Walking in the Presence of Heroes

by Wiz

in Lessons,Podcasts

Several years ago, I flew out to Hawaii on a business trip.  I asked my wife if she wanted to go with me, because I knew she’d never been there.  Much to my surprise, she said no: she knew I’d be working, and she didn’t want to spend her first trip in Hawaii doing things without me.

Now I wasn’t really excited about the trip anyway: I was going to be away for about three weeks (much of that time on a Navy ship), it was right after Thanksgiving (there were certain Christmas “family rituals” that I would missing), and it was only about 6 weeks after 9/11, so air travel was a real mess.

My attitude leading up to the trip was pretty sour – but looking back on it, I’m so very glad I went.  Because, through no design of my own, I found myself in the presence of heroes – heroes in the truest sense of the word.  And what I learned in my short time with them really changed my thinking about some things. (4:34)

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Karen Zapp January 29, 2008 at 12:36 pm

Hi John!

Interesting story and quote that you shared today. I believe you make a solid point about why some people shy away from leadership. In general our society may overstate the importance of “greatness” as a quality of a good leader. This does NOT mean I’m in favor of mediocrity! It simply means I believe there are many terrific, solid, top notch leaders who never see the limelight; and who may never face a “great” challenge. Let’s face it; some of the challenges of the WWII vets – including the Pearl Harbor survivors and ANY combat veteran of any era – are extreme challenges of greatness. But for military people whose careers don’t include a combat experience, and also for civilians . . . this doesn’t mean they weren’t great leaders in their own way. Facing the day-to-day challenges with enthusiasm, cheer, steadfast ethics, and fairness are all qualities of great leaders. We need more of these leaders too.


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