November 4, 2009

WSJ Article on Col. Dowdy

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:30 pm by ctennert

Col. Dowdy chose men over mission.  He was a U.S. Marines Corp. Colonel who did everything he could for his men while fighting overseas in Iraq.  This meant living just like his marines did while fighting at war, with no ‘perks’ such as air conditioning that Colonels sometimes are offered.  He was a man who did what he felt was right, and safe for his men.

Instead of utilizing great speed to push North up to Baghdad like he was commanded, but not really(?), Col. Dowdy went another route that proved to be safer for his men, more calculated, but would also be the route to end his career with the Marines. 

The instructions from Dowdy’s superior were not solid, unsupported, and were therefor foggy at best for the Col. to decipher.  So, he did what a trusted Col. of a Marines unit would do- made his own decisions based on experience, and circumstantial evidence.  I understand that in the Marines, you do what your superior tells you to do, no matter what, no questions asked.  So you can see, Dowdy’s actions were not well received by the upper chain of command.

Micromanagement is a word that probably is not used by the Marines Corp. often, but I felt that is what Dowdy’s superior was doing to him- micromanaging instead of trusting him to get in, keep the troops alive, and then get out.  As with the instructions that were kinda sorta given to Dowdy regarding how to proceed to Baghdad, the research reports that surfaced after the war was over also contained mixed results.  Some said speed would have been the better approach, and some say speed had nothing to do with efficiency. 

I feel as though Dowdy was not treated fairly, but then again, I have no idea of what Marine protocol is.  In the corporate world, managers hire other managers because of their expertise, and trustworthiness to get the job done.  I felt that Dowdy did not get that trust from his superior.  Managers often feel that if they have to constantly look over their employees’ shoulder all the time, they may as well do the job themselves.  To micromanage is a complete waste of time.  To cut this syndrome out of the workforce, my suggestion is to hire people who do not need to be micromanaged.

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