I suppose I’ve always been interested in warriors and war and the warrior code. Some of the books I’ve read, above.
I remember reading comic books, Cha the Last Apache Warrior and Battle.
I couldn’t get enough of them.
Look, I also read, Richie Rich, Beano, Roy of the Rovers, Archie, Grensvegter, Bollie, Die Swart Luiperd, Die Skim, Dandy, Beezer, Valiant, Ruiter in Swart and the other usual suspects (Batman, Superman, Hulk and the other usual suspects).
So, I wouldn’t say I specialised in warriors and war. But, I was interested.
I’ve read a number of Peter Stiff’s books. Good grief, they’ve become expensive (he only published limited copies). I found his entire collection in a bookshop in Hermanus, South Africa. They’re coming in at R1 500.00 per book (hard cover).
I’ve seen unspeakable things
Because I was a soldier (1982 – 1984) in South Africa’s bush war, I’ve always taken a keen interest in what other people experienced in that time. So, I read up on this period.
I’ve seen unspeakable things and a lot of death and destruction in my time in the military.
- I saw how a chef could take a perfectly good steak and burn it into a well-done piece of leather
- I saw Cujo die on the hot Namibian sands
- I saw soldiers get Dear John letters from their girlfriends and crack up. I got one too
- I found a puff adder in my trench
- Thank goodness I wasn’t arachnophobic – Roman and Baboon spiders abounded
- I saw a bald Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM) in the shower – that scarred me for life and I still go for counselling. Have a look at the embedded clip below. You’ll find the RSM story at around 6min4 seconds into the clip. You’ll also discover why animals and I don’t get along
So, no, I didn’t really have a tough time in the military. It all just felt like a bit of a waste to me. But it did ignite my passion for the warrior code.
The Real Deal
Of course I know some folks who you’d consider the Real Deal. Special forces and other amazing creatures.
Go and look em up:
Of course, there are some folks who are bogus operators. Go and read their cover stories – you may have heard some in your time. And, then check out the wall of shame for good measure.
What can I say? I love his books and have practically read all of them, except for The Knowledge which I will get soon.
It is authors like Steven Pressfield and Peter Stiff and people like Callie Roos and Stef du Plessis, that made me look more deeply and see what a good soldier is about:
All these traits are traits that should be used by those of us who soldier in business too.
So, I crafted a keynote to show how a soldiers heart can help all of us navigate this human experience with elegance and eloquence.
I’m particularly taken by the Spartan way of life and have made it an area of study. My keynote, The Warrior Code has a lot of lessons from Sparta, Macedonia and Marines, amongst others.
I’ll be running the Athens Marathon in November 2018 and will visit as many Spartan battle sites as I can, so that I can add even more depth to the keynote.