Today in history – On June 4, 1942 the U.S found itself trying to recover from the events of Pearl Harbor, as it tried to stop the Japanese advance across the Pacific at a little know island called Midway. At Pearl Harbor, the US Pacific fleet was decimated with the loss of all its battleships and tragically, over 2,800 men and women were lost. For the next 18 months, all the US could do was try to survive.
The time eventually came when the US Navy had a chance to turn the tide of the war in what would become known as the Battle of Midway. After the battle, the Japanese fleet had lost four aircraft carriers to the US loss of the carrier Yorktown. The tide had been turned in the battle for control of the Pacific Ocean.
How did this come about and more importantly, what lessons can you apply in turning your life around?
Remain diligent and alert: If you find yourself in a setback, the worst thing you can do is surrender. You won’t win the battles in your life if you don’t get up. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, pick yourself up and start looking around you. What are you looking for? Opportunities.
Develop a new plan: After Pearl Harbor, the US Navy had to rethink its strategies. They had lost all of their battleships in the Pacific, and had to conclude that the battleship was no longer the mainstay of the fleet, but that the era of the aircraft carrier was at hand. New tactics had to be developed, in addition to retooling the US industrial machine to produce carriers and aircraft, instead of more battleships. If you’ve suffered a defeat, take a long honest look at your skills and experience. Perhaps you need to retool, by going back to school or learning some new skills. Perhaps you need to change the people you hang out with, or look for opportunities in a different field.
Whatever the case may be, you must come to the realization that perhaps the horse you’ve ridden so far, isn’t the one that is going to help you win the race.
Stay informed: The US had an extensive network of intelligence gathering forces that enabled it to break the Japanese military communications codes. This resulted in the US Navy having the upper edge in intelligence. How are you staying informed about the world that is going around you? Get on a reading plan. Leaders are Readers.
Take calculated risks: No pain – No gain. No guts – No glory Admiral Nimitz took a HUGE gamble by putting up three US carriers against the entire Japanese fleet. If you aren’t willing to take some risks, you might as well just get used to the status quo.
Enlist the help of other leaders: Admiral Nimitz needed a leader on his team who could get the job done. Nimitz wanted to place his most experienced commander in charge of the operation at Midway, but Admiral “Bull” Halsey came down with shingles and Nimitz replaced him with Admiral Spruance who performed admirably during the battle. Who are the leaders on your team?
Rely on little luck: Yes, this is correct. Sometimes in life we have to roll the dice and see what comes up. The US certainly had its share of luck during the Battle of Midway. However, they were only able to take advantage of it because they were there in the first place. I’m not a big advocate of the “name it and claim it” crowd. I also am somewhat skeptical about the consistency of results centered around the Law of Attraction. However, a positive attitude, and letting chance come to your aid, is better than the alternative which is a sour attitude and the belief that life is against you.
Turn Your Life Around!
Lead With Honor!