Jason Redman with John R. Bruning, Foreword by Robert M. Gates
5 Stars Authentic, Humble, Healing, NOT Your “Normal” Leadership Story
This book brought tears to my eyes by page 71. This is not your “normal” leadership story. It blends three leadership stories from one personal experience: a personal failure of leadership stemming from the mix of arrogance and alcohol; a positive enabling leadership environment (not at all the norm for the Department of Defense) that helped this warrior grow; and finally, the personal triumph of being one with God, country, team, and family after being broken by wounds that would have killed most others.
I found the author’s personal tale to be totally authentic and very moving, aided by a most eloquent delivery, perhaps the signal contribution of the supporting author.
The three words that sum this story up are LISTEN, LEARN, LEAD.
Here are some quotes that represent the quality of the book:
QUOTE (135): “I felt so disgraced that I stayed in my room twenty-two hours a day, venturing out only at odd hours to get food when the chow hall was virtually empty.”
QUOTE (173): “A good leader will tell the truth regardless of the outcome.”
QUOTE (216): “Over the succeeding days, I did more listening and learning than leading.
QUOTE (367): “Our [Wounded Wear] mission is to help wounded warriors, their families, and the families of the fallen. We help them rediscover the hero within them [with clothing that reconnects them to the public with slogans such as ‘Scarred so that Others May Live Free.’}”
QUOTE (371): “Above all, in the years ahead, I’ll do everything I can to show our nation that the American Dream still burns bright. We veterans have always believed in it, have defended it, and have given our lives for the ideals it represents. In return, we ask only that our countrymen and –women listen to our experiences and appreciate what we have sacrificed so that all Americans can be given a chance at that dream.”
This book is easily qualified for both the required reading lists at the entry-level and mid-career military schools, and the recommended reading lists for all forms of organization, not only the military but the civil service, business schools, and beyond.
Editor's note: This was written by Robert David Steele and has been republished with permission. He is a former US spy recently recommended for the Nobel Peace Prize. He is the founder of the discipline of Open Source Intelligence and the author of The Open Source Everything Manifesto among many other books. Learn more about him at http://robertdavidsteele.com. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.