Lessons on Leadership - Only the Brave

Real Estate Agent with DFW FINE PROPERTIES 0506509

Author: Patricia Feager, REALTOR®


Last night, I received a pass for a free screening for "Only the Brave." It was a private viewing and I thought I'd share some insights I gained from this tear-jerker movie that occurred on and before June 30, 2013.


This is the true story about the first Granite Mountain Hotshots, a team of elite firefighters based in Prescott, AZ. Though tragic and heart-breaking, I left the theater focusing on Leadership. I highly recommend everyone see the movie. Not to give away the great performance by actors, or well-written account by Brendan J McDonough, here are some thoughts to ponder on Leadership - none of which were mentioned in the movie or the reviews. From my perspective I learned:


  • With the right leadership, the least likely to succeed, can succeed. 
  • With strong leadership, a team can become one.
  • A past, is never permanent.
  • Rookies can learn when someone can lead. 
  • Rookies need encouragement from the Leader and the Team.
  • Self-Discipline begins with self-respect.
  • A baby's diaper isn't the only thing that needs to be changed.
  • Taking the initiative to learn a new skill means there's leadership in you.
  • True leadership is how you impact others.
  • To be a leader, one must know how to put out fires. 
  • Giving ones all really does mean all or nothing.
  • A Leader is not perfect.
  • Even a Leader needs a strong Leader or two for support.
  • A Team is not perfect - they are still a Team.
  • A great leader influences others to forgive themselves. 


Being at Glacier National Park last September had a profound effect on me. It took courage for me to post this photograph from my trip; however, it's important everyone get a glimpse of what firefighers see in their profession. Seeing "Only the Brave," on screen helped me to have a greater appreciation for Firefighters, Leadership, and the Team. --- Patricia Feager




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Patricia Feager
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Jill Sackler - You make me happy! Thank you for choosing what you perceived were your favorites. From the moment I left the theater, I couldn't stop thinking about the shining examples of leadership. The leader's spouse of the Granite Mountain Hotshots deserves recognition too for shaping the love of her life behind the scenes. They always say, "behind every man is a woman," she was and still is quite a woman!

Jan 10, 2018 02:39 PM #27
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good evening Patricia Feager ,

Wow..looks like this is a powerful movie that is a must see. Being a leader is so hard and not something everyone can do. You are among the best in writing original and good content. I always look forward to your posts. Congratulations on a well deserved featured post!!

Jan 10, 2018 04:53 PM #28
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Great leadership tips Patricia, that was a movie I had intended on seeing.  I like the team becoming one. You see that with winning in athletics a lot.

Jan 10, 2018 05:58 PM #30
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Lets all go to the movies and afterwards meet at Patricia Feager 's for discussion

Jan 10, 2018 06:09 PM #31
Patricia Feager
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Dorie Dillard - Receiving validation from you is really appreciated. You pride yourself as a professional in Austin. I am thankful our Texas connection in the Real Estate industry is strong.  

I hope you do get to see the movie. Although intense because we know how it ends, there are many human elements played by the actors that gives you a great appreciation for who these firefighters were who sacrificed their lives because they had a passion for their profession. As for leader, clearly I saw three. If you see the movie, please let me know what you think. I would be interested.

Thank you. 

Jan 10, 2018 07:01 PM #32
Patricia Feager
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Gary Woltal - I agree, it's very noticeable with athletes. Their focus is also like no other. Though sad, it's a great movie. I do believe you'd enjoy it. 

Jan 10, 2018 07:03 PM #33
Patricia Feager
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Richie Alan Naggar - You are never at a loss for right words. What a great comment!!!

Jan 10, 2018 07:04 PM #34
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Look at you with another well deserved feature! Great insight Patricia!

Jan 10, 2018 07:59 PM #35
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Leaders lead because they are fearless. It takes courage to be a leader and I believe everybody can lead depending on the circumstances. Excellent post.

Jan 10, 2018 11:37 PM #36
Betsy N. Robinson - Serving the Sandhills, NC
Everything Pines Partners, LLC. - Whispering Pines, NC

Patricia - what a magnificant job you did to assemble all your emotions into a beautiful tribute to the leadership qualities you witnessed in the movie!  I will share your list with those in our firm who are in leadership positions and those who asprie to be.  Thank you for your insightful gift.

Jan 11, 2018 04:58 AM #37
Tim Maitski
Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage - Atlanta, GA
Truth, Excellence and a Good Deal

Great points.  If I may humbly add a few things I've observed over the years.  It might not pertain to every leadership situation but it is what creates movements.

The absolute necessity is having a message that resonates with some people.  It might be thoughts or ideas that people already have had in the back of their minds but never were clear enough on those thoughts to go forward and do something about it.  A leader crystalizes those thoughts and creates a message that puts the pieces together and gets people motivated to want to finally do something about it.  

I saw that first hand with Ron Paul in 2008.  I saw it with Bernie Sanders.  Those two are the least likely people you would ever think of as charismatic leaders.  But they both had messages that resonated with certain groups of people.

The other thought I have is that it's OK if you aren't a leader.  Very few are cut out to be leaders.  The world needs good followers too. 

I think if you just do what you are passionate about and you truly believe in your message, other like minded people will find you and want to be part of what you are doing.  Never take on a leadership position for the desire of the accolades and the power.  Find something that you really want to get done and start doing what it takes to make a difference and I think the followers will join in naturally. 

It's kind of like happiness.  Happiness appears when you aren't going after it.  

Jan 11, 2018 05:25 AM #38
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Specializing in Brookside, Waldo, Prairie Village

I've seen the promos for this movie--looks very inspiring!  Your blog was a terrific response to what you experienced watching the movie.

Jan 11, 2018 10:40 AM #39
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

It's amazing that in years from now the photo you took will be replaced by a new one that is full of green and growth.

As for leadership, those are all appropriate learnings about leadership. It always amazes me to watch people demonstrate leadership skills; so few people do it successfully.

Jan 11, 2018 11:50 AM #40
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

And now this is featured. Hurray, Patricia. Makes me happy. D

Jan 11, 2018 01:01 PM #41
Paul McFadden
Paratex - Seattle, WA
Pest Control, Seattle, WA.

Thanks for your thoughts. I love the idea of reluctant leadership myself. Be well!

Jan 11, 2018 01:59 PM #42
Corey Martin
Martin Presence Group - Ruston, LA
Real Estate and Management Solutions

I haven't seen that movie yet. I will have to see it. Thank you for your recommendation. I have high hopes for it now. 

Jan 11, 2018 07:34 PM #43
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

I haven't seen the movie, Patricia, but given your post I am certinaly more encouraged to see it. You've shared some powerful learnings about leadership, which can take so many forms and have such a broad impact if done well. Not everyone can be a leader, or should.


Jan 11, 2018 09:55 PM #44
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

I love your point with the right leadership the least likely to succeed can succeed What a gift to give that least likely to be shown a path and helped to success

Jan 12, 2018 04:52 AM #45
Nick & Trudy Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtors, Philly Main Line

This is such a thoughtful post. The movie obviously touched you in ways that the makers did not intend but that made the movie something great for you. These are wonderful things to know for anyone. Worth posting on the wall to remind oneself of throughout the year. I also don't think any of us realize the things our first responders see on a regular basis, police, EMT's and firefighters. These people need our support and understanding for what they are doing and the bravery they show on a regular basis.

Jan 12, 2018 09:56 AM #46
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Leadership is not just about reading about it, but taking action that helps others move forward.

You have given us a great list for the action side of leadership.

Thanks Patricia Feager 

Jan 12, 2018 10:35 AM #47
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