In 2012, Maj. Gen. Marcia Anderson was the then highest-ranking African American woman in the United States Army. She was the Deputy Chief of the Army Reserve. In this video, she is interviewed by a local TV station’s weather reporter, himself a former military officer.
Maj. Gen. Anderson has a great story, but she really doesn’t spend much time “tooting her own horn” here. Rather, she offers some very thoughtful comments about what it means to serve, to lead, and to make a difference. I think you will find her comments to be both wise and universally true for all.
As an African American woman leader, she says that success is directly related to the values you bring to any job. Her reflections on the importance of diversity in the U.S. military are on the mark. She recognizes that our military is engaged around the globe and that having that diversity in the ranks when dealing with military and aid efforts around the world opens doors and opportunities for successful communications and cooperation within those diverse cultures.
Anderson gives her honor and respect to those who went before her in the military, including the 7,000 African Americans who served in the Continental Army during the American Revolution.
At the end of the video, Maj. Gen. Anderson is asked a question from a young member of a large audience: “How does one become a General?” Her response tells us a lot about who she is and how she understands the road to success in her own experience. She says, “You’re asking the wrong question.” Then she goes on the suggest what the right question would be. “How do you excel at whatever you do?”
That is the question, isn’t it? What do I bring to a job? What are my skills? What are my desires for the job? Who should I be watching and listening to in order to get the skills that I need to get to where I want to go? In the end, it is attitude that counts most in the effort to succeed at what one wants to do. Everything worth having is worthy of being worked for with commitment, care, and determination.
But there is a message unsaid in Maj. Gen. Anderson’s remarks too. But it is clearly in her words and in her demeanor. The greatest virtue to develop in the effort to be successful in anything you set out to do is humility. I think you can see that virtue in the way that Maj. Gen. Anderson conducts herself in this interview. She is a model of how to make it anywhere.
Hooah to you, Maj. Gen. Marcia Anderson.Whizzco