civilian and military, was expected of me to be promoted to certain ranks. There came a point in my Army Reserve life where I had to make a decision about what was most important... my civilian livelihood, or my military promotion. There simply weren't enough hours in the day to finish the military schooling I needed, by correspondence, to be promoted to the next rank. Thankfully, at that point I was qualified to retire.
So please, those of you with time in the military, your comments-
At what rank do you become more politician than military leader, (if at all) ? Again, this is also true in civilian life, but anyone who has read and enjoyed "Once An Eagle", (a GREAT book that I recommend to all my friends), knows what I'm talking about... the difference between the "Tommy Franks" and "Wesley Clarks" in our military.
I knew early on that I wasn't enough politician to reach high rank in the ARMY. In my experience, those promoted to Bird Colonel were as much politician as they were military officer. Promotion to Star Rank meant that officer was a great politician. I am in awe and proud of my classmate and not at all surprised by his success. I guess I'm most surprised I didn't recognize his "all around greatness" earlier!