The Rhino’s Holiday

By • on February 26, 2009

It would be ridiculous not to recognize two of the greatest leaders of all time during the month of their birth. George Washington was born On February 22 and Abraham Lincoln on February 12. The year’s of their birth obviously don’t really matter because their leadership styles are timeless and are still practiced by the most successful leaders of today.

George Washington understood that he was setting a precedent for all Presidents. Although he was considered very reserved and a staunch military disciplinarian, his “Rhino-skin” covered a big heart as he refused to lead his men into a battle that they were not fully prepared for. He strived to live his life humbly; with strong loyalties, character and self-discipline.

It should be noted that while Washington was a formidable force during the war, he lost almost as many battles as he won, and was once taken prisoner-of-war by the French during the French-Indian campaign. These set-backs did not stop him.

In 1777 as George Washington led his troops into Valley Forge, things looked bleak. His troops were frozen, tired and had inadequate ammunition, supplies, and nutrition. There were rumors of replacing Washington, and he was aware. Much like the mighty Rhino, Washington remained steadfast in his mission, enduring defeat after defeat. All the while, his troops became more prepared and loyal, and the rest is history. He later became the first President of the United States, by a unanimous vote. Having a Rhino-skin is what brought George Washington to the pinnacle of success.

Washington once said, “How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these.”

Abraham Lincoln was brought up in a meager farming existence, lost his mother at the age of nine and had less that one full year of education in his life but these drawbacks did not keep Abraham Lincoln from forging ahead and changing his future for the better. Lincoln once read the biography of George Washington and in turn, made Washington’s and the founding fathers ideals his own. And Lincoln is famous for assuming more power than any of his Presidential predecessors, in his efforts to preserve the union during the Civil War.

As I have pointed out before, Abe Lincoln was defeated for state legislature and Speaker of the House for Illinois, lost the nomination to Congress and the Vice Presidency, was twice defeated for a seat in the US Senate, lost a job, failed in business and suffered a nervous breakdown, ALL before becoming the 16th President of the United States.

Lincoln once said, “The probability that we may fall in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just; it shall not deter me.”

Like the Rhino, both of these great men came to the aid of their beloved country in time of great need; both setting a precedence of enthusiastic, yet aggressive action in times of emergency. Their power, influence and steadfast devotion to themselves, their families and their country have left indelible marks in history; making them two of the greatest leaders in history.

As this month goes by let the people around you know that you have empathy for their position and are willing to help them achieve their goals and reach their dreams.

  • Set a precedent at work by approaching someone that is newer to the force, and ask them if you can help them in any way. Ask them if they have any questions about the way the “wheel turns” at work.
  • Don’t ever say, “I don’t know.” If anyone asks you a question that you do not have an answer for, say “I am not sure, but I will find out and get back with you.” Or help the person find the answer by showing them where to look, and you will both benefit, as you will now know the answer as well.
  • If someone is new to the force, take them under your wing immediately. Just remember that it is awful those first few weeks on any job; even if you are qualified for the position. Taking someone under your wing will make them feel like they are part of the team and it will position you as a leader.

Take a few moments this month to appreciate who you are and where you live. Be able to take pride in all that you do.

Keep Charging Hard!


Copyright 2009 © Christian Warren All Rights Reserved


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