BLUF – “You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.” – Nietzsche
As of this post, I’m not entirely sure what my next job will be. I’m going to a job at Fort Meade, Maryland, where I will earn joint qualification, which is what my leadership tells me I need to remain competitive for promotion to Colonel. My lack of joint credit was deliberately worked to be achieved at my next assignment. What my job will exactly comprise of has yet to be shared with me. My sponsor did tell me there is a large amount of senior leadership turnover this summer, an almost uncomfortable amount (her words) due to the still emerging role of Joint Force Headquarters DoDIN within the mass enterprise of military cyber operations. Our community continues to blaze the path from providing organize IT service delivery to truly integrating cyber defense within multi-domain operations. For some, a lack of direction on the next step of your military career can be unnerving or unsettling. But personally…I love the chaos.
One of my favorite movies is the The Dark Knight. Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker is one of the most haunting and stunningly accurate portrayals of the character, both on screen and in comic books. I hope we get to see more of Jared Leto’s portrayal of the Joker, and I’m looking forward to Joaquin Phoenix’s take on the character as well. The Joker is the anti-thesis of Batman, which is why stories involving the two of them are so engaging. Ledger delivered the following monologue to a bed-ridden Harvey Dent, who was recovering in a hospital and was on the emotional brink of turning into Two Face:
Introduce a little anarchy, you upset the established order and everything becomes chaos. I am agent of chaos. And you know the thing about chaos Harvey? IT is FAIR.
My current boss uses the term “disruptive progress” within his leadership vision. He describes this kind of progress as the kind that has the ability to make currently established procedures or products obsolete. Not just an incremental level of improvement, but an introduction of an idea that shatters previously defined solutions and problems. This method of introducing a purposeful agent of chaos is what I’m looking forward to becoming at my next duty station. When roles and responsibilities carry no solid definition, there is an opportunity to shape them without preconceived notions or fear of “getting it wrong.” The only limitation is the creativity of my imagination and how I can optimize what is available. I truly enjoy this level of unknown because I can “choose my own adventure” and use the freedom of maneuver to drive success for the overall team. I can choose to address the difficult and sensitive issues that no one wants to tackle. I can choose to take on projects that have been stuck in a rut due to lack of vision or energy. I can choose to become an agent of chaos that can be uncomfortable for some, but invaluable to others. I can take risks that no one is willing to because they are the right risks to take.
Needless to say, I’m excited for my next chapter, and whatever chaos comes with it.