Who are your heroes?
As children, our heroes represent what we wish we could do or be, and they play on our imagination. The older we get, the more real our heroes become. As teenagers, our hero's are pop stars, sports stars, and celebrities. As adults, our heroes might be political leaders, authors, and/or people we may know or who are close to us. As a leader, it is good to have heroes. They show us qualities that we want to immulate, they give us examples we want to follow, and they give us a sense of ownership for our actions.
I have many people I look to for examples of good leadership, but there are three individuals that mean the most to me. In no particular order, the three people are Bud Corbus, Alan Bermensolo, and my father, Kelly Wallaert. Each man has taught me something about leadership that I will never forget.
Bud Corbus is a man of few words, which is a quality I truly appreciate. He speaks only when he feels it's time to speak, and when he speaks, you better listen. One of the greatest qualities I have observed in Bud is to be still. Bud does not act hastily or out of emotion. If something happens, or he is presented with a problem, Bud will take time to gather all important information and facts before any decisions are made. Bud will not make decisions on a whim, but rather takes whatever time is needed to ensure the decision that is made is in the best interest of all parties involved. Bud Corbus cares about his employees, his crew, and those he leads.
Alan Bermensolo is a man of personal responsibility, honor, and loyalty. As former chief of the Mountain Home Fire Department, Alan once said, “When things go well, I will make sure you get all the praise. When things go bad, I will make sure I take the blame. If you fail at something in this department, it is because I failed you as a leader.” Alan knew what it meant to be a leader. He never placed blamed, never pointed fingers, and never made excuses. He stuck to his words and showed loyalty, honor, and responsibility as a leader.
Kelly Wallaert is a man I have had the honor of knowing my whole life. My dad is the perfect example of what real, active listening looks like. He makes you feel like he genuinely cares about what you are saying. He doesn’t try to fix your problems, but listens intently; wanting to truly understand what you are saying. He offers suggestions and ideas only when asked, and he asks questions to seek a deeper meaning in the conversation. My father has shown me the power of real, true, active listening. He has shown me how genuinely listening makes the other person feel.
Who are your heroes? What qualities do you look for in leadership? Do you have people in your life that can speak into your life and encourage leadership qualities in you? I encourage you to take an inventory of your heroes and write a list of qualities that you see in them that help you become a better leader, or even more, a better human being.