Colonel (Ret) Martin Tittle was my boss for about 3 years and I have to tell you that this man personified everything I could possibly want to be. He has all the qualities and characteristics you could list as desirous traits. And I mean ALL of them.
You've read about some pretty remarkable people in the past 10 days but Col Tittle is the composite of all of them.
He was never ever without a smile for anyone and everyone. And when you're a leader in a military organization that mixes military and civilians, that's not easy to do. And it was never a forced smile either. He was sincere whenever he looked at you and asked you how you were - he really wanted to know - not the perfunctory "how are you" while sliding away before you had a chance to really tell him how you were 🙂
Col Tittle is THE most positive person I've ever known. There was no problem that couldn't be solved. And the cool thing is that he wasn't a "Rah Rah" cheerleader type - the kind that makes you want to throw up they're so positive. He was sincere and when you talked to him you just knew there was going to be a solution even if it took awhile to find it and get there. You knew he would be there with you - right along side of you - as you searched for the path and then traveled it. You always had him there partnering with you. And even though you felt as if you had your best friend with you, you also knew and respected the fact that he was the leader - he never had to flaunt that or remind you that he was the boss. It was inherent in his being.
Charisma is not a word I would naturally associate with this man but depending on your definition of charisma, he might just fill the slot - everyone liked him and respected him. It was amazing how he could pick up the phone and smooth the ruffled feathers of someone and then let them know that he was on their side too.
What I found most remarkable about Colonel Tittle was his response to adversity. This goes beyond the pale. He was diagnosed with lung cancer and had to undergo chemotherapy and radiation (and all the attendant side effects) and yet he NEVER missed one day of work. Unbelievable! He was miserable and most of us would be in bed going "woe is me" and just trying to get our energy back and he was there in the office working as hard as ever. He knew it was important from both his perspective as well as to give the proper appearance to the troops - a true leader. He acted as he felt he was "supposed to" but did not expect the same from us - that's an interesting dichotomy when you think about it. It simply was his work ethic. But he never told you when we were whining about having a cold or something minor "well, you know I came to work every day no matter what I was going through". Often times you'll get that from people. He was more than happy to let you take whatever time you needed either for mental or physical recuperation. He knew the importance of that. And he knew that not everyone was so invested in their job and he didn't expect everyone to give 110% like many other leaders do. But as a result of "not expecting" it he got it - and even more. There isn't anything that we wouldn't do for him. Truly amazing man.
He is a man of faith and I'm sure that that sustained him no matter what happened and we should all look toward his example. Many profess to be "of faith" ---- until things don't go so great in their lives. I believe that that's whey he got stronger.
All I know is that I wish he still were my boss (nothing against my current boss- it's just that Colonel Tittle is one of a kind). I do know that when things get tough, I call upon his courage and determination and try to go deep within to find the qualities I so admire in him.
Thank you Colonel Tittle for being in my life and being such a brave and kind man!