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The good Captain was sitting quietly within sound of our voices. He had heard every one of our comments on his lack of intellect.
As Commander with confident charisma approached, we were certain that if we were shown mercy we would be court martialed, and we feared that if Captain choose not to be merciful, we would just be shot right on sight!
Speaking got us into this predicament, so silence seemed best choice. Captain Norris spoke. He acknowledged our belief that each of us had among finest minds in entire Navy in our specific specialty. He flattered those things that each had done since beginning our assignment with airwing. Captain Norris offered that he had hand selected each one of us from entire fleet, having had to call in favors, make threats, and impose demands, just to have each of us work with him. We were there because he believed us to be best, and he wanted only best. Seems he held us in same regard that we held ourselves.
Then Captain Norris spoke to issue of intellect, specifically our perception of his lack thereof. Captain Norris said, "The mark of true leader is not one who gives orders, or feigns knowledge, but rather leader who plants needed seed in a fertile mind so gently, that subordinate believes idea emerged from within."
Continued silence. He was in complete control of our actions and had always been. He chose each of us knowing full well that in our specific areas of expertise, we were well beyond him. And knowing full well that in his area, that of building teams of best and brilliant, then allowing them to take ownership of ideas, he was expert.
Captain Norris asked what I had learned. My response, "I should never hire anyone dumber than I am." "You've got it," he said. "Must have just emerged from within."
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Wally Conway is President of Florida HomePro Inspections, and has recently written a book entitled "Secrets of the Happy Home Inspector", available at GoHomePro.com. As a speaker, writer, and instructor, Wally blends the right amount of up-to-date information with just the right amount of humor, insight, motivation, and real-world application. Visit WallyConway.com for more information!