I just read Helen Dunmore’s new book The Lie, which is about a soldier who returns to Cornwall after WWI, a damaged man who tries to make sense of the war and how he survived.
In a passage about trench foot, the serious affliction that killed twenty thousand men, she quotes from a WWI procedures document on prevention. By pairing soldiers and having them take care of each other’s feet, the numbers dying from trench foot dropped precipitously. The returning soldier muses on this: “You’d think that selfishness would be the stronger force, but it turns out that isn’t so…. Tell him he’s responsible for the feet of the man next to him, and he does it.”
WWI soldiers were the hero-fighters of the war that would end all wars. Who knew that they also cared for each other’s feet, with humanity and love?
Could this be why Leadership Peer Coaching works—being accountable for someone else’s leadership development and having them accountable for yours—will both cause it to actually happen and provide critical support?
Who can you support today? Who will be your support?
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