A mark of a true warrior is giving credit where credit is due. Warriors recognize the efforts of all. Warriors realize that it is "the little people" that really matter. What is a General without his soldiers? What is a corporate CEO without his team of VP's, accountants, lawyers, salespeople, marketers, and tech department? What is a famous film actress without directors, set-designers, make-up artists, costume designers, script writers, and tech people?
Imagine our film actress. She is beautiful, she is famous and she is amazing at her craft. Now imagine that suddenly, all the directors, set-designers, make-up artists, costume designers, script writers, and film tech people disappeared from the planet. How effective will she be without these people? Sure she can still act, but won't her finished product be lacking? She know's nothing about directing, cannot make her own costumes, and doesn't know a thing about writing dialogue. She can't run the sound board and she surely cannot build a set. How awesome of movie would that be if it lacked all those people but still had her in it? It wouldn't be very good.
Now imagine a General but all his troops suddenly disappear. How is he to fight the war by himself? The general without his troops is nothing. The CEO now finds himself in the same predicament. All his departments have suddenly vanished. No more lawyers, accountants, salespeople or tech people. How is the CEO to continue running this corporation? Sure he could do everything himself, but how effectively? He likes selling but he has never been any good at legal jargon, accounting, or particularly savvy with technology. The company is doomed in this position. The CEO is nothing without his team.
Warriors realize this. A warrior knows that he/she is only as strong as the weakest link in the chain. This is why warriors seek to improve all those around them. They seek to improve all those on their team but most importantly, they give credit where credit is due.
Many times, people will single out one individual and give him or her all the praise for a particular achievement. Be it in show business, Corporate America, or on the battlefield. The egotist is the one who soaks up the glory and says "Thank you, thank you." The warrior is the one who says "Well, first and foremost, I only go as far as my team. Without them, we never could achieved this monumental film, started this tremendous company or won this hard-fought battle."
I recently wrote a blog about Kyle Carpenter, a marine who won the medal of honor after he threw his body on top of a live grenade to save his fellow marine. He lost his left eye, needed massive reconstructive surgery on his face, and his left arm is still badly damaged from the 37 bone fractures that occurred when the grenade detonated. After winning the medal of honor, he appeared on the David Letterman show. Letterman asked him whether he threw himself on the grenade because that's who Kyle Carpenter is and was before joining the marines or was he just a product of his training? Kyle was given the chance before millions of people to say "Oh yeah, that's me. That's how I've always been. Kyle, the selfless hero." But he didn't. Taking a big sigh before speaking, Kyle said: "I would like to say it was me, but it was my training. The marine core instills in you the proud history we have of other marines who have been heroic and that when you are out in dangerous parts of the world, the marine to your right and left is all you have." He elaborated saying that "We are taught and trained to always look out for our junior marines and that sense of protection is instilled in us from day one." He gave credit to his training. Thereby giving credit to his trainers, and his fellow marines who helped him train. Even after winning the medal of honor, the highest military honor we have, he still gave credit to his comrades; to his team.
This thanksgiving, be a warrior and give credit where credit is due. Do not glory in yourself and what you have done. Give thanks to all those on your personal team who have supported you and propped you up. No man is an island as the saying goes, and I know that I am no different. I thank all of my family, friends, and mentors as we near Thanksgiving and most importantly I thank God Almighty for all His many blessings. Without God, and without my family, friends, and mentors, I am nothing.
To all the warriors out there, I wish you all a very safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday.
Live in the Battleground,
The Warrior Speaker Blog is a collection of warrior lessons Alexander has learned in addition to practical information about protecting yourself and all that you deem most personal.