Weekly Leadership Lifter

February 20, 2023

In his book, “Embrace the Suck,” Navy Seal Brent Gleeson tells the story of Jason. Jason was one of Brent’s teammates in the Seals who was tragically caught in an ambush while fighting the war on terror in the Middle East. He had been shot seven times in the face, chest, and arms. The worst wound came as one round came through the right side of his head and out through his nose. His left elbow had been completely shattered and his forearm was left hanging by the tendons.

He was sent to a military hospital in Bethesda Maryland, and over the next 5 years he endured 37 surgeries, 1200 stitches, 200 staples, 15 skin grafts, and one tracheostomy. He was left with no sense of smell and limited range of motion in his left arm. While he was recovering…Jason had many friends, colleagues, and family who would visit him.

But he began to feel that their “encouragement” was doing more harm than good. After a while Jason hung a bright orange sign on his hospital door that read:

“Attention to all who enter here: If you are coming into this room with sorrow or to feel sorry for my wounds—GO ELSEWHERE. The wounds I received I got in a job I love, doing it for people I love, supporting the freedom of a country I deeply love. I am incredibly tough and will make a full recovery. What is “full?” That is the utmost physically, my body has the ability to recover. Then I will push that about 20% further with sheer mental tenacity. This room you’re about to enter is a room of fun, optimism, and intense rapid regrowth. If you’re not prepared for that, GO ELSEWHERE.—The Management”

If you’re wondering, Jason made a full recovery. He is full of joy and more fulfilled than ever. He is happily married with children and now has his own personal coaching business where he helps individuals and organizations overcome setback. He has written two bestselling books and is a highly sought after motivational speaker.

The reason I share this story with you is because I want to let you know that no matter how bad of a hand life may have dealt you, if you have the right mindset and you resolve to never quit—you will overcome. You may have been born in extreme poverty, you may have experienced profound tragedy, or you may have made some poor decisions, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is how you respond to those things. It’s a choice. Will I give up or will I go on? Will I feel sorry for myself or will I learn and get better?

Glenn Mangurian, whom Brent mentions in his book, wrote a popular article for the Harvard Business Review titled, “Realizing What You’re Made Of.” Mangurian experienced a disc rupture that left him paralyzed from the waist down in 2001, but he hasn’t let it hold him back. He believes that if we frame things correctly and choose to respond right, tragedy and setback can make us better. Glenn has six pillars for gaining wisdom through adversity, that I’d like to share with you:

  1. You can’t know what will happen until tomorrow, and it’s better that way.
  2. You can’t control what happens, just how you respond.
  3. Adversity distorts reality, but crystallizes the truth.
  4. Loss amplifies the values of what remains.
  5. It’s easier to create new dreams, than cling to broken ones.
  6. Your happiness is more important than righting injustices.

Legendary Leaders move past the “Why Me? Why Now?” mindset, to “What can I do with what I have now?” mindset. They “Embrace the Suck” as Brent says, and learn all they can so they emerge stronger, better, and more capable leaders.

Recommended Book:
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl


If this Leadership Lifter has blessed you please share with a friend.

God is For You
Pastor Blunt

COTR Marketplace Ministries is a ministry for those in the marketplace and those interested in starting a business. Lifelong learners, entrepreneurs, businessmen, and businesswomen, meet to grow in their leadership and skills. This is a great place to network, build relationships and exchange ideas!

Join us on March 11, 2023 at 5pm in the main campus lobby. We will have guest speaker, Evander Holyfield, an American former professional boxer who competed between 1984 and 2011. He reigned as the undisputed champion at cruiserweight in the late 1980s and at heavyweight in the early 1990s, and is the only boxer in history to win the undisputed championship in two weight classes in the three belt era. His leadership truths will inspire you to never give up!

Dinner and childcare are included in the price of your ticket. Purchase your tickets online for just $12 or $15 at the door.