News From LBD
 December 2009 Vol 1 Issue 10
FEATURE STORY - The Christmas Truce
From David Stratman's book We Can Change the World

    It was December 25, 1914, only 5 months into World War I. German, British, and French soldiers, already sick and tired of the senseless killing, disobeyed their superiors and fraternized with "the enemy" along two-thirds of the Western Front (a crime punishable by death in times of war). German troops held Christmas trees up out of the trenches with signs, "Merry Christmas." "You no shoot, we no shoot."
    Thousands of troops streamed across a no-man's land strewn with rotting corpses. They sang Christmas carols, exchanged photographs of loved ones back home, shared rations, played football, even roasted some pigs. Soldiers embraced men they had been trying to kill a few short hours before. They agreed to warn each other if the top brass forced them to fire their weapons, and to aim high.

     A shudder ran through the high command on either side. Here was disaster in the making: soldiers declaring their brotherhood with each other and refusing to fight. Generals on both sides declared this spontaneous peacemaking to be treasonous and subject to court martial. By March 1915 the fraternization movement had been eradicated and the killing machine put back in full operation. By the time of the armistice in 1918, fifteen million would be slaughtered.
    Not many people have heard the story of the Christmas Truce.
On Christmas Day, 1988, a story in the Boston Globe mentioned that a local FM radio host played "Christmas in the Trenches," a ballad about the Christmas Truce, several times and was startled by the effect. The song became the most requested recording during the holidays in Boston on several FM stations. "Even more startling than the number of requests I get is the reaction to the ballad afterward by callers who hadn't heard it before," said the radio host. "They telephone me deeply moved, sometimes in tears, asking, `What the hell did I just hear?' "
     I think I know why the callers were in tears. The Christmas Truce story goes against most of what we have been taught about people. It gives us a glimpse of the world as we wish it could be and says, "This really happened once." It reminds us of those thoughts we keep hidden away, out of range of the TV and newspaper stories that tell us how trivial and mean human life is. It is like hearing that our deepest wishes really are true: the world really could be different. It takes each of us to believe and act accordingly. It takes individual leadership.
    May your Christmas be filled with hope and joy!

To listen to this inspirational Christmas story in song click here::
Christmas in the Trenches
What Leaders are Reading

The Six Disciplines of Breakthrough Learning -
by Calhoun W. Wick, Roy V. H. Pollock, Andrew McK. Jefferson, and Richard D. Flanagan
    The Six Disciplines of Breakthrough Learning provides the definitive road map and tools for optimizing the business impact of leadership and management training, sales, quality, performance improvement, and individual development programs. This important book presents the theories and techniques behind the approach and includes expert advice for bridging the "learning-doing" gap.

The Bible-
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter 2 verses 1-20.
    The REAL Christmas Story, The birth of Jesus.
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What Do Employees Want?

    Training Magazine recently cited a survey done by INSCAPE Publishing. They surveyed 5,945 recent training participants about what types of courses would greatly increase their effectiveness at work.
   A surprise to many business owners and HR directors was that job or technical skills was not ranked in the top two. What was? Leadership skills ranked #1 and dealing with conflict and/or difficult people ranked #2. Yet most businesses still center their employee development around job or technical skills. Although important, experts agree leadership and people skills will have a greater impact on employee production.
   Do you have a process or two that could address leadership skills and dealing with conflict? It's time for decision makers to ask "what processes will be most beneficial for  our organization?"
   Leadership Development is what we do at LBD. Contact us for further information. 

   For all the facts on the above mentioned survey, go to:

John Branstad
John Branstad


"Treat a man the way he is, and he will remain so.
Treat a man the way he can become, and he will be encouraged to become so.
Treat yourself the way you are, and you will remain so.
Treat yourself the way you can become, and you will become so."
John Branstad