Military Review English Edition September-October 2014 - Page 65

TRANSFORMATIONAL STORIES we have been seeking through the previous format by targeting the root cause of a need to shift soldiers from compliance to commitment. Redesigning the format of what is said from the notorious list of do’s and don’ts into transformational stories will improve the organization because leaders will be using researched methods to ensure that these ideas stick with our soldiers once they get past the parking lot. The following two examples illustrate the type of transformational stories discussed in this article. Comparing Apples to Oranges: An Object Lesson in Integrity We often hear the phrase, “you’re comparing apples to oranges,” as if it cannot be done; but have you ever tried it? On the outside, apples and oranges are both baseball-sized r ound fruit. Apples are smooth and shiny while oranges are bumpy. However, cut them open and they are very different. The apple is consistent, while the orange is segmented into several pieces. Looking further, we discover that the apple has a core while each orange segment is focused on one or two seeds. Do you find that your life is segmented or is it consistent? Do you do the right thing all day while you are in uniform but put on a different personality when you are at home? Do you act right at work and then act out when you are at the club? You might be segmented like the orange. In this analogy, we would be more professional in our lives if we were consistent. The Army value integrity is about more than just honesty. It is about being consistent between our professional selves and our personal selves. The word integrity comes from the same root word as the word “integer,” the word for a whole number. So if we think about it, integrity has something to do with your whole life, being a whole person. Changing your behavior depending on your setting might be an indicator of poor integrity. The main difference between the apple and the orange is that the apple has a core to focus on so it is consistent, while the orange has several separate seeds. We have a core—we have the Army values to provide a point of focus and make us more consistent like the apple.36 MILITARY REVIEW  September-October 2014 It Is the Soldier: Loyalty and the Emotions of a Patriot Transformational stories do not have to be incredibly complicated, or even always stories in the strictest sense. One of the quietest weekends I ever had while commanding in Korea was after reading this poem to the formation: It Is The Soldier It is the Soldier, not the minister Who has given us freedom of religion. It is the Soldier, not the reporter Who has given us freedom of the press. It is the Soldier, not the poet, Who has given us freedom of speech. It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer, Who has given us freedom to protest. It is the soldier, not the lawyer, Who has given us the right to a fair trial. It is the Soldier, not the politician, Who has given us the right to vote. It is the Soldier who salutes the flag, Who serves beneath the flag, And whose coffin is draped by the flag, Who allows the protester the right to burn the flag. (Reproduced with permission of Charles M. Province, copyright 1970, 2010.) After reading this poem I pulled my American flag from the right shoulder of my ACUs and held it aloft to the formation. I said, “This is an inspectable item this weekend. Stick it in your pocket before you go out, and every time you are about to do something questionable, look at that flag and ponder whether someone died so you could be free to do that.” My first sergeant followed up with a brief discussion about loyalty, and everyone left with something memorable. 63