November 12, 2007

Leadership & Griping

How many times have you cribbed along with your team members? Countless? If yes, please take a look at the following conversation between Captain Miller and Private Reiben. It offers some tips to handle a cribbing session. Both are entrusted with a mission, which Reiben believes is a waste of time and resource. Miller too feels the same, but doesn't reveal his thought in the open.
REIBEN (Referring to griping-about-the-mission): And what about you, Captain?

MILLER: Reiben, what's the matter with you? I don't gripe to you. I'm a captain. There's a chain of command. Griping goes one way, up, only up, never down. You gripe to me, I gripe to my superior officers. Up, get it? I don't gripe to you, I don't gripe in front of you. How long you been in the army?

REIBEN: I'm sorry, sir, I apologize.

After a pause...

REIBEN: But if you weren't a captain, or if I were a major, what would you say?

Miller considers his response.

MILLER: In that case, I would say this is an excellent mission, with an extremely valuable objective, worthy of my best efforts.

Reiben rolls his eyes. Miller plays it straight, with no obvious sarcasm.

MILLER (continuing): In addition, as I pointed out earlier, I have a fondness for cheese and I hope to have the opportunity to sample some of the Ramelle products, when we arrive there, to see if they live up to their excellent reputation. Moreover, I feel heartfelt sorrow for the mother of Private James Ryan and I'm more than willing to lay down my life, and the lives of my men, especially you, Reiben, to help relieve her suffering.

Captain Miller's army men thoroughly enjoy his performance.

And the Captain wins the heart of his team's heart without griping!

The above script is lifted from the movie "Saving Private Ryan".

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