This morning, the book titled American Spartan, by Ann Scott Tyson is open on my recently organized desk. I’ve read this book more than once since reconnecting with my cousin Ann and meeting her husband, and main character of the book, Jim Gant. This book is another “anti-whine” pill for me and any of my family, friends, and clients willing to give it a read. You and your team would benefit from reading good stories that make you want to whine less. Here’s a taste from page 151. “‘We have the best tactics in the world, the best equipment in the world, the best plan in the world, but when this happens it’s going to come down to Ghairat, your bravery and your courage to fight.’ Jim said. Ghairat – one of the words tattooed on Jim’s wrist – was a core tenet of Pashtunwali, the code of behavior by which Pashtun tribespeople lived. It meant personal honor and valor, and was perhaps the most important measure of character and manhood of a Pashtun tribesman.”
Jim has Ghairat oozing from his pores. He signs his notes to me “Strength and honor,” and I know he means it. Jim certainly had the bravery and courage to fight, but more telling, he embodies the root reason behind virtuous bravery and courage (not false bravado). He embodies heart. He embodies love. Make no mistake, Jim is meek not weak. He is tough and tender but you would want him on the front of your Hummer. Every BTL team we build beside could sure use a few more teammates with personal honor flowing from a full heart. Fact.
Slow down and reflect, friend. What does your team see tattooed on your heart – the bravery and courage to fight for what’s right combined with the grit to get it done or the passive, political, play it safe and protect mine kinda person? Does your team see a leader who demands from others what he demands for herself? Does your team see a tough and tender leader willing to pull and accepting of the push from below?
This morning we kicked our own down in the 3PP. When the timer signaled go at 7:57 there was nobody there but me. I imagined Jim Gant beside me and hit go. PJ arrived a few minutes late and jmo a few minutes later. My sorriness was glad to see them. Eighty five minutes in, I told jmo I wanted to take the next iteration off. I didn’t want to do anymore. He kindly called me a not so nice name and headed to the high bar beside my sorriness. I thanked him for making me do what I can and told him it was about time he led. We laughed (and swore like sailors) and finished with four freakin’ magic Lhangs of thirty seconds each. I don’t have Ghairat oozing from me, but it’s never too late to begin the building process. Thanks for the inspiration, Jim & Ann. Thanks, jmo, for not letting me build a bad habit of doing less than I can. Together we transform. Always together.
Live hard. Love harder (Thanks, Meeks)…