Enduring Leadership #3

In the book, “Ten Caesars” by Barry Strauss, he writes “It is easier to inspire troops who are marching off to war than those who are sitting on garrison duty.”

Those marching to war, they need something to believe in.
There’s a real possibility they may not come back alive.
A leader must cast a strong enough vision that the possible sacrifice will be worth it.

We’re not sending people to war.
But as the leader, have you made the case that the mission, vision, and organization are worth the time spent from their lives?

People want their lives to matter.
No wants to waste or squander their days.
They want them to have purpose and meaning.

For a soldier going to war under Caesar, the battle cry was, “For the glory of Rome!”

But the soldier not going to the front lines, it was harder to motivate them.

How did their lives matter? How was their service making a difference?

Your team is no different, especially in Christian radio.

Everyone on your team sees the on-air talent as the front lines.
In their minds, that’s where all the action is.

That’s where you as a leader must step in.

Everyone’s role is important. 

A young couple is going to a nice restaurant for an important occasion.
She has no idea that he’s going to propose.

The meal was superb.
The wait staff focused on every need.
At the end of the meal, the payment was processed correctly.
They left engaged and a memory was made.

Why was the evening a success?

  • Because the contracts poured the right amount of asphalt for the parking lot.
  • The lines were painted correctly so people knew where to park and do it orderly. No one wants chaos to start off an evening that will create eternal memories.
  • The restaurant was clean, tablecloths were ironed, candles were lit and the silverware was spotless.
  • The wait staff was attentive and the food was amazing.

Consider that scenario for a moment.

Who was on the front lines?
Who created that experience for that couple?

Was it the contractor?
The team that ordered the building supplies?
The guy who showed up on a Saturday to paint the parking spaces so they could open on time?
Or was it the design team that did all the decor?
Perhaps it was the chef and her team?
Don’t forget the wait staff. After all, they present the food.

As a leader, paint your organization like a restaurant.
Each team member has a role to play and each of those roles builds to create the experience that leads to the success or failure of the organization.


When you cast a vision in that way, you get buy-in from all team members no matter their role.   Warning: You can’t just share this once.  You must do it over and over again.  People forget.  They get envious.

For Roman history, Strauss may be right that “It is easier to inspire troops who are marching off to war than those who are sitting on garrison duty.

But for you, start with a vision that includes everyone.  Help everyone see that their lives matter and what they’re doing is front line work.

Do that…you’ll  be on the path to Enduring Leadership.


– Brian Sanders