Members of the Captains Club received valuable, pertinent advice this morning when they hosted Lieutenant Jason Redman. A former Navy SEAL and author of The Trident: The Forging and Reforging of a Navy SEAL Leader, Lt. Redman spent a day on campus talking to students in the Middle and Upper School. He tailored his talk to the student-athletes to focus on the meaning of culture and the two principles he claims that, if practiced, will make all the difference in life and potentially change a culture.
Chad Byler, associate director of athletics, played a brief video about Lt. Redman, narrated by Kiefer Sutherland. Following an introduction from the president of the Military Appreciation Club, Micah Whitmire ’18, the former Navy SEAL launched into an energized speech. The first piece of advice he gave the audience was the notion that life is merely about experiences and that our cultures – regardless of whether or not they are good or bad – drive our actions.
“You guys, here in this school, are trying to build a culture,” said Lt. Redman. “All throughout your life you are going to be introduced to different cultures.” He then delivered his principles and their respective three rules (“I like rules of three because I’m not that smart. Just ask my wife!”) by which to abide.
“Principle number one is lead always,” he said. “The funny thing about leadership is that it is not always about telling people what to do. It’s about leading by example…doing the right thing.”
He offered three maxims for leadership:
1. Lead yourself
2. Lead others
3. Lead always
After describing and providing examples of how he has used or been witness to these rules, Lt. Redman described his second principle: “overcome all.” Again, he offered three rules that apply:
1. Once you quit, you guarantee failure
2. Steel your mind against mentally quitting
3. Life is not fair
“I believe it (overcoming mindset) is the number one thing that will lead you to success,” said Lt. Redman. “Together, these two things are going to change your culture. So be sure to lead always and overcome all.”
Concluding his speech, he opened the floor for a Q&A session. The students and a few faculty members asked many questions, a good portion dealing with Lt. Redman’s time in the Navy. He revealed that the biggest leadership challenge he endured in Iraq was himself. He closed with the best piece of advice, as a leader, that he could give the audience.
“When you mess up, just own it - own it in the moment. The greatest enemy you will always make is yourself.”