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Richard Winters: Integrity In Leadership

Maj. Richard Winters
    While I was watching HBO's "Band of Brothers" mini-series, for the twenty-somethingth time, I recognized something poignant. Maj. Richard Winters, who serves as the central connecting character, continually demonstrates exceptional middle management virtues.  His leadership is exemplary, not just in a military sense, but for any organizational setting. 
  • He led by example and was always willing to go first, where he sent others. 
  • He knew how to balance compassion with expectations. When it was necessary to be stern and authoritative, he was. When it was necessary to show empathy, he did. 
  • He learned to delegate, even though it was never easy. 
  • He gained the respect of his peers and his subordinates through his actions, not by intimidation or cruelty.

Damien Lewis as Richard Winters
    Richard Winters knew he wasn't perfect. He didn't demand perfection, he demanded ultimate accountability. In contrast to Herbert Sobel's bullying of Easy Companyfueled by his insecurity and lack of ability, Winters projected confidence, honesty, and perseverance. He never denied that he sensed fear, instead he demonstrated that courage and determination were needed from each individual in order for the group to succeed. You don't need to be at war to inspire others to rise to their potential. A middle manager needs to look within themselves for the key to motivating others to take ownership and work as a team for success.  That key is integrity.
Richard Winters and Damien Lewis


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