Leadership in the heat of battle

200pxweweresoldiers_posterFor half the day today I watched man movies…war movies…movies that make you want to go punch something.  If you’re wondering why – I putting together some clips for our Father’s day service.

While watching everything on fast forward, I stopped and ended up watching something for a bit – "We We’re Soldiers."  I’ve seen it before.  And I didn’t watch the whole thing this time.  But I was mesmerized by Mel Gibson’s character – Lt. Gen. Hal Moore.  I think this has to be one of the best depictions of leadership I’ve seen in a movie.  Tomorrow you should all go get it, put it in your DVD player, and pull out a notebook and take notes.  I’m not kidding.  DO IT!

Moore led 450 young soldiers into the la Drang Valley in one of the first battles of the Vietnam war.  Consequently, as soon as he landed, he was surrounded by 2000 Viet. regulars.  The movie recounts this 3 day battle and is gutwrenching, inspiring, and sad at the same time.  Moore states, "I can’t promise you that I will bring you all home alive, but this I
swear : I will be the first one to set foot on the field, and I will be
the last to step off. And I will leave no one behind. Dead, or alive,
we all come home together."

Leadership qualities I noticed:

  • He was fearless – Often you would see Moore standing up in the midst of battle gaging the fight, while bullets whizzed passed his head.
  • He was decisive – Moore would asses the situation and make a quick decision.
  • He was studied – Moore was a student of war.  He read up on his adversary in order to know his tactics.  He also read up on previous battles and warriors before him.
  • He was encouraging – Wow was he always encouraging!  Moore constantly encouraged his men.  He wouldn’t allow them to dwell on their mistakes.  Instead, he affirmed his confidence in them and allowed them to lead.
  • He was protective – He saw those men as HIS men…entrusted to his care.  He wept when they died.  He did all he could to keep them safe.
  • He was a teacher – Moore did his utmost best to prepare his men for battle.  He knew the better prepared they were…the more likely they would make it out alive.
  • He was the first one in and the last one out – Moore led….in the real sense.  He showed his men that he was in the fight with them.
  • He was passionate – The man lived and breathed leadership.  He loved what he did.  He loved leading.  He was PASSIONATE!
  • He was a family man – Moore made time for his family.

This is what I have off the top of my head….think I’ll watch it again with a note pad.

1 thought on “Leadership in the heat of battle

  1. Your right, it is a great movie. If you have the time, the book is twice as great!

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