Bred to take on the impossible

DeRon Talley

When LTG. Russel L. Honoré spoke at the Donaldsonville Area Chamber of Commerce Banquet last week, I sat front and center and at attention as he shared with us how we are “bred to take on the impossible.”

When he spoke those words, my initial thought was to holler up at him, “Hallelujah!” For as long as I can remember I’ve prided myself on defying the odds and breaking barriers, but to hear a man like LTG. Honoré say I am “bred” to do such things boosted my confidence and esteem level.

When LTG. Honoré told us that, he didn’t just throw the idea out there and leave us to assume we’re supposed to believe it because it came out of his mouth. He affirmed it with proof that America has always done it and for us to reflect back at General George Washington 230-plus years ago when General Washington and his men took on the British with inadequate resources and tools, yet they overcame.

As he continued to speak, I reflected over my life and said wow, I’m just like General Washington. How? Because, never did I have a resourceful background, nor was I ever the smartest and biggest person in the world. But, like the General I have heart and drive.

LTG. Honoré pointed out three points that we all need to apply, and as he explained the points I was proud to think I, in some ways, apply that to my life currently. LTG. Honoré said to do the routine things well, not be afraid to take on the impossible and to act even if we’re being criticized.

I’ve always believed in doing the simple things right. When I ran track in college, I was a 110-meter and 400-meter hurdler and I was usually the smallest athlete on the track when the gun was fired. But what set me apart was my sharp technique. I went in knowing I wasn’t the fastest or strongest on the track, but if I did these movements as accurate I should prevail – and I did – doing the routine things well.

Fear the impossible? If you would’ve asked me three years ago would I be in Ascension Parish I would’ve said that’s impossible, I have no family or friends there. But, I’m here.

As far as acting even when being criticized, LTG. Honoré said it best, “Too often leadership is so concerned and they forget that leadership is not about popularity, it’s about performance.” When things get tough and I get bad responses on an article I published or wrote, I continue to hold my head high, show up the next day and continue doing my job.

In the short time I had to listen to LTG. Honoré, I learned a lot and will apply more to become a better leader in my household, in the community and beyond. But it all starts with understanding that I was bred to take on the impossible, and you are too.