I spoke with a gentleman from Australia this evening (his morning) whose Father had served in Vietnam in the grand tradition of the Australian-American tried and true military relationship. And he reached out to me to try to take a course at West Point (at my day job) because he is enrolled in Sydney University for his MBA and he wanted to expand his leadership horizons. He also works at a very large international corporation which has also endorsed his travel to the US to pursue this leader development opportunity because of his position as the head of a sales team. His resume is impressive for a young man, and his pursuit of higher education is admirable – but my astonishment is in his focus on leadership.
He has read countless volumes of books on different wartime engagements, battles, and biographies. He rattled off some names of the ones that impressed him the most – Eisenhower, Bradley, and Patton (all West Pointers by the way). And he said, “I just kept seeing West Point show up over and over again, and I am so happy to have the opportunity – even as a civilian – to be able to benefit from training that will help me develop as a ‘leader of character’. It is just who I am, and I don’t mind traveling around the world to get this kind of training at all!”
He said he was the youngest of three (two older sisters) and one of his sisters was mentally handicapped. It is her struggle to do everything in life (even the basics like speaking and communicating) that allowed him to realize at the age of eleven years, “People do not all have the same opportunity to succeed in life, and those of us who have the ability also have the responsibility to try our best to use our talents for the good of the rest of the population…and give back to those who cannot do what we can.” My reaction: What an inspiring view of the world.
It isn’t enough to be doing what I am truly great at, but I am humbled to be able to speak to this caliber of human being! Thank you for all who read these posts because I know I am “preaching to the choir” when I share these articles and thoughts, but I have to share these truly amazing moments when I find them.