Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Rangers Lead The Way II

Previously, I shared with you the impact that my attendance at US Army Ranger School made on my personal and professional development. Two months of no food and no sleep (check out this video series if you are interested in learning more) left me skinny, tired, and confident that I could handle anything!

One of the more important elements of the training was the assignment of a "Ranger Buddy." This was a peer who would become my shadow for the subsequent 61 days. We kept each other awake, helped with weak areas, and encouraged one another when times got difficult. If we went for water or to the latrine (the training broke down a LOT of barriers!), it was with my buddy.

I think this is still an important concept. No one can go through life -- or leadership -- alone. Everyone needs a Ranger Buddy to provide counsel, to be a listener, or to challenge us to push farther than we otherwise could do alone. Whether a spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, or a colleague at work, we all need the encouragement and accountability that comes from a "Buddy."

So, what about you? Who is your Ranger Buddy? Who pushes you to accomplish more than you would on your own? Who do you feel comfortable enough with to be yourself, to let down your guard, to expose your weaknesses? Who holds you accountable? This is a difficult concept in a society that seems to interact less, where relationships are based on status, and where leaders are more comfortable seeking counsel in a book than in a real person! But I am convinced that we must connect with at least one person who cares less about status and appearance (two months in the field -- with very few showers -- tends to make status pretty meaningless) and more about helping one another be their best.

That's what Ranger Buddies do. And that's Leader Business.

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