Today I found this in the news. Notice of the death of Richard "Dick" Winters. Prior to this notice, I couldn't have told you who Dick Winters was. But I certainly knew of him even though I didn't recognize his name. He was the commander of Easy Company. The Easy Company whose duty during World War II was chronicled by Stephen Ambrose in his book "Band of Brothers" and an HBO series of the same name. Yeah, I knew of Dick Winters. You should too.
The deep respect his men had for him was apparent in the quotes from his memorial and one part of the story caught my eye. It was a quote from an interview he did with American History Magazine regarding leadership:
"If you can, find that peace within yourself, that peace and quiet and confidence that you can pass on to others, so that they know that you are honest and you are fair and will help them, no matter what, when the chips are down."
The quote intrigued me and I did a quick search to see if I could find the whole interview. I found it here and it was a wonderful primer on leadership from a man whose leadership skills were forged under unforgiving circumstances.
"If you listen and pay attention, you will find that your own self-consciousness will tell you if you are getting off track. Nobody will have to tell you that what you are doing is incorrect or ineffective. If you take advantage of opportunities for self-reflection, and honestly look at yourself, you will be able to be a better leader.