To kick off a short series about Courage, I’m speaking with Justin Constantine, an expert in overcoming adversity and leadership. He is a former Marine and attorney and is now an inspirational speaker and leadership consultant.
Justin recently completed his first book, My Battlefield, Your Office: Leadership Lessons From the Front Lines. Justin draws on his experiences with the Marine Corps, the US Chamber of Commerce, and in the nonprofit sector and shares what it takes to be a good leader in any environment.
On October 18, 2006, Justin was deployed in Iraq. He was on patrol when an enemy sniper shot him in the head, behind his left ear. Incredibly, the young Marine he was with performed an emergency tracheotomy and saved his life.
Recovering from the experience was difficult. For a long time he was embarrassed, but then he saw the inspiration that his recovery gave others. The experience gave Justin a renewed sense of focus, optimism, and intention.
“It wasn’t something to be embarrassed about. The bottom line was that I was so fortunate for surviving, but really I was so fortunate that so many people along the way had reached out to help me.”
Justin’s definition of courage has changed since his recovery. Before he was shot, he would have given a pretty typical definition of courage: doing the right thing when no one is watching, or something along those lines.
Now, Justin believes courage is choosing to persevere in the face of the toughest adversity – even if that means taking the tougher road sometimes. Life is about choices and sometimes choosing the tougher road leads to much greater results.
“I think courage comes down to taking the time to understand what you believe in and what you stand for, and then taking that road.”
Remember, you are stronger than you think you are. “Take the time. Be thoughtful about what you want to accomplish in life in life and you will do it.”
Don’t be a podcast junkie…
- Connect with Justin: Website | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube
- Support Veterans by Purchasing a My Veteran Desktop Calendar
- My Battlefield, Your Office: Leadership Lessons From the Front Lines by Justin Constantine
- Justin’s TEDTalk: “You’re Stronger Than You Think You Are”
- Deep Work by Cal Newport
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