While in the Army, my Platoon did poorly in a very important training exercise. My First Sergeant was angry to say the least. He was fuming, he was pissed, we were going to pay. Having recently graduated from “boot camp” I thought for sure “Top” (all First Sergeant’s nick name) was gonna bring the pain, push-ups, flutter kicks, verbal lashing, more push ups, pain. He stared at us, none of us could look him in the eye, we had failed. We waited for the pain. “Fall out”, he sternly said “ gather round me, take your helmets off, take a knee”. We nervously gathered around our First Sergeant. The pain was coming, I just knew it. Top calmly said “Let’s talk about what we did well today and how we sustain that. We also need to talk about what we need to improve. We also need to talk about how we, as a team, reach our goals”. I just knew the pain was coming, this was gonna be some new way to make us suffer for our poor performance. Then top said something I will never forget. “I know in my heart of hearts that none of you meant to fail, the problem is you didn’t plan to succeed, let’s get a better plan. We did. That’s why he was called Top.