I knew you’d come!
I am not sure about you, but the anger and disappointment of what occurred and did not occur on September 11th of this year, 2012, wells up in me so deeply. Not to mention the sadness that goes with it. Let me qualify my essay with the fact that this is about Leadership and not that of questioning politics or about whom you are going to vote next week. It is about Leadership! Everything rises and falls on Leadership. If you have been following my Facebook and Twitter posting today….As a Leader, are you ever inattentive, uncooperative or late? People will question your sincerity as a leader.
I am qualified to comment on this for several reasons. The first of which is that I am a certified Teacher, trainer, coach and speaker and proud to carry the name of Dr. John C. Maxwell, the #1 Leadership Guru on the planet, where I pride myself on being and teaching Servant Leadership. Secondly, I am retired military. To have had the opportunity to serve and defend my country is something that will always be a part of me. In this essay, I am going to tell two stories that took place in roughly the same part of the world and it is my hope that you will come to the same conclusion that was my intention to bring about. Further, this is not a story about me and so my use of the word “I” will be limited.
To be in the military is no small feat. Training followed by training, followed by yes, more training is the norm. See, we train the way that we are expected to conduct ourselves on any mission that the National Command Authority dictates. The following of all legal orders goes without saying. In fact, before becoming an Officer, we took and recited our Oath of Allegiance:
“I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”
Here is something that was ingrained in us and continues to be a part of all who served; No man would ever be abandoned or left behind. Of course, that includes our women comrades today, but you get the picture. Knowing that to do so would possibly mean putting yourself in Harm’s Way was not even thought about. It was part of our creed to our fellow comrades. And yes, sometimes the rescued people were so badly hurt that they did in fact pass away after the fact, but they did so with internal peace. As is the case in many organizations, people are put in Leadership positions where, in reality, they are really just managers who may or may not have leadership qualities. I can only begin to wonder how, with all the Intel capability that we possess, we could possibly have not ensured that our men, including our Ambassador, were not adequately supported. And, if the facts are completely correct, were left behind or were abandoned to their fate.
The second story goes back over 2000 years ago somewhere near Jerusalem. Martha and Mary were distraught because Lazarus had died. They had pleaded with Jesus, well before and while Lazarus was sick, to come and heal him. But Jesus was being inattentive, uncooperative and yes, late. If we follow this story and we believe, we begin to understand that this was all part of His plan so that more people would come to believe. To make a long story short, Jesus did come and Martha, who kept the Faith, said, “I knew you would come!” And of course, Lazarus was brought back to life.
In Benghazi, our people were told to “stand down” and not attempt to rescue fellow Americans including the Ambassador. At least 2 men, who were former Navy Seals, chose to ignore these orders because it was part of their creed to leave no man behind. They would ultimately pay the supreme sacrifice of giving up of their lives to attempt a rescue and to hold off the enemy…YES, the enemy, while all the while communicating and awaiting the help that would never arrive.
As I stated earlier in this essay, that it is not my intention to tell you who to vote for or to even try to sway your vote. Rather, it is my intention to call for answers to questions that must be addressed. The Leaders, stemming right up to the Commander in Chief himself, need to come clean and tell not only the American people, but the World Why!
While Martha was able to clearly say to Jesus that she knew He would come, I can only guess and imagine that the last words and thoughts of these heroes as they were awaiting help and ultimately met their fate that night was…..
May God forgive you for abandoning us…..”You didn’t come.”