PLSO The Oregon Surveyor Sept/Oct 2020

2 The Oregon Surveyor  | Vol. 43, No. 5 From the PLSO Chairman Jeremy A. Sherer, PLS Chairman of the Board MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIRMAN We define things as they are, not in some abstraction, but as they are in reality. Advancing on a Path Toward Leadership Some call it the “greatest evacuationmove- ment by sea in US military history.” After military successes in Inchon, Busan, and Seoul against the North Korean People’s Army, the race to the Yalu River was in sight. The Korean War had just started and it appeared the end was near. But that changed in November 1950. Unde- tected, China’s “People’s Volunteer Army” (PVC) crossed the Yalu River and sent a large force to Chosin Reservoir to stop X Corps advances in sub-zero tempera- tures, howling snowstorms, and rugged terrain. Caught off guard, the Marines and Army were overwhelmed by the PVC at the Chosin Reservoir. Tragically, our forces began a fighting retreat toward the sea port of Hamhung along a treach- erous road, which included rebuilding a destroyed bridge, through hillsides dom- inated by Chinese Communist divisions. The Chosin Reservoir was a bitter battle fought with valor and bravery that gave new meaning to heroism in the history of the Marine Corps. After successes in our strategic planning, restructuring, and rebranding, some have noted that there is a great evacua- tion occurring within our profession and organization. Surveying is changing and surveyors are greying, causing some to retreat without a fight. Retreat is heart - breaking, but for those willing to fight, we will begin preparing a path for our emerging leaders and successors to our vision of excellence. That path is educa- tion and training. Training leaders takes time, energy, and resources. There is a high price for good leadership, but not as high when compared to the cost of irrel- evance and obsolescence. The time and circumstance give rise to the advance- ment of good leadership and the Battle of Chosin and the Marine Corps have les- sons about leadership that are relevant to our current and rising leaders. Barriers to Leadership There is a saying, “prepare for the worst, and hope for the best.” The evacuation and the final result of the war was not be - cause our Marines and soldiers were not brave, rather it was not being prepared for war. After WWII, President Truman cut military spending, especially the Marine Corps. Marine Corps units were lean, be- low battle readiness, and under-supplied. One of the primary barriers to rising up new leadership is the old guard sabo- taging new leadership efforts. This may because the old guard is deeply invested, is resistant to change, or does not have confidence in the new leadership. Pre - paring for the future is an investment. As our Marines were not prepared for the war, success without a successor is fail- ure. We will always have battles to fight. The death of our organization will not be from battling external forces, rather it comes from internal neglect when we fail to train the rising generation to be- come leaders (Finzel, 1994). Another barrier to leadership is lack of vision. The sudden evacuation through the Chosin was the result of General MacArthur, commander of the UN forc- es, underestimating the enemy when he declared that the troops would be “home by Christmas.” Three years later, the war ended exactly where it began. A leader is one who sees more, further, and before others do. It’s easy to be satisfied with the achievements PLSOhas alreadymade, but it is unrealistic to assume that things will always be the same. Leaders are vision- aries that take a pragmatic and realistic viewof the future of our profession. Some of the biggest mistakes leaders make is