Late Sunday evening the news broke that a group of heroic Navy SEALs stormed the compound of Osama bin Laden and killed him after a fierce fire fight.
Rarely does a single event capture the minds of the world and rarely is a single event a game changer.
The attack on the World Trade Center almost ten years ago was one such event. The recent tsunami in Japan could be also considered such an event. The identification of bin Laden’s whereabouts and the military storming his compound is an event that will also likely be viewed as a game changer.
Here are my seven reasons that I believe the U.S. Military acted with Gumption.
- Integrity. To drop a bomb and obliterate the compound would have been safer. But it would have significantly increased the risk of civilian casualties and most importantly, it would have not provided the irrefutable proof that bin Laden was present and eliminated. The Navy SEALs acted with both great courage and integrity.
- Presence. Imagine the focus of mind and adrenaline required to rappel from a helicopter into the fortified compound without the full knowledge of what they were going to find. Obviously, surveillance pictures from satellites and drones provided a general idea of what they were going to find. The Navy SEALs who participated did so with years of training and exceptional presence of mind during this operation.
- Receptiveness. The entire intelligence community is to be congratulated for following leads, patiently searching for a decade, and ultimately getting the lead they needed to complete the task of eliminating bin Laden. The U.S. Intelligence communities have shown diligence, persistence, and receptiveness to find a fugitive who has eluded capture for a decade.
- Choice. President Bush declared after 9-11 that the U.S. would track down the perpetrators of the World Trade Center attack. The choice was made and despite taking ten years, the symbolic leader of the terrorist movement was finally brought to justice. I’m proud to be an American – especially when we seek equality and justice for all humans no matter their religious creed or their sex. We stand for individuals’ freedom.
- Opportunities. Imagine the patience required and frustration our military and the intelligence community must have felt when year after year went by and the trail for bin Laden went cold. I would have guessed that bin Laden was long since dead in a cave and would never be found. Our intelligence community used an interrogation tidbit as the opportunity it needed to eventually find his hideout.
- Adversity. Consider the number of dead ends and cold trails that were pursued over the years. These only provided the knowledge of knowing where bin Laden was not hiding. Laboring for ten years without the ultimate positive result is kicking adversity smack in the face. I’m impressed by the professionalism of the U.S. military’s persistence in the face of such adversity.
- Communication. From President Obama’s remarks Sunday night it’s clear that everyone involved knew that communicating the results of this historic event needed to done carefully and with full transparency. I’m really glad that WikiLeaks did not announce bin Laden’s whereabouts last month.
Acting with Gumption is more than just accomplishing a task. Acting with Gumption allows an event to be a game changer. I believe the U.S. government and specifically the military has acted with Gumption. And the world is a changed place because of this action.
What do you think?
Do you agree?
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Steve Weber is a Forrest Gump tribute artist, speaker, event maker, blogger, and aspiring author. He uses the simple, yet powerful, truths of Forrest Gump to turn meetings into events. You can learn more at SpeakingGump.com.