11 June, 2011

Profile 48 - 511417 as flown by Lt. Col. Joe Foss

Done!  The F-51 Joe flew while pioneering the South Dakota Air National Guard (circa 1947) is now aloft in the internet's data pool.  And then, to press...but that aspect of production is not important right now.

Every airplane I do embodies some single positive element.  In 511417's case, it represents the word "accomplishment" and for good reason.  Joe accomplished much in his life.  Compared to most people, Joe's resume is so disproportionately huge, it begs the questions, "Why?"

Yesterday morning, I was having coffee with a friend who - and I have to be cagey here - is very much involved in public education and the topic of predicting a student's future success came up. Like many business leaders, he believes that an organization's Culture is the greatest barometer of whether it will encourage people to greatness or failure or mediocrity.

Though dichotomies are often too simplistic, the conclusion was thus:  A culture either teaches that success comes or success is achieved.   Or, in other words:  "Build it and they will come"  versus   "Go out there and get it."  One is more passive, the other more active.

Argue the merits of both perspectives as you wish, but there's no doubt that Joe Foss achieved. He determined to be bold at whatever he did.  Though some aspects came easy (audacity) and others came harder (his Faith), Joe never rested, wringing the utter life out of, well, Life.  I find that kind of earnestness to be refreshing and inspirational.

This in mind, I thought you'd all find Joe's perspective on his WW2 military service interesting.