Dear Maryland Wing members,
When one assumes a position of responsibility whether as Wing Commander or Cadet Commander, counseling members comes with the job. We all hope that we learn from our mistakes, but in order to learn we first have to recognize the relationship between the cause and the effect. Imagine the following conversation.
Commander, “I wanted to talk to you about the incident.”
The member replies, “I know I did it, but please understand that I didn’t mean for that to happen.”
Commander, “But you do understand that what you did resulted in the incident.”
The member responds, “Yes, I realize that what I did resulted in the incident, but I really didn’t intend for that to happen.”
Commander, “I do believe that you didn’t intend for that to happen. If I thought you intended for that to happen, we would be discussing your termination from CAP, not how this can become a learning experience.”
Again the member replies, “But I really didn’t think that would happen when I did what I did.”
At this point I’m about ready to respond, “Did you think at all?” but most of the time I’m able to count to ten and try once again to explain the relationship between cause and effect.
While this is an exaggerated and hopefully humorous example, risk management is all about determining the possible effects of our actions and factoring in the potential results to the choices we make. Rarely will we be able to analyze every potential consequence. Mistakes will happen. The response to our mistakes should not be “I didn’t mean for that to happen.” but rather, “What can I do to prevent that from happening again." It’s all about cause and effect.
KAY JOSLIN WALLING, Colonel, CAP