Friday, October 2, 2009

Friday's Answer: Effective Example

How can I be an effective leader?

This past summer I had the opportunity to visit the Nimitz Museum of the Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, Texas. I was intrigued as I learned about Admiral Nimitz for the first time. (My history-buff brother, Dan, knew all about him from studying World War II and couldn't believe I didn't know who Nimitz was. In my defense, we hadn't yet reached that era in our homeschooling. . . .)

As I studied the exhibits, quotes and tidbits of Admiral Nimitz' life it became obvious to me that he was an effective leader. I was so impressed by the character of this man. Those who worked with him and under him respected him and spoke well of him. Even President Roosevelt depended on Nimitz. Our victory in the Pacific theater is credited to his great leadership.

What made him such an effective leader? We can find the answers by studying his life and his example. As we glean from his wisdom, we can pattern after his success and be a more effective leader in our own community leadership roles. Here are some reasons for his effectiveness that really stood out as I wandered through the memories of his life:

  • He Credited Others -- When his hometown asked to build a museum for him, Admiral Nimitz asked that they build it for all those who served under him. They were the heros in his eyes. He wrote, "Among the Americans serving on Iwo island, uncommon valor was a common virtue."
  • He Credited God -- Nimitz asked "the Almighty to protect the nation's ships at sea." In his most famous prayer, he said, "God grant me the courage not to give up what I think is right even though I think it is hopeless."
  • He Personified Courage -- Nimitz displayed courage numerous times and took risks when he felt it was needed. He never wavered or backed down in conflict whether he was facing a dangerous battle with the enemy or an intense meeting with doubters. His courage empowered him to send everything he had to Midway and win in the face of probable failure.
  • He Respected All -- Nimitz said, "Some of the best advice I've had comes from the junior officers and the enlisted men." Loyalty and unity were strong in his meetings because he listened to and acted on much of his subordinates' recommendations.
  • He Balanced Life -- At all times Nimitz remained calm, pleasant, easy-going and rarely lost his temper. "The advice of my grandfather returned to me: don't worry about things over which you have no control."
  • He Supported Staff -- Many times Nimitz went against popular opinion to promote or keep certain officers in important positions. Then he would trust their judgement, encourage them and not intervene. His discernment was well rewarded as these men rose to lead well. He said, "Leadership consists of picking good men and helping them do their best."

It would be easy to go on and on about Admiral Nimitz' character, life, and quality of leadership, but since this is a blog and not a book, it would be better to let you discover more about him on your own. His life is an example of excellence and effective leadership. I hope that you are as intrigued and as happy as I was to have been introduced to his story.

To your success,

Homeschool Leader Resources

1 comment:

happyhome said...

Great article. I am intrigued to find out more and encouraged to lead as he did.