“All great leaders understand their place”

That is – their place in the world, their place in their work, their place in the home, and their place in time. From time-to-time, take a look around to understand your place, understand your context, and place yourself wisely in the scheme of things.

When I was a young naval officer, my captain launched me into a new world of service in the higher echelons of international politics and diplomacy. As he did so, he left me with just one short, succinct piece of advice, he said: “Know your station.”

What he meant was, although you are about to be elevated to higher offices, you are not a high officer yourself, so guage your circumstances, evaluate where you are, and act appropriately. As it turned out, I took him literally, and adjusted my humility to accommodate the dignitaries I met and entertained – all of whom had higher offices than I. All of these were impressive in one way or another. Some were commanding, some delicately or even brutally polite, and a few were simply overwhelmed by their own importance. Others made a lasting impression on me.

One such memorable man was a senior officer representing an Eastern navy. He demonstrated the sheer power of humility. When he looked me in the eye, I could tell he saw a human, not just a military officer. He later enveloped me in gratitude, and genuine thanks, for the simple courtesy I had shown him and his party.

30 years have passed, and I have never forgotten his example.

Here is a wonderful video to set your mind at rest, to give you permission to think about our context, and to enjoy our world.

[kad_vimeo url=”https://vimeo.com/82123812″ autoplay=”true”]