Are You Leaving Anyone Behind?

😔🤍Our prayers go out for all of the children, teachers and families suffering from the tragedy on Monday at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX. Our elected representatives should be ashamed that they can find no way to come together to dramatically reduce the likelihoood of these frequent tragedies. We soldier on like we must, however, but we do it with a heavy heart.😔🤍

Leave No Man (or Woman) Behind

The Navy SEALS are famous for many things, but one of their credos we often hear about is Leave No Man Behind.

We’ll give them a pass on the single sex reference since women were not allowed in military combat roles until January, 2016 and only recently eligible for the SEALS. Soon enough, I hope the mantra will change to “Leave No Man or Woman Behind” … or better yet, “Leave No One Behind“.

A similar concept is often attributed to the elite U.S. Army Rangers, who have this language as part of their creed:

I will never leave a fallen comrade to fall into the hands of the enemy.

You’ll also fine the equivalents in the Soldier’s Creed – “I will never leave a fallen comrade” – as well as the Airman’s Creed – “I will never leave an Airman behind.”

The Latin version, nemo resideo, is even the motto of the Marine Corps’ Personnel Retrieval and Processing Company, the team charged with retrieving the remains of fallen service members from the battlefield.

For each of these organizations, it means … at all costs … do not leave a fallen comrade on the field. Bring him or her home even at great risk to yourself.

Footnote: Last summer, the first female sailor enlisted in the Naval Special Warfare training pipeline and successfully completed the grueling 37-week training course to become a Naval Special Warfare combatant-craft crewman — the boat operators who transport Navy SEALs and conduct their own classified missions at sea.

I would love to share the story of this female sailor, but her identity remains confidential to protect the candidate’s personal security and “career viability as a future special operator”.

Also, a year ago, a female soldier became the first woman to complete the Army’s elite Special Forces course and join one of the all-male Green Beret teams. One other female soldier has finished training and will report to her assigned Special Forces group next month, and another will be attending the Military Freefall School next month, and then will report to her team.

You can find more details here about these female soldiers.

What does this mean for you as a Leader?

It should be a powerful reminder that it is your responsibility to bring your people along with you.

Jack Welch is credited with this quote which sums it up quite well:

  • When you see a colleague struggling, whether at work or at home, or
  • You see that one of your colleagues doesn’t quite get it even though you think you have explained it well enough, or
  • If you see someone deliberately holding back another one of your teammates …

You need to act. Leaders don’t leave their people behind … dead or alive.

What Do I Need to Do?

Pay attention.

Look for stragglers.

Your team is only as strong as its weakest link.

If you can identify those links and devote quality time to make those links stronger, your team will be stronger and you’ll Become More Effective and get more done.

Keep both eyes on a swivel.

One of them should be looking ahead, assessing the landscape and constantly seeking the path of least resistance to move your team forward.

The other eye should be looking over your shoulder.

Is anyone following you?

Are there stragglers?

How can you help them keep up and optimize their contribution to the team?

People will follow you through the gates of Hell if they’re certain you won’t leave them behind!

Question: WHAT SPECIFIC ACTION will you take to make sure you leave no one behind?

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