by Steve Jones

This content is part of a series.

Leadership Culture - Responsibility (4 of 4)
Culture of Leadership
Steve Jones
Acts 20

Intro: Time Magazine's man of the year for 1952 was Danish born sea-captain Curt Carlsen. In December of 1951, the SS Flying Enterprise set sail from England to New York with a cargo of Volkswagen cars, pig iron, grass seed, Stradivarius violins, and an undisclosed amount of cash. During rough seas on Christmas day the ship was struck by a huge rogue wave that cracked her hull. The pig iron fell over and the Volkswagens slid to the side causing the ship to list badly. The decision was made to abandon ship and a distress call went out. Passengers and crew had to jump overboard into the storm-tossed seas and then swim to lifeboats from a rescue ship. One life was lost in the rescue. However, the ship's master, Captain Curt Carlsen, chose to remain aboard alone until it either sank, or was towed to a safe harbor. As the towing efforts commenced, over the next 12 days, the eyes of the entire world were focused on that ship and Captain Carlsen, whom the media dubbed, Captain Courageous. They succeeded in towing the ship until it was only 40 miles from a port, when it sank, and Carlsen jumped off as the ship went under in a swirling vortex. He was rescued by the tug. They held a ticker-tape parade for him in New York City. Hollywood offered him a fat contract which he turned down, saying he would not capitalize on the tragic loss of the ship...he was only doing his duty...carrying out his responsibility.

Leadership is responsibility. I remember when I was a kid growing up and the thing at the time was to say "I'm not a boy, I'm a man!" I was about 12 years old and I was at a church youth even when one of the elders present looked at me and my friends and said "Hey boys, how's it going." I said "I'm not a boy, Mr. Pete, I'm a MAN!" He looked at me and smiled and said "Steve, do you know what the difference is between a boy and a man?" I didn't say anything ...

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