Here is just one of my personal leadership stories about the birth of my son...
"The doctor kneeled down beside me and my two boys and told me that my son that was just born was not going to live! ---I told him he would!
Here are Some Stories From My Life...
Here are Some Stories From My Life...
Over the years that I have spent in the Marine Corps - upper management of international companies - small businesses that my wife and I have owned - and most of all life - I continue to hear that you can be taught leadership.
I disagree - I believe that leadership is something that you are born with - and that is defined by the choices and actions
you take in your life.
You see real leaders - make the right decisions without any regard for self - only that of others.
Choices as simple as - identifying that the cashier gave you too much change back - and you drive back across town to return it to them.
Or Choices as difficult and dramatic as - stopping at a tragic accident and getting the victims out of the smashed up car before another car comes over the hill in the middle of the night on a busy freeway and smashes into them again. There are many more details to this story.
We all know who real leader are...
Leadership skills can be taught and are also very important to your success - leadership skills such as - fact finding - understanding disciplinary action and how to apply it - delegation - managing change - conducting a fact finding investigation - and running a successful small business.
But leadership - like I said before - is something that you are born with. It can be refined - but you can't make a leader out of just anyone - just like you can't make a professional major league baseball pitcher out of just anyone - you must have the basics to start with.
A real leader will take responsibility for mistakes - will not run from a challenge - will make sacrifices for the benefit of others. We know who we're all talking about - people like school teachers that will make sure the poor kid in their class has food to eat - or school supplies - and they will take it out of their own back pocket. These are the real leaders.
Here are some stories that I will start with and I will be continually adding to these all the time...
I was certain he was there to rob me...
The General made everyone remove their boots and socks prior to the 10 mile forced march home...
The Crucifixion of Christ
Leadership Stories #10
Risk Based Decision Making - What's in it for ME!
Leadership Stories #11
Using Ethics in Decision Making
Meeting the Budget!
My Marine Corps Experience.
Marine Corps Guard Duty.
The Unreasonable Request
The Perfect Employee or Wife
The Employee Sunk Her Own Ship
I lived for Meal Time in Marine Corps Boot Camp
Dads Must Be Leaders
Improving your Ability To Lead - A never ending process!
Executive Leadership Training - Do you need it?
Coaching and Mentoring - Can it really help?
Negotiation Training - Why do I need that?
The Day to Day Life of Having an Adult Son With Schizophrenia Disorder!
When Jesus Said Follow Me – They Left Everything!
Man Does Not Live By Bread Alone!
Are You a Doubting Thomas?
God Couldn’t Join the Church Either
Noah Faced 100 Plus Years of Ridicule!
Determination Is the Key To Success
Part of the training I received in Marine Corps boot camp involved fighting another Marine with a pugil stick. Understand that the Marine you were matched up against wasn’t necessarily the same weight or height as you. In my case the Marine I was put up against looked like he carried around cars prior enlisting in the Marine Corps. He was big and strong and I was tall and skinny!
For those of you that do not know what pugil sticks are they are basically a completely padded club with two places in the middle to grasp your hands onto. When I went to boot camp back in 1975 the padded portion was not all that padded. We were also allowed to wear a football helmet with a face guard. Again, the football helmet we wore looked nothing like the football helmets you see today.
I began by telling you that this leadership story was about determination. Determination can be motivated by many things such as pride, shame, love, and in my case all out fear of getting my head taken off by the giant that was coming at me with the full intent of doing so. Never underestimate the power of fear if used correctly.
Prior to being sent into the circle of what I was sure would be certain defeat and a whole lot of pain the Drill Instructor was providing me with well meaning guidance. His carefully chosen words pierced through me like a knife. I believe they were something like this, “If you don’t win I will make you pay!” I’m sure he must have given me much more instruction but that is all that stuck in my mind. The bad news was that I knew the giant Marine on the other side was receiving the same exact guidance from the Drill Instructor sending him in.
As the time was rapidly approaching that I would be sent into battle against what must have been the biggest Marine I had ever seen I was trying to recall the combat training we had just received. Was it stabbing thrusts then cross cuts or cross cuts then stabbing thrusts? Was I supposed to charge him or wait for him to charge me? Yes, I was in big trouble.
As leadership stories go this one has a moral to it and that is that one should never under estimate their desire to survive when pushed to their limits. I have no problem telling anyone that I was afraid. I know that Marines are not supposed to be afraid, but I was afraid. Knowing that I would be taking hits to my head and body that would surely cause me great pain, and maybe worse knock me completely unconscious had me very afraid.
The time had come. The Drill Instructor put his hand on my back and pushed me very hard toward the center of the circle. I believe he sent me off with those same words of comfort he barked out earlier, “If you don’t kick his butt I will kick yours!”
As I charged into the center of the circle I forgot everything I was taught and instinct took over. I let out an earth shattering battle cry from the deepest most inner parts of my gut. I ran toward him as fast as I possibly could, trying to surprise him since everyone else entered cautiously. Instead of swinging or thrusting my pugil stick I just held it diagonal across my chest and slammed into him causing him to fall backward onto the ground. As he hit the ground I just began swinging my pugil stick and striking him in the head as many times as I possibly could.
After several strikes to the head a Drill Instructor grabbed me and pulled me off of him. I had done it! I had beaten the giant of a Marine and I wasn’t even sure how I did it. I know it wasn’t the combat training since I had broken all the rules. I know it wasn’t because I was stronger, because I wasn’t even close to as strong as he was. It must have been the overwhelming fear of pain and losing that drove me to win. Fear is a huge motivator.
Leadership stories are a great way of teaching lessons that would be hard to do in any other way. Every leadership story has a point to be made and in this leadership story it was determination. Not necessarily the determination to win, but just to survive.
The Importance Of Good Leadership Stories
Again - I will be adding additional short leadership stories from time to time - that I hope you enjoy.
Thank you and May God Bless You!