Though I have been living abroad in Israel for over three years, I am reminded on an almost daily basis of my American roots and identity. I remember backpacking around southern Israel at eighteen years old and coming across a group of US soldiers in a local bar in a small, dusty town. I was shocked! What are you doing here? I asked. The soldiers told me that they were stationed at a local base, training and working with the Israeli army. I had never before really considered the reality of the US military presence abroad, and felt so proud and so comforted by the fact that I could meet a US soldier in such an unlikely place.
It is particularly fitting for us to be reminded of the sacrifices and bravery of our veterans, our country’s great leaders, as thoughts and questions about the election and the future of the United States as well as its relationship to foreign entities continue to surface. Additionally, in this time where our nation needs united leadership, we can learn from our veterans and active service men and women, a group that produces some of the most experienced and noble leaders we have.
“The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.” ~General Dwight D. Eisenhower
A good military leader is the epitome of the servant leader, always putting the needs of others before him or herself, constantly striving to help individuals reach their potential. Though many CEOs and business professionals strive to live as servant leaders, our military puts these principals into action on a daily basis—through caring for troops domestically or abroad, training others to take over positions of leadership, and courageously risking their own wellbeing for the greater good of the American people and nation.
Our veterans are our greatest leaders. This year, let’s strive to give them the respect and honor they deserve, and also to empower them to share their leadership with the country long after their service is over.
“Never let your ego get so close to your position, so that when your position goes, your ego goes with it.” ~General Colin Powell
General Colin Powell warns that leaders should never identify too much with their position, but rather with who they are what qualities they imbue. Each and every veteran has been faced with the reality of leaving the military and entering the civilian world, a place where their unique contributions and position often go unrecognized. Our veterans knew that the military would continue without them once they completed their service, yet still dedicated themselves 100% to their roles. This attitude of committing oneself to a greater good purely to help make a difference takes tremendous humility, and is an attitude that every leader should strive to adopt.
“It doesn’t take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle.” ~ General H. Norman Schwarzkopf
A great leader not only gives orders, they join in and participate in the struggle and triumphs of their team. The military is the ultimate embodiment of this leadership principle—leaders and those being led work together, in the trenches, towards accomplishing greater goals and growth. Their hard work and dedication ripples out to benefit our entire nation.
The entire Weaving Influence team would like to extend a sincere THANK YOU to all of our veterans as well as our active-duty servicemen and servicewomen. In a world of instability and uncertainty, we appreciate everything that you do and strive to learn from your leadership.
What are you doing to honor veterans in your community and across the country? We’d love to hear!