On Leadership and Memorial Day

Memorial Day

In America, we take a long weekend each late spring to celebrate Memorial Day.

It is a time of somber reflection combined with family cookouts and a break from routine to celebrate and remember the fallen heroes of wars defending freedom and liberty.

Memorial Day is filled with parades, remembrances, and fond family times. For those who have lost ones in military exchanges or who are dealing with wounded warriors, this time is emotionally difficult and filled with pain, sorrow, and longing for times past.

In an effort to convey the proper emotions and sentiments for this day, I searched the web to bring you a short segment well worth your time viewing.

This video segment strikes me to the core of what true leadership is all about: Sacrifice.

True Leadership

When a man or woman signs up to serve for the fight for freedom and liberty and their country, they are showing the rest of us what personal sacrifice for a greater good looks like. They are putting on the heavy armor of service and shedding the selfish varnish of comfort. They toil from the moment they wake until the time they get a moment of rest.

And MANY die in between those waking moments of discomfort, sweat, and sacrifice.

And it is in this recipe of service toward a greater good that servant leadership is exhibited. There is no better example of leadership than in those who would die for perfect strangers in order to allow those strangers to be free.

Servant leadership is the highest form of leadership. And it should be honored in the highest regard!

Watch This Video

Watch this video. Pray for those families who have sacrificed the greatest in the giving of their loved one(s). Look at the faces of people in this piece. And when you do, understand what true servant leadership means.

  • It is not about position
  • It is not about reward
  • It is not about rights
  • It is not about self

Servant leadership is about serving others outside of self for a greater good.


Next Steps

Now,  take this model of self-sacrifice to the ones you lead in the marketplace. Take this model to your home. And take it to your spirit. It will do everyone around some good.

Hey Troops, Keep up the God Work!

Tom Schulte is Executive Director of Linked 2 Leadership
He provides leadership training fit for the Blackberry-Attention-Span

Image Sources: arlingtoncemetery.net

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L2L Contributing Author


  1. J. Mark Walker on May 30, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Thank you. I needed a good cry, one of many I have had this weekend. Two of my grandsons are U.S. Marines and one is on his second tour of Afghanistan, and I truly appreciate this day like never before.

    I served in the U.S. Navy, and my ship had a tour to the waters off Vietnam, so I am an official “Vietnam Veteran.” But my tour was nothing compared to the dangers and the stress that these young men (and women) face.

    The military experience prepares people for leadership like nothing else!

  2. Tom Schulte on May 30, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    Mi Mark,

    Thank you for your reply (as it almost made me cry :O) I am so proud to be in a country where individual freedom is forged by individual sacrifice by unselfish people. Any other way is wrought with tyranny from the inside out. God bless you and your family who have served so faithfully! Keep crying!


  3. Scott Crandall on June 1, 2011 at 8:11 am

    Tom — The video on your Memorial Day blog post blew me away. The looks of anguish on the faces of families and colleagues of those who were gone absolutely reduced me to tears.

    My wife and I just got back from NYC where we stayed at a hotel overlooking Ground Zero, and I want to tell you about two experiences that encapsulated my feelings about that, and about your video: first, a group of young Mennonite couples (from Lancaster Co, PA) had spent Sunday at the Bowery Mission, and decided to come to Ground Zero to sing hymns: acapella, pure and simple, it was their way of saying “Thanks” for the sacrifices that make up Memorial Day. Second, the next morning, there was a group of soldiers – camouflaged ACUs and black berets – looking at the memorial mural for the NYPD and FDNY casualties.

    All that, plus your post, was a fitting “cap” on this most meaningful of national holidays. Thanks for your fine work – and for your sentiments in openly displaying your thanks for their sacrifices. Godspeed.

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