Courage Under Fire

I was recently inspired by the non-fiction story - 13 Hours. It is an inside account of an infamous terror attack on a US Special Mission Compound and nearby CIA station in Benghazi, Libya.

As a team of six American security operators reached their compound on the fateful night of September 11, 2012, they found it under attack by terrorists. As Tyrone Woods (a former powerfully built Navy Seal) moved to enter the compound, Jack Silva (another former Navy Seal) had his training kick into gear- abiding by the rule that “no one goes in alone, ever”. Therefore, when Tyrone led the charge, he was confident that Jack would have his back, whether entering a room or an open space. Throughout the ordeal, the compound was overrun with fatal results for Tyrone and some of the other operators, but the extraordinary acts of courage and heroism performed by the men averted tragedy on a larger scale.

There is an important lesson for us in this. Today more than ever, organisations are facing a raft of pressures that pose a direct challenge to their very existence. Sadly, some leaders are poorly trained and compromise their values out of self-interest, which can lead to mission drift and a loss of distinctiveness. On the other hand, other organisations have individuals who demonstrate amazing courage under fire as they act on their convictions, and are supported by others who will join the charge despite the personal cost.

By doing the latter, a greater tragedy just might be avoided.