Do you remember that jungle scene from the movie Forrest Gump? (David Dusek, the super movie fan, knows what I’m talking about.)
For the 3 people on earth who have never seen the movie, I’m referring to a moment in Viet Nam, when Forrest and his buddy, Bubba Blue, have been walking through the hot jungle. Their exhausted unit takes a break from walking to sit down in the mud.
They’re sitting upright on the jungle floor trying to catch their breath, and in a moment of brilliance, Bubba suggests that he and Forrest lean back against one another. Bubba’s back will brace Forrest and vice versa. This brief break in the action becomes an iconic “who’s got your back” moment in this blockbuster movie.
In fact, Forrest keeps leaning on Bubba as he tries to learn the shrimping business long after Viet Nam. And Bubba’s family keeps leaning on Forrest when the dividend checks for “Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.” starts to make it big.
For many years, Aaron Weaver had my back in the Army. Or, more accurately, I was Aaron’s Bubba Blue for many years. Do you have a Bubba Blue in your life? Here are some of the valuable lessons I learned from leaning on my Ranger buddy in tough times and hard battles.
Don’t worry about the frontal assault
It’s easy to become fixated on the enemy that’s right in front of your face. That’s because it’s right in front of your face! However, the enemy that’s right in front of you isn’t always the most dangerous enemy. Sometimes the enemy that sneaks up from behind is much more dangerous than the one that’s right in front of your face.
You’ll never be able to be successful at the long game until you can stop focusing on what’s right in front of your nose. Having a Ranger buddy like Aaron Weaver or a buddy like Bubba Blue can help you focus on the enemy that’s trying to do the sneak attack from behind, rather than put all of your energy and attention to the enemy that’s immediately in front of your face.
Don’t get flanked by the enemy
Every war fighter knows that weak flanks equal a tactical defeat. Therefore, the greatest tacticians spend more energy protecting their vulnerable sides than preparing for a frontal assault. This is not just true on the battlefield; it’s also true in every other area of life.
Your blind spots are dangerous because they’re blind spots. If you knew that somebody was in the adjacent lane, you wouldn’t merge into them on a busy road. This is what makes blind spots so dangerous. Every human being has blind spots. And all of us are…well…blind to them. Therefore, you need a Bubba Blue to protect your blind spots.
Don’t ignore your rear
Who’s got your back? Who’s protecting your 6 o’clock position? Every combat aviator needs a wingman. Every Ranger on the battlefield needs a Ranger buddy. Every business leader needs a great business partner. These essential relationships help protect your vulnerable backside.
David Dusek just released a video series that deals with the question we all need to ask– Who has your six? If you have a bulletproof buddy that’s got your backside, you don’t have to worry about a rear assault. If you are a bulletproof buddy who’s got somebody else’s backside, you two can conquer the world together.
If you don’t have a Bubba Blue, I want to challenge you to go out and to find that guy or gal today. He or she is essential to protecting you in this globally challenging world in which we all live.