June 16, 2008

Heroes Pt. 2

*Que the Foo Fighters* "There goes my hero..."

Okay, now we can move on

Awhile back I was challenged by an article asking people to identify their heroes. I couldn't, off the top of my head, articulate who my heroes were. I knew I had some, but couldn't think of any right off the top of my head. To add to the pressure, the article stated that people who couldn't identify their heroes suffered in leadership.

So, not wanting my leadership to suffer, I gave it some time and thought, and here, in no particular order, are some people I consider my heroes:

1. Jesus Christ. This seems like a "Sunday school answer," but He is my hero. Despite my many flawed attempts, the one after whom I desire to pattern my life. He followed after God with all of His heart. He loved people despite their flaws and wanted them to be better...to be healed in all aspects of their personhood. He sacrificially gave His life for me.

2. Lance Armstrong. Driven, competitive, champion, leader, and overcomer...all adequate descriptions of Lance Armstrong. He was the leader of a team that sacrificed their own chance at victory in order for him to win seven consecutive Tour de France. He revolutionized the sport (and the race) by utilizing his team and his strengths like no one else.

I remember watching him in one race of the Tour de France (on television, unfortunately). He struggled during the first three-fourths of the race; fighting harder than the previous days. He grimaced, and pushed his legs to exhaustion. Despite the struggle, he kept up with the best cyclists in the world. After climbing several very large mountains, he visited with his team car, and things seemed to get better. In a post-race interview, Lance revealed that his rear brake was locked down for most of the race! Lance maintained his pace with the best riders in the world, riding up huge mountainous climbs, with his rear brake clamped shut!!!

I can't make it up one of those mountains with a motorcycle pulling me.

3. Maj. Dick Winters. If you watch the HBO series Band of Brothers, you will remember Dick Winters as a major influence in the victories and development of Easy Company. He was a great leader with a simple, effective plan. He was meticulous about his preparation; reading training manuals and battle plans throughout his endeavors. He was physically fit and knew his limitations. His men looked up to him, respected him, and knew he was a competent, skilled leader who cared for them. He led with a humility not often seen. Check out his leadership principles here.

4. William Wallace. Yes, I know...Braveheart. The Braveheart version is a fictionalized characterization of William Wallace, but I like those sorts of movies. I admire the conviction, the passion, and the commitment to a cause that is bigger than one person. His men were willing to fight and die with him. They were as committed to him as they were to the cause.

5. Benjamin Franklin. Inventor, writer, politician, abolitionists. The list could go on and on. I really began admiring him after reading Isaacson's biography.

So those are a few of the people I admire...who are some people

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