Semper Gumby – “Always Flexible”

It is a play on the motto Semper Fidelis (which means “Always Faithful”), the official USMC motto. It is also a play on Semper fortis which means “Always strong “, and the official motto of the US Coast Guard, Semper Paratus, meaning “Always Ready.” Semper Gumby, referring to the animated clay character Gumby. (The real Latin phrase meaning “Always Flexible” would be Semper Flexibilis.)

Vetted VA is a growing organization that often finds itself in a place of some uncertainty of the action needed at the moment, but never unsure of the vision and purpose of what we’re doing. It is the flexibility to move quickly, to adapt to change fitfully, and to work together efficiently to overcome these moments of uncertainty that makes our effort effective and worthwhile.

But that is also why we cannot always be “black and white” by a rule book or structured on a “Do and Do Not Do” type list. Learning Semper Gumby is the key to successfully moderating and serving all clients in business because it allows us to flex our knowledge, connections, and abilities to problem solve and engage obstacles in unique and creative ways while always maintaining a clear Vision and Mission and execution of Commander’s Intent. Semper Gumby Moderating requires time, experience, and support.

Working in teams while engaged in a mindset of Semper Gumby is very possible but requires some acknowledgment of Left and Right Lateral Limits. Quite literally taken from military handbooks, the Lateral Limits refer to setting up fire teams for defense and support of the mission. Limiting scope while working in a team ensures that the entire field of engagement is covered well and supported by many eyes.

This is why we work in squads, with specialties, and effectively in moderating fire teams – it allows for refreshed eyes to always be alert in a group that has (as of Dec 28, 2021):
48,200 members (from 23,700 Dec 28, 2020)
13,057 posts in the last year
292,153 Comments in the last year
802,522 Reactions in the last year
and 45,399 active members in the year

Alone, or in a single action, these numbers are overwhelming. In Squads, with Fire Teams, and acting in Flexibility, we are able to serve each post, question, comment, and follow up with individual action and attention.

And it’s not easy, it’s not always perfect, and we’re always learning with After Action Reviews (AAR) and real-time engagement with each other to troubleshoot and support the whole.

But we must always remain flexible and ready to react as needed – All Together.
How do we stay Semper Gumby?
  • Communicate Honestly with Grace
  • Receive Grace with Humility
  • Humbly Dialogue with Sincerity
  • Always Act with Integrity

Here’s to a new year with new opportunities, obstacles, and always growth.

For more on Military Fire Team Tactics check out these two sites which I found interesting: