Some movies need to be taken very seriously.  When I watch a movie like Thor: The Dark World, it is simply for entertainment and escapism.  Today, however, I saw Lone Survivor, the story Petty Officer 1st Class Marcus Luttrell and the 4-man SEAL team sent to capture and/or kill Taliban leader Ahmad Shah.

The movie is raw, unfiltered, and riveting.

Each time I watch a movie based upon our the heroism of our American troops, those who protect the freedoms we so often take for granted, I am deeply humbled and thankful.  The level of skill, commitment, preparation, courage and bravery of these men and women is indescribable and deserves the highest respect.

With that said, the following are just 15 of the Leadership Quotes and Lessons I gleaned from Lone Survivor.  You will probably capture much more additional leadership content when you see the movie.

  1. These Are Real People With Real Families – Once again, Thor is a comic book.  These are real human beings with families and post-war issues.  They deserve our utmost respect.
  2. “Anything worth doing is worth over-doing.  Moderation is for cowards.” – The Navy SEALS model the value of preparation.
  3. “There are no curses.  It’s just Afghanistan.”
  4. Leaders Make The Hard Calls – The pivotal point in the film takes place when a decision must be made by the SEAL team about what to do when the team encounters a group of goat herders.  When hard decisions are to be made, leaders must stand up and be decisive.
  5. When Communication Fails, Your Mission Is Compromised – For mission and vision to be advanced, leaders must continually over-communicate with those they are called to serve.
  6. “Isn’t that how things work? Good things happen to good people?”
  7. “Danny, get ready to fight.” – When it comes time to take action, leaders must trust their training and preparation.
  8. “If God’s looking out for us I’d hate to say Him pissed.”
  9. “We’re all shot.  Can you fight?” – The pain threshold and level of commitment of the soldiers in this film cannot be understated.
  10. “You can die for your country.  I’m going to live for mine.” – When tough times come, leaders must have deep commitment to the mission and vision to see it come to pass.
  11. Leaders Pay A Much Deeper Price Than Followers – One of the films most moving times was when Lt. Mike Murphy gave his life to re-establish communications allowing an extraction to take place for his teammates.
  12. When Calamity Strikes You Are Often Forced To Seek Assistance From Unexpected Sources – After crawling through the woods, Luttrell was rescued and aided by the Afghan villagers of Sabray.
  13. “Brave men fought and died building a reputation I uphold.” – All leaders stand on the shoulders of those who came before them.  Great leaders honor the past.
  14. “A part of me on that mountain died.”
  15. “There’s a storm inside of us. I’ve heard many team guys speak of this. A burning. A river. A drive.” –  Leaders have a deep burden that propels which followers cannot understand.

What other leadership lessons did you take from Lone Survivor?


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