The Uncommon People

By | November 18, 2019

[November 18, 2019]  The day I met Hal Moore was more thrilling than speaking with all the Hollywood stars in California.  There sometimes comes a time in your life when you get to meet someone who is truly uncommon.  Hal Moore, who distinguished himself at the Battle of Ia Drang Vietnam, was that person.

“In the American Civil War, it was a matter of principle that a good officer rode his horse as little as possible. There were sound reasons for this. If you are riding and your soldiers are marching, how can you judge how tired they are, how thirsty, how heavy their packs weigh on their shoulders?” – Hal Moore

Fortunately, I also learned a few things from uncommon people.  We should be asking ourselves the questions, “Do I want to be uncommon?”  Do I want to sacrifice myself to be not just the best, but so far above the best, it would be impossible to catch me?  Here is a short list; an itemization of what some said was the secret to being better than others.  These are quotes as close as I could remember:

  • Be around folks who will push you outside your comfort zone every day.
  • The only discipline that lasts is self-discipline.
  • Truth matters, truth redeems you, nothing else will clear your vision.
  • You are responsible for everything that happens – so be it – live it with gusto.
  • To be the best is to be the monster in the room.
  • Sacrifice all – there is no alternative.
  • Walk the hard road, without shoes, for nothing matters except what makes you stronger.

I’ve been unusually lucky to have met just a few of these folks I refer to as the Uncommon People.  These are people who stand out among the standouts.  They are not ‘the best in their class’ or ‘the smartest in the room.’  Those I believe are uncommon are the men and women who possess social, physical, and emotional skills so far above others that we look like ants pushing bread crumbs.  They are the best of the best.

Professors in college tell us that everyone has equal abilities and intelligence, only random chances, and social barriers prevent us from achieving greatness.  Hogwash!  That is so far from describing reality that any child knows better.  A few folks are born with tremendous potential, but only a few of them make good use of their ability.  Those few who do are the uncommon people.

Lieutenant General Hal Moore was an uncommon man who stood out among those who went to war.  He was a mythical figure that made everyone look his way when he talked; a mystic, primordial, and exceptional.  If you are ever fortunate enough to meet one of them, you will know it without being told.

Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

18 thoughts on “The Uncommon People

  1. Janna Faulkner

    Very educational and enlightening article this morning, Gen. Satterfield. Thanks. I liked the quotes you have. They made me think – and still thinking about them. Like reading the Bible, don’t take it for the surface, there is greater meaning.

  2. Crazy Dude

    “To be the best is to be the monster in the room.” This one is scary and not because it’s about monsters but it’s about the devil inside you that is itching to get out.

    1. Nick Lighthouse

      Yes, it’s about malevolence inside all of us. There is an old saying that evil and good divides the heart; so if you want to conquer evil then begin with yourself. That is why people like Prof. Jordan Peterson (highlighted in this leadership blog) has been referenced so often. Dr. Peterson has been saying the same thing. You can find him on YouTube.

      1. Willie Shrumburger

        I’ve been watching some of his videos lately and found them enlightening for me.

      2. Joe Omerrod

        There’s got to be a few hundred of these videos. Highly recommended. 😊😊😊😊

  3. Harry Donner

    Gen Satterfield has a series on PROFILES of great leaders. I recommend reading them. You will see some common themes here also.

  4. Max Foster

    My grandfather used to tell us grandkids about his time with US Army General Pershing and his adventures in chasing Pancho Villa. Great stories of a truly uncommon man. It is our duty as good people to support those who are uncommon (uncommonly good and ethical) and to let them know we both understand them and wish them well. We should also be watching their backs. Just like those who helped John J. Pershing and his men throughout WW1.

    1. JT Patterson

      I hear that he retired somewhere in southern Arkansas. I never lived there but my older neighbor did and heard stories about Pershing that would scare the devil out of anyone.

      1. Eric Coda

        Yeah, JT, I was thinking along the same lines. Uncommon is something most folks have no conception of just how uncommon they are. I’ve never really met anyone like that but maybe some day. I think that most who are in senior leadership positions are also uncommon in many ways too. But it would have to be a truly great leader to be uncommon like Gen. Satterfield is writing about.

      2. lydia

        My aunt got to meet him when she was a young child living in south Arkansas. She said he was a wonderful person with a big personality.

  5. The Kid 1945

    Gen. Satterfield, you’ve had this theme before: “Be around folks who will push you outside your comfort zone every day.” Always have people around you who will make you better and not pull you down. There are plenty in the latter category and are just waiting for someone to come along for them to pull you down to their level. That may explain the snowflakes at college.

    1. Army Captain

      I see several common themes. The bottom line is that as a good leader you must adopt greater responsibility. Same for being just a good person.

    2. Eva Easterbrook

      Excellent comments guys. Like the old saying that freedom is not free, so goes being a good person means picking up more and more responsibility. Some will feel overwhelmed. Well, guys, that’s part of being a human so get over it.

  6. Yusaf from Texas

    I just read Sadako Red’s article from yesterday; please read it if you didn’t. SR is an uncommon man (or is he a woman?). I digress. His articles are not what you read in the main stream any more. He has got to be the kind of guy you would want as a boss.

    1. Ronny Fisher

      I laughed and laughed when I was reading it yesterday. He is clearly my favorite guest blogger in General Satterfield’s blog.

      1. Valkerie

        So did I. I wish that General Satterfield would get Mr. Red to write more articles. He is clearly my favorite. I always wondered if he is writing articles elsewhere and we don’t know about it. Sigh!!! I guess we will never know. All I can say, it makes my day whenever I read his writings.

      2. Dale Paul Fox

        Yeah, I almost spit my coffee up thru my nose. An awakening event. 😊

    2. Dennis Mathes

      Thanks Yusaf. Spot-on comment about Sadako Red. If anyone hasn’t read his past articles, they are linked at the bottom and I suggest you do so. I wish that I could do just some of the things he’s done.

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