Leadership Lessons from a US Army General Maj Gen John Gronski (retd) - burst 11

A New Direction


A gunnery. Sergeant michael burkhart was the who was the explosive ordinance disposal team leader went down to that site with two young marines and they were going to conduct a post blast analysis to determine a tactics techniques procedures insurgents. Were using so we could try to prevent these attacks from happening again in the future and when gunny burkhardt got down there with two young rains was chaotic. The soldiers were cisterna. Seen the ad that a chaos there were two reporters from the omaha world herald newspaper there there were embedded reporter so anyway going burkhard gets down. There sees the destroyed up. Armored humvee sees a crater near that up armored humvee bow four feet in diameter a couple of feet deep makes an assumption that that's for that roadside bomb that destroyed that humvee was placed jumps down into crater. Take a closer look as soon as he did that. He realized he made a mistake because he could see in the dirt in front of him to artillery shells. Red detonation cord running in the nose was a roadside bomb. That an insurgent have placed their so. He took his k bar knife. Cut the red debt. Detonation cord to neutralize that roadside bomb. He didn't see a third artillery shell into dirt behind him in that crater. An insurgent was off in the distance. Hit a button. On a that nation device that artillery shell exploded not going burkhardt about fifteen feet into the air lands on the dirt road unconscious pants soaked with blood. Our soldiers call a medevac helicopter. Ride away go up tomb start. Cut his pants off. Start tending to his boons after few minutes burkhart regains consciousness. The soldiers couldn't believe that and and he's laying there and he asked the soldiers if he has both of his legs because they had no no sensation from the waist down. They sure to me had both of his legs. They continue to work on 'em couple minutes later. He gets a tingling sensation in his legs. He tells the soldiers he wants to stand up. Soldiers couldn't believe that this guy had just gotten blown up and so we struggles to his feet. He standing there to soldiers around him. The medevac helicopter comes in lands on the ground behind them. The soldiers point to the stretcher On the ground in front of the misogony. We've got you know. Gotta put you on a stretcher and carry you to that helicopter. He looks at the soldiers and he says i'm not going to have you carry me that helicopter on a stretcher. I'm going to walk there under my own power. Because i don't want the insurgents of the pleasure of seeing me being carried that helicopter and easy. He says that he raises his hand into the air and gives the insurgents which i will call a one finger salute reporter reported from the omaha world heritage takes a picture of him standing there Groin protector. you know. In in front of his private area there. No pants on finger thrown up into the air soldiers around him. You'd say the helicopter the background. That picture became an iconic picture of the iraq war but what is deleted Point of the story. And the reason i tell this story and the reason. I think it's important. The leadership point of this story is member told you. He had two young marines with them that day. He knew he was going to have to recover from his wounds. He knew what all the roadside bomb attacks were getting that those two young marines were going to have to be out there probably later on that day routes realizing roadside bombs. The reason he wanted to walk to that helicopter instead of being carried there had nothing at all to do with what he thought and surgeons for thinking. He wanted to walk to that helicopter so we would not shatter the confidence of those too young marines. Pseudo leadership point is even after getting blown up ten minutes earlier. His main concern was not with his own wounds. His bank concern was with those two young marines. Who he was leading an isn't that what leadership is all about. And we talked about that looking out for the welfare of those you lead rather than your own welfare and that's exactly what gandhi burkhardt exemplified that day. And that's why. I like to tell that story that i read read that story. I had to read it again. Because i was laughing because i could just see i. I have friends who are marines right by the way. There's no such thing as an ex marine okay. the just doesn't exist. I've been told that countless times by my friend there's just no such thing they they may be quote unquote have retired at the end of their name. But they're still all. And and and i just thinking about them go. That's exactly what jimmy would. That's exactly what he would have done. That's what bob would have done. He would have done the same thing. I i can. Just see it. I just great story but it was truly the surprise in that lesson was not. I thought it was going to be resiliency. It is but the point is that he cared so much about making sure that those other two young marines were their that their mental emotional state was not shaken. Yeah and you know jay that think about this as leaders we face adversity almost every day in whatever organization were leading the some degree and and sometimes things get tough honest and the point is as a leader. You can't be thinking. I'm an figuratively. I'll use this. You know you can't be thinking. I'm cold i i'm hungry. You know i. I'm shivering right. No you you've got to show those you're leading that you know what i've got the resiliency to overcome this. And because i do you have the resiliency to overcome. They might be called. I might be hungry. I might be weak. But i'm going to take care of you before i take care of myself. And that's the essence of leadership. We underestimate the modeling of behavior. Don't we when it comes to leadership absolutely. Yeah and you know what the other thing i learned in my forty years of leading soldiers also leading teams in the business sector. Is the people you lead are always watching you practice. You know you could. You could put down in writing. What your leadership philosophy is or you could verbally give some guidance about behaviors. You're looking for but those you lead are going to be watching to see you. Know how do you adhere your own guidance. Behaviors that you're looking for you. Exemplify those behaviors and your followers are always watching and your actions speak so much larger than larger louder than your words. Do

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