Hiroo Onoda is not a household name. In fact, Hiroo Onoda didn’t even set foot in a household for over 30 years.
He was a Japanese soldier during World War II and was stationed in the Philippines. His orders were to spy on American troops.
He was pretty darn good at following orders.
World War II ended in 1945 (spoiler alert: Japan lost), but nobody told Hiroo. Or, rather, they told him, he just didn’t want to believe it.
Hiroo was stubborn. Perhaps the most stubborn person in modern human history.
Despite pleas from both his family and military officials, Hiroo refused to believe the war was over and, as a result, insisted on hiding out in the Philippine jungle and continuing his mission.
He remained there for 29 years after the end of World War II.
TWENTY. NINE. YEARS!!!
It wasn’t until 1974 that Hiroo returned home. It took his former commander flying out to the Philippine jungle to formally relieve Hiroo of duty (and, no doubt, shake his head in disbelief at the same time).
This is important to understand, because there may very well be a little bit of a Hiroo in you (minus the Philippine jungle part).
Doing Things Your Own Way
There’s a difference between DOING IT your own way and GETTING IN your own way.
When it comes to your own behavior, it’s sometimes hard to see the true reflection in the mirror. When your mind is set on a process, it can be hard to distinguish whether your efforts are moving you forward or holding you back.
Of course, your default is to always believe your efforts are moving you forward. But like our friend Hiroo, when you are so close to the trees, it’s sometimes hard to see the jungle.
As it turns out, there are a few leadership personality types that are prone to blurring the line between doing it their own way and getting in their own way.
The question is, how much of a Hiroo is in you?
Let’s look at the three leadership personality types.