Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Do Great Leaders or Ordinary People Make History

Man standing on rock formation
(Photo credit: Brand X Pictures)
By Cameron Cota

Do great leaders or ordinary people make history? It is my personal belief that it is the ordinary people that change history.

Great leaders have been influential throughout history, but most started out as common people. General George Washington for instance came from a poor family but proved to be a splendid commander-in-chief. Washington convinced the majority of the Continental army to re-enlist after their term was over. The Rebels, tired, weak and worn to the thread, only wanted to be home after enduring almost unimaginable hardships, yet they re-enlisted because of Washington. Because of that instance in history we were able to live in this dear country.

Ordinary people too are capable of becoming extraordinary. Every one starts small to some degree, then are given the opportunity to become great. Benjamin Franklin was an apprentice to a printer, nothing special, yet he made history as one of the greatest minds ever. A printer in those days was scorned by everyone. Franklin saw this as a challenge to overcome. From posing as the widow, “Silence Dogood” and writing articles to sway the public opinion, to becoming an inventor, Benjamin Franklin showed us that ordinary people could be great.

People, ordinary or otherwise, have made history throughout the ages. Some are born great some are destined to be. Everyone has greatness in them. Anyone can sway history. People can be ordinary or extraordinary and still shake the world.

Cameron Cota is the 15-year old daughter of Heath Cota, Sawtooth National Forest - Minidoka Ranger District FMO and member of the NWCG Leadership Committee. All expressions are those of the author. "Do Great Leaders or Ordinary People Make History" was an in-class essay for Cameron's history class. This is the first of two essays.

Today's blog entry is a testament to the power of influence. Leadership is an art that transcends boundaries. As Heath told me when he shared Cameron's essays, "It speaks of a lifelong study of leadership; and if you think that your subordinates see and hear all, even more so do our children." 

Are you influencing beyond the fireline? We would love to share your stories.

Stay tuned for another blog 

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