Tag Archives: initiative

Don’t You Dare Change Your Mind!

There I was, looking downward, my feet barely clinging to the edge of the cliff.  Earlier that morning my platoon sergeant had announced that our squad would lead the commando repelling exercise.  Before I knew it, I had volunteered to go first, although I hadn’t the slightest idea what commando repelling was.  After all the demonstrations, getting geared up, it was time.  And there I stood looking face first into the space leading to the bottom of the cliff.

My knees buckled, my confidence eroded, and my heart beat rapidly.  For a split second, I decided to turn around,  to wait and go next. But before I could act on that impulse,  I heard my platoon sergeant below.  “Don’t you dare change your mind,” he shouted.

Startled,  I grabbed the rope, and ran down the side of the cliff. I made it;  the adrenaline rush was huge.  My self-confidence level soared. Those soldiers for whom I was squad leader applauded my success and in succession followed my lead. This exercise cemented my role as their leader; they trusted me.

When faced with doing the unfamiliar or uncomfortable, lead. You’re ready for the challenge.  “Don’t You Dare Change Your Mind, ” he said.  He knew what was at stake and I now so do I.