Shortly after our high school hockey team settled into the visiting team locker room one of our forwards came to me and said he had left his shin pads back at our home rink locker room. Hockey is a tough game to play without shin pads, and he was facing the possibility of watching the game from the stands unless I could fix his problem.
Unfortunately, I was not in a position to retrieve his pads, and a round trip drive to get them would take at least 90 minutes. The game was scheduled to begin in 30 minutes.
As I thought about a possible solution, I noticed that our Captain, David, was quietly taking off his equipment including his shin pads. David had recently fractured his arm and had been playing with a cast.
When David finished taking his equipment off he took the shin pads to the other player and handed them to him.
David then came over to me and told me that the team needed the other player more than himself due to the cast on his arm. A completely selfless action on the part of our captain. A fine young man and true leader.
At the end of the season we had a discussion about leadership and captains with the underclassmen.
I asked them to identify someone they respected as a leader and to explain why. Universally, they all mentioned David. He certainly had exhibited the gold standard of leadership.