Twelve O'clock High; Critical Commentary for the Saints
We watched this powerful movie in a Leadership class at Navy Officer Candidate School for obviously important applications.
I've watched it again several times since. But one of the greatest experiences of my life was watching these movies with a WW2 B17 pilot friend of mine who flew with the Mighty Eighth in the first missions into Germany. He heavily emphasized 2 things watching the movie, "we lost a lot of good men" and "our survival was flying in a tight formation. "
I took this great man flying before he died in my leased Cessna 172. We flew from Palm Springs CA to Big Bear Lake for breakfast. The timeless expression on his face during the flight was priceless. After we landed, I asked him to critique my landing. He simply said, "Next time you land, let the runway meet you,... no need to force it down so fast." I have never forgotten my friend and his words.
For the purpose of my Blog I believe there are some major lessons that we Christians can learn from watching this epic movie.
Here are but a few I've found..
All Warfare is Spiritual manifested in the flesh. We must be fully equipped knowing that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God and we must put on the full armor. We read in both Ephesians 6:10-18 KJV and 2 Corinthians 10:2-5 KJV accordingly.
The greatest enemy we fight against is ourselves and this manifests in SELF PITY and PRIDE
Peter was severely rebuked by Jesus when Satan tried to get Peter to motivate Jesus through self pity and pride. Read Matthew 16:22-25 KJV
Carefully, study the severe rebuke and exact words Jesus spoke to Peter.
Additional reading: John 12:24-26 KJV
Once we have eliminated 'SELF' and understand our lives are not precious, but rather we must consider ourselves dead to sin and alive unto Christ as His servants, our battle becomes more effective for our Lord.
Read: Galatians 2:20 KJV
In the heat of Battle, it quickly becomes very lonely at the top.
Misery loves company but self pity even more.
Leadership isn't about making friends, but being honest and getting the job done.
Trials by fire is the best crucible to determine what we're made of.
Even the strongest break down in the end so we see clearly that the race does not go to the swift but to those quiet unsung heroes that carry the day.
In conclusion, we see that Commanding Officer played by Gregory Peck knew his ultimate job was to make himself invisible and fade away, knowing his men IF properly trained and properly motivated to stop thinking about themselves but the mission (stop thinking about yourselves. Consider yourselves already dead.) They were more than capable of accomplishing the mission.
We see that a great leader knows they're successful when their work, not them, speaks for itself by the actions of those he or she is leading.