I remember a line in an old war movie. A wise old Colonel is telling a young officer “on the battlefield you represent me and the way you represent me, reflects on me”.
I was captain of a small navy ship with a crew of about 25 and we were visiting our namesake city for Anzac Day. As expected there was a formal ceremonial event and I was seated on stage with the Mayor, Local Member, Chief of police, etc. Out in front, just to the rear of a sizable crowd, was a squad of ‘my’ sailors, fallen in and waiting to proudly do their bit during this Anzac Day. From my vantage point I found myself inspecting them, scrutinising their uniforms and their squad drill, hoping they wouldn’t let me down. Suddenly however I had this overwhelming feeling of their eyes on me, inspecting and scrutinising me. They were checking out my uniform and I reckon they were silently hoping I wouldn’t f-up the speech. I never asked them about it, but this was a moment of great clarity for me. Sitting there on the stage I was representing them and that the way I did so, reflected on them. I straightened up in my seat and got focussed on my speech.
This is loyalty and like trust and respect, it must go both ways.
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