Chapter 3: Lead - Video Clips

Movies like We Were Soldiers and Braveheart rouse my warrior heart and make me weep every time I watch them. And it’s not because I have a man crush on Mel Gibson, who happens to star in both films. Rather, it’s because those stories always bring me into the deeper, truer narrative of this life — the one of a leader laying it all on the line to fight for the freedom of his people.

Consider this powerful scene from We Were Soldiers:


You want to be a leader? Don’t ask your team to do anything you haven’t done yourself. Get out of your ivory tower or corner office and join the front lines!

There’s a great scene in one of the more recent remakes of Robin Hood. Robin, played by Russell Crowe, sees the siege of an enemy castle failing. The men on the front lines are being cut down, burned alive as the enemy pours boiling hot oil on their skin, followed by flaming arrows that ignite the fuel.

The men fall, burning alive, leaving the castle’s main door unscathed.

The men in Robin’s army are standing, passive, afraid to engage and replace those who have fallen. The momentum of the battle is about to shift in favor of the enemy.

Watch it unfold, and see what happens:


For me, changing my self-image started with a song. I was at a spiritual retreat, and during a time of worship they played a song called “Mighty Breath of God.”

I remember the music booming out of loud speakers suspended from the ceiling, the bass and drums reverberating inside my body. I sat in a folding chair, my eyes closed, and had that vision of Jesus rescuing me from a fiery prison cell I felt trapped in.

I found a copy of the live performance of that incredible song online, and here's the video:


I still have a long way to go in my own journey, but I know that developing an unshakable feeling of self-confidence and self-assurance is key to being a successful leader.

Consider the story of Gary Vaynerchuk, who grew up in New Jersey as the son of Eastern European immigrants. His father toiled away for years, working his way up from stock boy to owner of a local liquor store, one that Gary grew in the late 1990s from a $3 million per year business to $45 million wine empire using the Internet — specifically social media and online videos featuring Gary’s bombastic, over-the-top “Jersey” personality.

Vaynerchuk later signed a 10-book deal with a major publishing house, became a New York Times bestseller and created a marketing agency that serves some of the biggest brands and companies on the planet, including Pepsi, the NFL’s New York Jets and others.

He says the single biggest reason for his success is that his mom filled him with an insane amount of self-confidence.

“The ROI of my mother is everything. My mother, the way she parented me is the reason I have the ability, confidence and wherewithal to execute the businesses I’m building,” he says. "The amount of self-esteem that this woman instilled in me should be illegal.”

Vaynerchuk might not be a household name, but his self-assurance and self-confidence is contagious. See him present in person or online, and if you can get past the foul language (he swears like a sailor), you’ll come away admiring the passion, enthusiasm and self-assurance.

Here's a keynote from 2011 that gives you a good flavor for his style and his insight into where marketing and social media are headed: