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Future leaders of America

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

In 1970, Ed Gantt served as a door gunner on a Chinook helicopter in Vietnam. In 1985, as a Navy co-pilot, he helped capture the hijackers of the Achille Lauro cruise ship. Later, he went on to command a boot camp in Illinois.

Today, the Navy captain teaches Junior ROTC at a Maryland high school, where he asked a dozen students to serve as color guards at Andrews Air Force Base.

“Is there anyone willing to take this responsibility?” asked Gantt. Seeing no takers, he said, “Nobody? I thought we had a bunch of people who wanted to be leaders. Getting out of bed on a Saturday morning to do something worthwhile—that’s leadership. Now, is there anyone who wants to take this color guard duty?”

The hands went up.

Bottom line: New leaders can be trained anywhere, anytime.

—Adapted from “War Stories: Earning His Wings,” Drew Bratcher, Washingtonian.

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