“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” James 4:10 (NIV)
Last time we were together I spoke about how we watched two movies recently, Crimson Tide and Hacksaw Ridge. Today I want to talk about the leadership qualities I admired in Hacksaw Ridge.
Hacksaw Ridge is a true story about Desmond Doss, a conscientious objector who fought in WWII but refused to carry a weapon. He singlehandedly, with God’s help, saved 75 soldiers by rescuing them off Hacksaw Ridge after the rest of the platoon had retreated.
Desmond himself was a quiet leader. He led by example, by staying true to his values and by choosing not to compromise his values even when all odds were stacked against him. During one scene in the movie he expressed that he couldn’t compromise because if he did, he wouldn’t be able to look himself in the mirror. It wasn’t about impressing others, but staying true to who he was at his core.
However, Vince Vaughn played his commanding officer in the movie and was told by those in command over him to make Desmond’s life so terrible, thus forcing him to quit boot camp. So, that is what he set out to do. However, despite using Desmond as a scapegoat to get those in his platoon to resent him, eventually beating him up in the middle of the night, Desmond didn’t strike back. He continued to comply with all the rules and orders given to him, despite how unfair they were, because his convictions were that strong.
Finally, Vince Vaughn saw that Desmond would die before giving up and chose to end the torment. While he never apologized, it was evident that Desmond had made an impression on not just his commanding officer but also his bunkmates.
During an interview at the end of the movie, the real commanding officer spoke about the fact that despite his treatment of Private Doss, his life was one which was rescued because that’s the type of person Doss was.
Great leadership is about a person’s character. It come from the inside and while it can be learned, the best leaders are the most humble about it. Great leadership is about doing what is right despite everyone telling you to quit or give in. Great leadership is also about coming to the realization that if what you are doing is wrong, learning from that mistake, repenting and then choosing what is right going forward. And great leadership is also about choosing God’s way even when it’s unpopular and continuing to hold to your convictions, showing love to those who fight against you.
My husband shows all these wonderful examples of being a great leader. I’m so glad I get the opportunity to learn from his leadership, grow under his leadership and watch him shine in a position that he was naturally born for.
© Cheri Swalwell 2017