The Servant Hero

This week another group of business owners completed one of my four week Leadership Programmes.


In our last module we discussed leadership styles and some examples of leadership past and present.


One of the leadership styles that is coming to the fore as an exemplary style is servant leadership.


Classic examples are Jesus and Ghandi. Another less well known one, in my opinion is Dr Richard Harris. He was the anaesthetist who sedated the boys who were trapped in the Thai cave for 18 days along with their soccer coach, in order to bring them through 4 kms of water, caves and mud towards the surface.


The documentary film ‘The Rescue’ is well worth a watch. It includes reconstructions, diagrams and maps to help the viewer understand the scale of the challenge, as well as 1:1 interviews with the rescuers.


Dr Harris was very sceptical that the plan to sedate them would work but he reluctantly agreed to do it given that the boys would definitely die if nothing was attempted. If that wasn’t a big enough leap for him, he was told that if any of them did die as a result of the sedation, he would be arrested and incarcerated in a Thai prison, which I think everyone is aware is no picnic. Later the Thai government granted diplomatic immunity to him, to get around this.


But the moment that sticks with me was when he is talking to the camera and his voice breaks as he explains that he felt as if he was euthanising them when he was administering the sedation. How horrific for a person who has spent his whole life keeping people alive, to be forced to give injections to 12 boys that might end their lives.


As we know, the entire operation was miraculously successful. He has deservedly been awarded several honours and awards for his bravery and service.


In a world where some leaders abuse their power to the point of being war criminals, it’s worth taking a moment to be grateful for those leaders who have quietly made the world a better place.


Until next time, take care,


Lisa.

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