Adam Brown - Fearless and the Courage to make a difference
As a Leadership Coach for individuals and teams it's important for me to draw from diverse examples of leadership in history; in business, on teams, and even at home in examples of ordinary life. A few of the key examples of agile leadership i'm looking for are courage, humility, self-awareness, emotional intelligence, relationship building, community consciousness or social awareness as well as strategic intellect and expert skill competencies. Regardless of the clients role or industry focus character traits of great leaders do share the above capabilities - and it's my role to help clients find role models. Agile leaders are not just great practitioners they are great people, so I encourage all learning leaders to diversify their knowledge fields away from just agile or software books. I'm always seeking new material to recommend and recently had Adam Browns biography "Fearless" keep popping up. At first I completely dismissed it. "oh yeah another hoorah war story; i've grown up in the military and been a student of international power & politics, I don't want to see another GI story for a while" I said to myself. After a few months I surrendered to reading it.
I'm incredibly glad I did. Maybe because of my family history it resonated more with me than it will with you. The honour, brotherhood, purpose, tenderness and supportive community is not always understood nor respected for it's essence in civilian worlds. However the character of what makes a great man, father and team player are universal and can be admired by all. The backdrop for the majority of Adams life in the book is his time in the Navy; however the amazing catalyst and context that defines him as a well admired man is what he had to overcome even to get listed in the Navy. He was a drug addict, a felon and a drop kick to society, and he had the slimmest of chances to achieve anything in life let alone be awarded a Silver Star.
This book is a biography and yet reads more like a novel at times because some of it is too far fetched to believe. If you are a leader looking for insight on how others overcome adversity or would like insight to what create connection in teams than Adam Browns story is worth a read. It doesn't tell you how to behave, it shares with you how he behaved. It gives insight to a simple can do attitude that supported Adam through many fall downs. It shows a graciousness for life that many take for granted. It also makes you think how easy business life can be sometimes!
Besides all that, Adam Brown is a very good example of the Servant Leader. I highly recommend taking the time to read. If not about Adam Brown in Fearless then search through history to find people that exemplify Servant Leadership for you. The more you read and experience the pains or gains of these people the better you will lead yourself to great leadership for your teams.
Note: At the time the book was written there was controversy and actions to stop it being published. Although I am not a religious person, I share the theme of thanks to Christian Publishing for putting in the time and money to share the truth.