Leader/managers should try to align organizational goals with associates’ goals. Two examples
from my experience as a company commander stationed in Germany come to mind. I had one soldier who would not cooperate with his squad leader to the point that the squad leader was very frustrated. I sat the young man down and asked him about his life goals. He said he wanted start his own landscaping business. I made him the unit beautification manager. I gave him all the resources (top soil, plants, bushes, fertilizer, grass seed, etc.) that he needed to care for the area around the barracks. He became as happy camper and we won a prize that year for barracks appearance.
The second incident involved a Vietnam veteran who had only a few months left to serve. We called people like him “Short Timers” because of their attitude. He refused to go to the field or to do any more soldiering. He felt he had done his share and had seen it all. I asked him about his personal life goals. He wanted to be a carpenter. I appointed him the unit carpenter and gave him a long list
of projects. The first project was to build a Ping-Pong table. I had to replace the Ping-Pong table a couple of times because soldiers kept sitting on it. He built one with six 4X4 legs. During one class, I saw 20 people sitting on that table without any damage.
Maybe I should have court martialed those soldiers. Maybe I was too soft on them or catering to them, but they had a dysfunctional influence on the unit. Their personal goals were out of sync with the unit’s goals. I got them to make a meaningful contribution by aligning their goals with the unit goals. They were only two men in a company of 150 men, but their behavior greatly affected