Inspiration for successful leadership can come from anywhere. But what made Eric Greitens so compelling as the keynote speaker this morning at Raymond James' Financial Institutions Division Management Symposium was his unbelievable achievement in so many aspects of life.
The former Navy Seal, Rhodes scholar and college boxing champion--and current author and humanitarian--spoke about persevering and leading under severe stress. (His organization is called The Mission Continues, his book is called "The Heart and the Fist;" he also has a PhD and runs a sub-three-hour marathon.)
Drawing analogies from his military training, he came back to the idea of the "front line" in everyday life, encouraging audience members to view their own front line as a leader of a team, family or community. Using lessons from the wounded veterans he now tries to help as they get used to civilian life, he spoke of the importance of changing direction, even just a "few degrees," when life unexpectedly changes your front line.
Telling his own first-hand stories of training and combat (which ranged from genuinely funny to heartbreaking), combined with dramatic film clips of Navy Seal training (which ranged from extremely difficult to excruciating), he said that everyone has untapped capacity for courage to lead and provide service to other people.
Those who can get past their limits and keep going even when they do not think they can are the ones who are the real leaders, he said. "Do the hard thing that's in front of you today," he said as a way to begin charting a new course.