Monday, April 13, 2009

Navy SEALs: The Epitome of Teamwork and Leadership

My last post was addressing a poor display of preparation, leadership and teamwork in the failed resuce of a climber on Aconcagua.

After watching how the events of the "hostage" boat captain played out over the weekend off the coast of Somalia, we see the definition of leadership and teamwork.

I have always been in awe of the Navy SEALs...primarily from learning how intense their training is. Their BUDS school is infamously regarded as the most rigorous and demanding military training school in the world. Their own definition:

"Prospective SEALs go through what is considered by many military experts to be the toughest training in the world. ... The most important trait that distinguishes Navy SEALs from all other military forces is that SEALs are Maritime Special Forces, as they strike from and return to the sea. SEALs (Sea, Air, Land) take their name from the elements in and from which they operate. Their stealth and clandestine methods of operation allow them to conduct multiple missions against targets that larger forces cannot approach undetected."

These men are taught to be the best at what they everything they do. I have spent most of my career involved working with teams and in some form of leadership. I am humbled by the presence of these men that serve at such a high level.

From the SEAL creed:
"My loyalty to country and team is beyond reproach. I humbly serve as a guardian to my fellow Americans, always ready to defend those who are unable to defend themselves. I do not advertise the nature of my work, nor seek recognition for my actions. I voluntarily accept the inherent hazards of my profession, placing the welfare and security of others before my own. I serve with honor on and off the battlefield. The ability to control my emotions and my actions, regardless of circumstance, sets me apart from other men. ... In the absence of orders I will take charge, lead my teammates and accomplish the mission. ... I will never quit. I persevere and thrive on adversity. My nation expects me to be physically harder and mentally stronger than my enemies. If knocked down, I will get back up, every time. I will draw on every remaining ounce of strength to protect my teammates and to accomplish our mission. I am never out of the fight."

That is the true definition of teamwork.