While traveling this summer, I talked with Virgil Casto, my old army buddy from over 50 years ago. Talking with Virgil put me in a reflective mood.
As the Company Headquarters' clerk, Virgil saw the test scores of everyone in our company. I remembered his encouragement when he told me he'd seen my Army test scores; I scored higher than anyone else in our company. I'd been offered the Warrant Officer training, so I knew my scores were good. The smartest guy in our company didn't sync with my self-appraisal. Virgil's encouragement led me to taking the risk, the proactive steps that resulted in me becoming the Ordering Officer for the Fort Story, VA Army base.
Our unit had been on 120-day temporary assignment in Goose Bay, Labrador. I made a big decision, "When we get back to Fort Story, I am going to do everything in my power to get a new MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) job description."
Within 24 hours of arriving back at Fort Story, I went to my company headquarters and asked about job opportunities. Then, I went across the posts to see Dennis Denahae. I'd gotten to know Dennis when he worked in the Post Education Office. He was now working in a purchasing role for Fort Story. When I located him I said, "I thought you'd be discharged by now." He told me he only had a few more days to go. There was a little panic because the post couldn't find anyone with a personality, who was trustworthy and competent to take his place. On Dennis's recommendation, I got my "butterflies flying in formation", went straight to the Post Headquarters and asked for the Commanding General. We had a quick meeting, and I went back to my company area.
As it turned out, a Sergeant had spotted me "wandering" around the post, and reported me to my Company Commander. I was out of my area without permission, technically AWAL. After strict reprimands from the Company Captain and my First Sargent, I was appointed Ordering Officer for Fort Story, Virginia and transferred on Thanksgiving Day to the Post Headquarters' Company.
Every day, the purser gave me orders for materials and supplies, which could not be obtained through normal Army channels and the cash needed to purchase those supplies. I went to lunch with the owners of supply companies, got acquainted with the managers and grew in many ways over the next 12 months.
The lesson I learned from this experience is the almost unbelievable power of intention and focused determination.
The action I call you to take is decide what you want - set a clear intention, declare you will achieve it, and go into action!
Engaging leaders take action.
—Larry W. Dennis, Sr. President Turbo Leadership Systems