The Leadership Tree
Written by Ray Fairman   
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Leadership can be in many ways likened to a tree. It is planted in people’s lives like a seedling that must be nurtured and cared for if it is to grow to maturity and become a strong and healthy tree. As we know not all seedlings will survive and not all individuals who have the opportunity to will turn into leaders.

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Tending the Leadership Tree

If I were to give this tree a name, it would probably be called a "mixed fruit tree". You know what comes from a mixed fruit tree don't you? Mixed fruit jelly. I have a friend who refuses to eat this kind of jelly, he says until he sees a mixed fruit tree in reality he will not swallow something that comes from a non-existant source since it might be toxic.. Little does my friend know that some of the fruits of my mixed fruit leadership tree can also be quite lethal.

As the leadership tree grows, it begins to bear fruit and some of it's fruits are power, prominence and popularity. These fruits are a real 'catch 22" in a way, because if these same fruits are the ones relied on to fertilize and strengthen the leadership tree, they will instead surely kill it. In other words while good leadership frequently results in power, prominence and popularity, these attributes cannot in and of themselves be depended upon to produce a good leader. In reality these traits have often been the downfall of many a man.

Many people believe that anyone can be a leader, but I beg to differ with them. To become a leader requires great sacrifices and a strong concern for the welfare of others, good role models and faithful mentors. Leaders will often have to place their own desires “on hold” for the good of their subordinates and the accomplishment of the mission.

The Marine Corps taught me the values of “Honor, Courage and Commitment.” I learned that they are more than an advertising slogan to a true Christian leader. Christ teaches us through the Bible that they are and must be a way of life. I have great confidence that these values, if adhered to, will continue to produce many excellent leaders far into the future, and I pray that you will be one of them. However, as you continue your journey through life, realize that the mantle of leadership is a heavy one on the shoulders of those who choose to wear it and some superiors, peers and subordinates, as well as many citizens you meet along the way will be willing only to pay lip service to these values.

That may not be what you want or expect to encounter, but take it from an old "copper" it is the reality you need to be ready to face.

In closing I want to encourage you too never let disappointment dishearten you, for one man standing tall in the face of adversity can inspire countless others to display inordinate courage themselves.

Remember without adversity courage cannot exist. No matter what you encounter along the way always be true to your God, your Country and your Code of Ethics.

God’s speed, Semper Fi and Stay Safe Out There, Brother Article Manager module by by George! Software.




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