When we predict a leader on the basis of glib refinement, civic prowess or academics these indicators often fail. Why is this?
All parts and no engine.
More than a half-century ago Captain John Metas USMC was different – gruff, pitiless and full of thunder. His eyes pierced pretence, not critical of fault, but impatient with too-gradual ferocity.
We Marines in Bravo Company considered ourselves unlucky subjects of his abrasive scrutiny and unreasonable expectations. He was our curse and talisman – he forged our minds into an instrument of his near-demonic obsession. We sensed there was a reason this stern, passionate WWII Combat-Commissioned- veteran of Carlson’s Raiders and Saipan filled our hot, dusty days with endless effort, demand and harsh epithet.
At first we complained. But older Marines and Sergeants just smiled and nodded knowingly. Attitudes changed. We coalesced. We began to ride the fiery wind, to revel in our new Brotherhood. He was one of us after all. Understanding began – a bond among warriors of mythic strength that no one could put into words. We could not; we would not. An alloy stronger than its metals, Leader and Led became the same.
Eventually we followed him into Hell. We lost half our number in that year. No regrets. We would follow Captain Metas again no matter the future, no matter the death. He was our Leader.
This is commemoration, not comparison. Today’s scope is larger, the focus less intense, but this day, this circumstance takes my mind back to a dreadful glory and then complels the intrusion of our President Trump and our beloved United States.
The essence of Leadership must combine subject, object and predicate as dynamic parts of an intended result rather than a plan, an accident or merely a fortunate epiphany. Leaders need context the way stars need the night and we Americans are fortunate in our condition at the beginning of 2018.
The distinction is literally mystical – Donald Trump is obviously the essence of rare dynamic interaction among minds in special circumstances. Great Leaders are alloys of men and a purpose – instruments of vast success and often spectacular failure, but above all they are eloquence in word and deed. Great Leaders – conjurors if you will – become grand self-fulfilling productions in the minds of their men who then magnify and fulfill the magic.
Semper Fidelis, Captain Metas; may your fiercly eloquent spirit inflame our President.. our Leader.
Story by: William Heuisler