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Leadership Traits: Resourcefulness

Sometimes you just have to take what you’ve got and do what you can with it.  This is often called a Field Expedient Measure.  When I think of the Leadership Trait of Resourcefulness, I always think of the T.V. show Gilligans Island.  They came up with some goofy contraptions that seemed to work, at least as far as the script was written.

I personally don’t use Gilligans Island as a model for resourcefulness, except as a humorous parody on the inventiveness of the Human mind.

What I do use as a model is the story on which the Clint Eastwood movie Heart Break Ridge is based.  During the 1983 invasion of Grenada a group of Marines found themselves pinned down in a building on the side of a hill.  The Marines urgently needed to call in Naval gunfire to get them out of their predicament, which was grave.  However, their radio had been destroyed.

In the building, the Marines found a land line telephone … this was back in the days when cell phones were still a comic book gizmo.  The phone worked, the line had not been cut.  The Marines tried to make a collect phone call to the Pentagon, which is a very round about, unorthodox way to call in Naval gunfire.  The Pentagon does not accept collect phone calls, apparently, and the call was refused.  Meanwhile, the Marines predicament keeps getting worse.

One of the Marines remembered that he had his calling card still in his wallet.  If you are too young to remember, these were like credit cards for making phone calls over land lines … an indispensable personal item for service members to carry during that period.  The Marines used the calling card to call the Pentagon for gunfire support, which ultimately thwarted their attackers.

This is, of course, and extreme circumstance.  However, in your own World, when you have Cubans running at you up the hill, and your radio is broken, you need to find some way to take care of that issue, and move on to the next.

Here is another acronym.  It may help you be more resourceful.  Put it in your personal and business development tool belt.  You may have heard Gunny Ermey use it on T.V.  The acronym is RAAO, Reconnoiter, Analyze, Adapt, and Overcome.  This is RAAO expanded:

Reconnoiter.  Take a look around, see what’s really going on.  Also, take a look at what you’ve got.

Analyze.  Put your situation under a microscope.

Adapt.  Adapt your methods, and your materiel to move on to the next phase.

Overcome.  Self explanatory.

It seems I’ve used a lot of references to T.V. shows in this segment.  On a personal not, I don’t watch a lot of T.V.  Thus far, over the past year and a half, unless I’m visiting someone, I haven’t watched any T.V.  For me, there are so few T.V. show I find interesting that it’s just not worth the expense of having it around.

Anyhow, till next time, practice being resourceful; find opportunities to be resourceful, because practice makes perfect, and you are spectacular.

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