The big boatlift. True leaders are those who in times of crisis take action. They don’t ask whose responsibility this is. They just do what is required.

The Big Boatlift

I recently saw an inspiring video about the big boatlift of 9/11. It tells the story of the many boat owners and captains who on 9/11 came to the rescue of hundreds of thousands of people who were desperate to escape the suffocating mix of ash and rubble at the World Trade Center and lower Manhattan.
In their spontaneous and courageous actions, they carried out the largest boatlift in history. Transferring more than 500,000 people off the island of Manhattan in a span of nine hours.
This story has many great lessons. I would like to focus in particular on one about leadership.
True leaders are those who in times of crisis, or when someone is in need of help, take action. They don’t concern themselves with whose responsibility or job this is, or what others are doing about it. They just do what needs to be done and set an example for others to follow.
A true value of a leader is not measured by his wealth, status, or power. Rather, it’s in his influence on the lives of those around him, as well as others that he may have never met, and may never meet.
The real test of a leader is not physical, or intelligence or even achieving results. It is her character, in particular, the courage and determination to make the right choices. To always do the right thing, even though it may not be easy, or might require some sacrifices.
I personally subscribe to the following quote by Winston Churchill: “It’s not enough that we do our best. Sometimes we have to do what’s required”.
The boat captains on 9/11 did just that and set an example for leaders everywhere.

2 thoughts on “The Big Boatlift

  1. Thanks for the post. This is a great story that was not well-recognized in the mass media coverage of the event.

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