Dr. Rev Billy Graham was a very influential evangelist. It is estimated he ministered and baptised over 200 million people worldwide in his evangelical mission.
But this is not about religion. I know when it comes to religion, politics and such like topics, people go bananas. I’m personally interested in the ability of people who are drivers of any formidable force. I’m curious about people like Martin Luther King Jr, Jesus Christ, Prophet Muhammad, Adolf Hitler, Mahatma Gandhi, Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, and so on. These are people I consider life’s greatest adventures.
The core message of this book is leadership the Billy Graham style. This is one of the best books on Leadership I’ve read. Being a Saturday and following the thread of this series, it came top of my mind today. I read this book last year and was particularly drawn to the chapter where Billy Graham addressed the subject dealing with “Trauma and Betrayal.”
In everything life, be it; business, politics, relationships, family, and so on, – you are going to experience ‘Trauma and Betrayal.’ I suppose we’ve all been here or witnessed others go through it.
I was traumatized by my mother’s death and it changed my view on nearly everything; my view on family, friendship, opinions that I value, people I respect, …, just a lot of things. I cannot really compare that feeling to anything I’ve ever experienced before. I think it stays with you but you have to source for inner peace and strength to pull through. Luckily for me, I turned to conscious rap as it addressed many things people are either afraid, ashamed or consider socially awkward. It spoke a lot of sense to me many people didn’t. I hardly put anyone on the pedestal cept for children and the elderly.
But unlike me, many people especially when dealing with intense trauma for the first time, never recover their inner selves in good time and that leads to serious problems later on in life.
In life and business, you are going to experience BETRAYAL – expect it and prepare. You are even going to be kicked out of your own company you created. You are going to miss out on the deals that could give your company a lifeline. People will intentionally do things to ruin you. Some because they hate your tribe, some cause they hate your race (like the Holocaust),…, trust me people will betray you on unimaginable grounds. So, be ready for this.
The higher you rise, the more betrayal is to be expected. If you don’t prepare for such eventualities, you will be crashed to ruins. There are many ways (legal and illegal) that you can be betrayed. It could be boardroom control, a hostile takeover, poaching your greatest talents or murder of a key partner, betrayal in your home or relationships – anything that gets you to slow or be damned. Betrayal is to be expected, if you want to be strong and climb the greatest heights of your endeavors.
When Elon Musk was battling bankruptcy, he took his company public against his will. He had to do it, otherwise his baby (Tesla) would suffer an immature death. But this brought with it a ton of problems to Tesla. Elon Musk was always passionate and vocal of the things he wanted to achieve. But the people that sat on the board at Tesla may not have been so appealing to Elon or pleased with his demeanor.
He was so pissed at Tesla going public, at one point he tweeted he was looking for money to buyback Tesla shares to make it private again. Tweets that attracted so much hate from many influential people. To Tesla speculators, Elon tweets always made people money. But the board wasn’t happy and looked to have Elon kicked out. The SEC also went on a purge on Musk, and though he won the court battles, that 2018 tweet would be remembered as one of the most expensive tweets ever for the troubles it landed Elon.
When Elon started spaceX, folks at NASA declared war on him and claimed individuals should not be allowed do things Elon is trying to do (build ships to take man on planet Mars). Some of those are people Elon grew up idolizing as a kid. This had always been the dream. In an interview, Elon almost shed tears at thoughts of bringing SpaceX down. Elon has received wide critism from a number of influencial people like Robert Greene, Charlie Munger and so many others, ….
But that has only shaped the Elon Musk we know today. In fact, at the height of corona outbreak in USA, Elon had to tell his engineers and workers at SpaceX to board at the site. The man can make calls at 2 a.m or visit the site at those hours. That shows his will power. Elon’s biggest concern is that the current workers at SpaceX may die before seeing the dream of going to Mars. Those are the things that drive Elon – not the opinion of others (no matter how respected).
Another famous example would be Jesus being betrayed by his closest disciple, Judas Iscariot. You can also relate to story Steve Jobs. The board members at Apple kicked Steve Jobs out of a company he founded. Jobs went on to form Pixar after acquiring Lucasfilm in 1986. This led him to hold 51% shares of Pixar to the time of its acquisition by Walt Disney in 2006.
During his time Pixar, that he learnt a lot of that later made Apple great. Years later after returning to Apple, he went on to pioneer the iPhone and to date, that became known as the goose that laid the golden eggs for Apple. It’s his lessons at Pixar that helped connect the dots backwards. Were it not for Steve Jobs being betrayed at Apple, today the company would probably not be a Tech giant. One of the greatest personalities in Tech.
In history, we could find people like Alexander the Great who led the greatest army to ever conquer the world. When it comes to this subject, I like how he handled the greatest army when a section of it threatened mutiny in the middle of a conquest in a land far from home surrounded by enemies in all fronts and outnumbered. The army was so great that Alexander wept for what he had done. He feared his descendants would never find more lands to conquer.
But that’s just the most important chapter according to me in terms of a refreshing thought. Billy Graham gives sound advice on dealing with betrayal.
Trauma and betrayal can be so disastrous it can lead to serious consequences like one running mad, low self esteem and ego, losing meaning and enthusiasm in life, and much more with the ultimate end being suicide.
Just recently in the middle of the covid19 pandemic, German minister of Finance reportedly committed suicide after assessing the damage the pandemic had done to the economy. People who scale greater heights are passionate like that German Minister, Thomas Schaefer. This passion can kill if you feel like a let-down. This chapter of the book helps with dealing with ‘betrayal and trauma’ and I singled it out for it’s realness.
There are so many other great chapters in there that I also find refreshing. Among them; Confronting Temptations, Loving Harsh Critics, Redeeming the Ego, Summoning Courage, Leading with Love, and Growing Through Fire and Ice and lots of other spins in there.
If you are on the desolate path, few people tend to understand you. That is non of your problems – don’t make it. Though I reckon how hard that can be. Like a quote attributed to Mahatma Gandhi in the non-violent resistance observes about men;
“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
Betrayal and trauma is part of life. Prepare to handle it!
I highly doubt anyone has read this one. If you have, drop your core message in the comments. Otherwise, personally I rate this highly amongst the best books I’ve read not only on leadership but the general self-help. Things no school will ever teach – highly recommend it to anyone; especially future entrepreneurs or people looking to lead great causes in future!