I was perusing a magazine at the local tire shop when a reporter on the lobby TV caught my attention with an unbelievable story. Apparently three women had been rescued from enslavement in Cleveland, OH. These women had been kidnapped over 10 years ago! I had so many questions immediately. How did this happen? Why would this ever occur? How did these women escape?
I have no real answer to a couple of these questions, but we all quickly found out how they escaped from the man who found Amanda Berry…Charles Ramsey.
Mr. Ramsey has turned into an overnight hero and an Internet sensation. He is beloved by people all across the country for his straight forward answers and genuine personality. I noticed three undeniable leadership traits that we could all learn from this hero.
1. Leaders take immediate action when crisis occurs.
This is the most obvious of the lessons Ramsey taught us, but it shouldn’t be overlooked. There are many people who would have disregarded the screams coming from neighbor’s house. We try to keep out of other’s business when possible. Ramsey didn’t…he immediately stopped what he was doing to rescue those ladies. Here is my favorite quote from Ramsey:
“Bruh, I’m a Christian and American and I’m just like you. We bleed the same blood; put our pants on the same way. It’s just that you gotta put that bein’ a coward and that ‘I don’t wanna get in nobody’s business’—you gotta put that away for a minute.”
2. Leaders remember the small details.
In the interviews following the rescue, Ramsey consistently reported all of the details surrounding the day’s events. He broke it down to include what he was eating, who was nearby, and what things had occurred minute by minute. One of the reasons he is so fascinating is because he didn’t leave any detail out, regardless of whether it was related to the issue or not. Leaders know the small details and commit them to memory.
3. Leaders defer their accolades.
Ramsey has been offered the $25,000 reward money for finding the missing women, but he has stated multiple times that he doesn’t deserve the money. He just did what any other person would do, he thinks the money should go to the women and their families. He is saying this even though he admits to not sleeping because of money problems. In the end, Ramsey will be rewarded for his actions…and it will be worth far more than $25,000.
We tip our caps to your Charles Ramsey. We would all like to imagine that we would be as brave and selfless as you when crisis happens, but you proved your leadership through your actions.
What leadership lessons did you learn from Charles Ramsey? What would have you done if you found yourself in the same scenario?