Former U.S. Army Captain William D. Swenson and his column were ambushed on an operation in Afghanistan, near the Pakistan border. Swenson ran through enemy fire during this ambush to rescue the wounded; he brought a severely injured sergeant to a helicopter for medical evacuation, bent over and kissed him on his head before returning to save more.
In the military, leaders have this deep love for their team and are willing to sacrifice their life so their team may gain. As a result, I often wonder why this sense of love and team doesn’t occur in many organizations today. But this is what leadership is all about; it has nothing to do with elevating yourself on the backs of your people or, worst, tearing people down to make yourself look or feel good. That’s not leadership; that’s not even basic human respect.
When you are called to lead, you are called to serve, and you must be willing to place the needs of others above your own. When you are called a leader, you must ensure that your team is inspired and motivated daily to make a difference. That’s what we call leadership, and that’s what real leaders do.