The August 29, 2011 issue of Time Magazine includes a well-written article that is important, and highly relevant to every leader, and certainly every healthcare leader in America!
The article is entitled The New Greatest Generation. Author Joe Klein writes, “a new kind of war meant a new set of skills. Now veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are bringing their leadership lessons home, where we need them most.”
The article is full of true and inspiring stories of veterans who are very effectively applying the leadership skills acquired during military service to make huge differences back home in America and around the world. The diverse examples and stories include a veteran who was valedictorian of his Harvard class, to veterans who have probably never set foot on a college campus.
Every veteran mentioned is an outstanding leader and each of them are making significant contributions to their comrades, their communities, their organizations and their country.
They know how to lead! Consider the following:
“They’re incredible, some of my best students,” says Dr. Elaine Kamarck of the Harvard Kennedy School. “Two things set them apart; they’re very disciplined, and they’re really, really serious about their work.”
Klein writes, “the returning veterans are bringing skills that seem to be on the wane in American society, qualities we really need now: crisp decision making, rigor, optimism, entrepreneurial creativity, a larger sense of purpose and real patriotism (as opposed to self-righteous flag waving).
Dr. Richard Young, a pediatric neurologist who has taught for 30 years at Yale and has served four tours as a combat physician in Iraq is quoted as saying, “These are the most diverse and extraordinary people I’ve ever met. I’d love to see the values and ethics of the military spread into the general population.”
The numerous true stories and examples in the article are inspirational and educational. I recommend that every leader not only read this article, but also carefully study the article with resolve to apply its content and inspiration for the benefit of all.
Whether you read the Time article or not, I have an important question for all leaders.
Are you and are we most effectively tapping into this priceless resource of talent and leadership for the future? These men and women are indeed THE NEW GREATEST GENERATION. THESE MEN AND WOMEN KNOW HOW TO LEAD.
You will never ask them to do something or lead something more difficult than they have already done or led! Think about that. Regardless of your organization, your industry, your current or future circumstances, these men and women have faced and survived worse!
They are successful survivors. They are successful, proven leaders. Talk about experience and having been through the fire!
And for those of us wise enough to recognize tremendous potential and opportunity, these men and women are available. They are available to lead and serve in your organization, in your community, in your industry, and in your life.
Not to mention that they already made the choice to lay their life on the line for you, your family, your organization, your community, your industry, your country… and your free future!
What are you waiting for? These men and women are available… and you need them!