Leadership Attributes - They stand out in a crises ...

Leadership attributes really stand out under stressful situations and in a crises. What they do - and how they react to certain situations when there is no time to super analyze the data - is absolutely a determining factor of good leadership skills and a sure sign of effective leadership.

My father – who possess an effective leadership style - and has the attributes of a leader. Just to mention a few ...

... Confidence and Passion!

... He has set high standards for himself and achieved them

... He has lived his life in a way that set a standard for others to follow

... His no meant no and his yes meant yes

... Playing the cards that he was dealt

... Family and others before self

... Courage to make the right decision no matter the cost to himself

... He could take control of any situation

... He walked the walk and talked the talk

... He always made us believe in him through his actions

... He could assess a situation quickly and make sound decisions to control the outcome

For a complete list of my Dad's Leadership Attributes - click here.

Under stressful situations or times of crises the old saying - fight or flight - or step up to the plate - comes to mind. He would always step up to the plate. My dads leadership style was to tackle the problem or situation head on.

Leadership Attributes - Just enjoying our vacation ...

Several years ago I was on leave - also referred to as vacation - from the Marine Corps. My mom and dad had asked me to join them on a trip from Washington, DC to South Dakota in their motor home.

Traveling in a motor home is the way to go! We had a blast - stopping when and where we wanted - and at other times driving through the night. What ever suited us.

This may date me but - they had a CB radio - and listening to that was always entertaining. Mostly truckers - talking about all kinds of things.

Leadership Attributes - Courage to make the right decision ...

One night about 1 :00 am I was driving - my dad was sleeping - and my mom was in the back. As we were passing through Illinois - I heard a voice over the CB radio - back it down - there is an accident ahead of you at mile marker 176. My dad was up and behind me in a split second - guess he wasn't sleeping after all.

Unfortunately - I was not aware that they were speaking directly to us. My dad tells me to slow down immediately - which I did. Thank God he did.

As we came over the hill - I saw a small car hooked up to a pull trailer spread across the highway right in our path - cattle everywhere - along with furniture and other personal items thrown all over the road and ditch. I then noticed a cattle truck on its side in the road ditch just ahead.

We just barely missed the car and trailer.

Without hesitation my dad is telling me to pull over - I pulled off to the side of the road - we jumped out of the motor home - and my dad is telling me to get to the people in the car - that was still in the middle of the highway - before someone else hits them.

Leadership Attributes - My dad assessed the situation quickly to control the outcome ...

I was on a dead run to the smashed up car - when I realized that cattle that have been thrown out of a wrecked cattle truck - are not real friendly - in fact they are spooked beyond belief. I had worked with cattle growing up in South Dakota - and the norm for a cow is to be frightened of you - not ready to charge you.

Well I became more aware of this as I still ran for the vehicle. Just as my dad had said - I was worried that another car - or worse a simi truck - was going to come over the hill and run into them.

I got to the vehicle which was spread across the two lanes of traffic blocking almost all of it - and it was filled with a younger lady driving - an older lady in the passenger seat - and two small children in the back seat.

After a quick assessment of them - I determined that they were not injured badly - but were certainly frightened so much that

Leadership Attributes - She was still grasping the steering wheel...

The driver was still grasping the steering wheel very tightly - and staring straight ahead crying. The children in the back seat were crying uncontrollably also - and the passenger just sat there saying over and over – we've lost everything.

I opened the door to the drivers side and calmly asked the driver get out - along with the children. They didn't move an inch. I tried to explain that if they didn't get out - they may get hit again.

I was growing more worried that a vehicle was going to come over the hill any second and kill us all - but I knew I had to get them out now. I was wondering where my dad was - he had came with me - but now I couldn't find him anywhere to help me. I grabbed the driver by the wrist and said again calmly - lets get out of the car.

Leadership Attributes - He always made us believe in him through his actions...

I pulled very strongly while she resisted at first - finally giving in and getting out of the car. That is when the other lady on the passenger side got out also - leaving me to get the children out of the back seat.

They didn't want to come out either but they were small enough for me to just grab them.

I now knew where my dad was - who is always one step ahead - had taken some flares to the top of the hill and set them off - which helped immensely to alert the traffic and I am sure saved our lives - as well as others.

He then sprinted to put some flares on the other side of the highway to alert traffic of the cattle on the road.

I got the occupants from the car into the motor home and my dad and I turned our attention to the driver of the truck. I wasn't sure what my dad and I would find - since the truck was on it's side and we had not seen the driver yet.

Leadership Attributes - Family and others before self...

The truck was laying on its side with the passenger side to the ground. We looked through the front windshield and found that the driver was hurt - but it did not appear to be life threatening. With some help from the driver himself we were able to get him out of the cab of the truck from the drivers door that was on top.

Just a quick note that my dad was always considering others first. His effective leadership styles - gave me confidence in everything he did - or the direction he was leading us. Those leadership attributes are rare - but he had them - and I was glad.

We got him back to the motor home and laid him down. He had several small cuts - maybe some internal injuries - but best we could tell - he was going to be ok.

The two ladies and the children were also in the motor home - and my mother was making everyone as comfortable as possible. They had finally began to calm down.

Leadership Attributes - My dad could take control of any situation ...

Now for the cattle.

My dad and I quickly went back out - and did our best to frighten the cattle off the road. This was not easy - but thanks to my dad's quick thinking to put the flares out helped a lot to slow the traffic down.

Around this time the highway patrol showed up - and funny thing was - my dad was directing them to get more flares out further back up both sides of the highway - and put his patrol car on the other side - until more help arrived - which they did do.

Almost every car or truck that came through - kept on driving after negotiating their way through the debris field of junk and any cattle that remained on the road. This was frustrating - but my dad told me - that is life. You have to play the hand your dealt.

We continued to work at getting the cattle off the road by scaring them into the fields. By now several more highway patrolman had showed up and we're directly traffic now. An ambulance arrived to treat the drivers and occupants from both vehicles. As we expected - none of them were seriously hurt.

The highway patrol used our motor home as a command center while they finished with the clean up and investigation. Leadership Attributes - He again set a high standard for me to follow which I hope to ...

I guess we must have spent a total of about 3 hours there that night. Some things you never forget - and this was one of them.

Whenever I am asked a questions about what are some leadership attributes - I only have to think about my dad and I can come up with countless ones.

I truly believe if it wasn't for my dad's quick thinking to put the flares out - as simple as this sounds - I think someone would have gotten killed that night.

It is sometimes the simplest things that make the difference between life and death.

So as you go through your daily life - and you think about the little things - do them - they are more important than you think.

I am proud of my dad - and I know he is a true leader. His leadership style makes him very effective. His leadership attributes make him someone I will always admire and try to emulate.

Thank you and May God Bless!

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