Mar 08 2009

Good People or Good Equipment?

Published by at 8:53 am under Lessons learned,Your Ann Arbor

My 21 years in the the Air Force taught me that “Good People” make up for “Bad Equipment” everyday.  The advantage one achieves by having the best of equipment is always fleeting if you don’t have the best people using it, so given the choice I will always choose the best people and try to hang onto them.   

The Russians are a great example of good people making up for bad equipment.  During the cold war the Russians faced chronic shortages of every strategic material and computer available to us Westerners yet they continued to bluff us into thinking they were a superpower for 40 years.  They did it with their intellect and hard work.  Take a look at vintage 1980 Soviet aircraft.  Lacking sophisticated computers and wind tunnels  for advanced aerodynaminc modelling, the Russians just became very good at copying our basic designs and adapting them to their needs.  The results were nothing less than outstanding.  Couple adequate design and outstanding pilots and the results were a talented air force that was the envy of the world.

So if you ask me whether I would rather have a new city hall or a good police force and I am sure you will know what my answer will be.  Don’t get me wrong, we need an adequate place for our policemen and women to call home and then we need to invest in their training to insure that they are ready to protect us.  Remember, our young men and women don’t gravitate to law enforcement for the money!  They do it because of their desire to serve.  Let’s keep the best and the brightest and make our investments in “them” not the building.  We will all be safer if we do. 

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