Two short stories on Leadership and Self-Leadership


I recently watched a war movie and wrote two Linkedin posts on what I was impressed with. They are short stories with important implications, reminding me of the lessons we discuss in leadership training.

Story on Leadership – Lead by Example

During World War II, in 1945, a company of men were entrenched in the open hills, with heavy snow filling the countryside.

The Command post was situated at the bottom of the hills, miles away from the frontlines.

One of the officers asked people in the Command post why didn’t they use the heater that was in their possession?

It was freezing cold out there.

The sergeant answered, “It is because the Commanding Officer (CO) believes that whatever the men are facing out, we need to face it too. No special privileges.”

The CO is a classic example of a strong leader who leads by example and always thinks of his men.

Leadership nowadays is defined by how assertive you are, how you need to be on top of things or even how visionary you need to be.

Perhaps leadership should also focus on how you lead others in an exemplary fashion and how you put others before yourself.

When a leader walks the talk, he/she inspires others to do the same. When was the time a leader you’ve had inspired you to do likewise? What is something you can learn from this leader?

Story on Self-Leadership – Lead with Courage

A man jumped into a foxhole, shooting his gun at his enemies.

Bullets were flying. Men were dying.

But he shouted to his team members, “Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision.”

I reflected on this statement and found it to be so powerful.

Instinctively, fear creeps in when something or someone threatens us. This leads to an amygdala hijack, which is an instinctive fight-or-flight response.

But to remain courageous in such situations is a decision.

Courage is not the absence of fear.

It is acting in spite of fear.

Leaders today are constantly plunged into an unknown environment, and they don’t need to be fearful. Rather than focus on identifying things that hinder us, we can identify and co-create ways to increase business agility.

You can actually hold conversations that create useful change and enrol your team members to think more resourcefully.

Conclusion: What do you think you need to develop more in your leadership journey? The good news is that you can start now.  

To learn more about how Deep Impact can be your leadership training partner, visit our website.

Picture of Kenneth Kwan, CSP
Kenneth Kwan, CSP

Kenneth Kwan is an internationally recognized Author, Global Leadership and Motivational Speaker, renowned for his ability to inspire and empower audiences worldwide. With over a decade of experience, he has spoken to leaders from 40 countries, helping transform cultures and shift mindsets within Multi-National Companies (MNCs) and Government Organizations. Kenneth’s expertise in solution-focused thinking and strategic planning has guided numerous businesses toward significant results and high-performance environments. Featured in esteemed media outlets like Channel News Asia and Malaysia's BFM89.9, his insights on leadership and motivation are highly sought after. Kenneth's book, "Small Steps To Big Changes," showcases his profound wisdom and practical strategies, making a lasting impact in lectures and training programs across the region.