Unless you have been living under a rock for the last three days, you are aware of the terrible tragedy that struck an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut last Friday. This was an unthinkable tragedy carried out by a monster. I for one, spent early Saturday morning crying while watching news coverage before my children awoke. Nothing good comes from this tragedy.
However, are there leadership lessons that can be learned from tragedies like this?
Certainly the stories we are hearing about the actions of some of the people affected by this tragedy are remarkable and many of them are examples of leadership.
Think about the actions of the principal, who purportedly warned the school by turning on the intercom so all could hear and hopefully get to safety. Think about the actions of the teacher who hid as many of her students as possible and got between the gunman and the remaining children in an attempt to save their lives. Think about the little boy who tried to calm his teacher and fellow students by bravely stating that he knew karate and could protect them.
These leaders took heroic actions in the face of grave danger to save lives.
Very few leaders are ever faced with this kind of horrifying situation and required to make unbelievably difficult, split-second decisions.
All of us can learn from the actions of these leaders. All of us can be reminded of this terrible tragedy and take actions every day to live our lives in a way that honors the innocent lives lost.