Lessons In Heroic Leadership

Posted in: Events- Aug 06, 2015 No Comments

“It’s the people to your left and to your right who can have the greatest impact on the success or failure of your objectives,” said retired Army Ranger Sgt. Keni Thomas, a military hero who played a pivotal role in the Black Hawk Down rescue mission in Mogadishu, Somalia.

Stories of gut-wrenching drama were peppered with down-home humor during Thomas’ keynote address to 1,000 attendees at World Pet Association’s biggest event of the year, SuperZoo.

Thomas told pet-industry insiders that it’s essential to develop leadership skills within an organization not only vertically, but also laterally.

He challenged audience members to help develop the full potential of every member of their team, no matter how small or insignificant each person’s role might appear within the big picture.

Thomas shared his story of being thrust into a position of leadership as the battle unfolded, consequently putting the unit’s most-understated soldier into a position of leadership, which ultimately saved the lives of Thomas and several others.

As the organizers of SuperZoo’s keynote program, our takeaway was this:

Whether on the streets Mogadishu or within the walls of an American business, success often boils down to executing flawlessly on what can appear to be the smallest of details, performed by the most ordinary of team members. Each of us should embrace excellence in every action throughout the business process, no matter how routine or how seemingly insignificant. Not only are those above us in the hierarchy expecting it, but so should be those to our left and to our right.


Keni Thomas is the author of Get It On and his story was portrayed in the movie Black Hawk Down.

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