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Leadership Lessons From September 11, 2001
January 11, 2018
On The Hard Road-4

Leadership Lessons From The New York City Fire Department.
A great book! Check it out!

."....At the moment, our country faces enormous crises, and I don't think it's an overstatement to say that the character of our response will shape the world for generations to come. And, as if the shocks of the new century weren't enough--- the threat of terrorists and rogue nations, of companies that have misled the very society they were meant to serve, of an uncertain global environment---we're still struggling with those old standbys of racism, poverty, disease, and war. We hear about solutions to these conundrums (usually around election time), solutions that are always touted as the "answer." Sometimes, these answers appear as a new patent, or a new piece of legislation, or a new treaty, or a military victory. But, in reality, there is only one answer to the problems, and that's leadership...." Pages eight and nine from the book, "First in, Last out".
John Salka
Battalion Chief, FDNY

I read this book and have benefitted greatly from some of the real life leadership lessons. If you get a chance pick it up a great book with real life lessons.

Leadership In The Real World-What Good Is Anything Else?

Part I

I was thinking about my father who had an 8th grade education- talking to me about "What Comes Around Goes Around". It took me some time to understand what he was talking about. I finally got it about the time I entered the United States Marine Corps at 17 years of age.

My father was a veteran of WWII, he used to send his checks to help my grandmother raise the rest of 7 children she was trying to raise on her own.

My father died an early death at the age of 56 but I believe he inspired a lot of young people while coaching our Little League Teams. He never got a college education but he knew about life. He inspired me to follow in his footsteps of providing young people with the opportunity to participate in amateur athletics.

He loved sports and was very good at them, but because of his responsibilities was never able to pursue them on a serious basis. He did instill his love for sports in me as I was growing up. He coached me in Little League Baseball, he followed me everywhere I remembering him telling me-Boy, everyone doesn't have the same amount of talent, but everyone can hustle! I can't tell you how many times that statement has helped me out.

As I coach young men I only hope that as I finish season after season that I impart some of those things to the kids who are working under my mentorship. To tell you the truth, if it is only winning that I was worried about, I think I would have missed the point. Don't get me wrong, I will compete, and I will compete hard-I just think there is more to it than the scoreboard.

As I said in the beginning of the article everyone has their own opinion of success and after thirty five years of coaching I have mine.

Part II
My Strategy

I am trying to get committment, I am trying to develop leaders, I want to develop a championship program with true and pure champions on it. Young men who you would like to know, kids you would like to have as your neighbors. I want to develop Champions in Life. I want to help kids establish responsibility and accountability in their life. That would be success to me, at least in part.

As most of you know this is not just a high school wrestling page it is an opportunity for me to talk about what I feel is important in coaching and to recognize those young men on the teams that I coach for the efforts they give.

There truly are no office hours for champions and at 3:14 a.m. and most people are in bed I am trying to figure out a way to get better. Trying to figure out how I can be a better Teacher, Coach, Father,and Human Being. I just want to get the job done. I don't want to leave any stone unturned. I don't want to leave anything on the mat. So when my official days of Coaching are over I have no regrets.

I take what I do seriously, too seriously most people think. I feel that I have been honored to have the opportunity to touch the lives of thousands of kids over the years. I wouldn't want to let any of them down. Success for me comes in seeing one young man or young lady at a time come through my classes or teams being productive citizens.

I really have never cared about money, I need it to live, but in terms of importance it is down the line on my list. I would be lying if I said I wouldn't mind making a little more of it. Truthfully however; after paying my bills I know what would happen, just as it is now. I would spend it on students trying to help them gain opportunities. Helping more kids that would be success to me. Giving more opportunities that would be success to me. Leaving a legacy for my own son and daughter and grandchildren that would be success to me.

Some of the things that make my head spin and my blood pressure to rise are the politicians among us that only care about climbing the ladder. People that can't be trusted to do what they are supposed to do. People who are disloyal. My reminder to these people is; that 'what comes around goes around'. If I help create any of those types of people I would consider that a failure. You become what you think about, you become like what you put yourself around. After all I think success is not what you do but WHO you truly are!

OK it is 3:26 a.m. I have had my say for today!
"Leadership in the real world, what good is anything else?"
"grappling for excellence"
Coach Bodnar

Posted by: Robert Bodnar, Jul 02, 15:26

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