Neal Peacock talks about leadership at ECBC lunch and learn
Neal Peacock recently spoke at the Emery County Business Chamber lunch and learn. He has recently started a leadership and motivational speaking business. He said 13 years ago his wife went down to the Castle Dale City office to pay the water bill. She came back and said noone was running for the office of Castle Dale Mayor and it was time he put his money where his mouth was in talking about leadership all those years in high school classes.
"So, I went like a man to the gallows and signed up. I was mayor of Castle Dale for 12 years, the longest they've ever had. I learned a lot. Twelve years was enough. I don't like career politicians, if they're there 30 years, who are they really representing?"
Peacock said on Aug. 1 his business will be one year old and it's called Peacock Training, LLC. It is a public speaking and training business. So far he has done 15 trainings and speaking engagements from Wyoming to Cedar City. From now until Oct. 17 he has 14 more scheduled. Some of them are paid engagements and some are just to be recognized and get some word of mouth recognition out there. He has been to many trainings for teachers. They tell teachers, don't get tired, don't lay down. But you can't burn out if you've never been on fire.
Peacock said from time to time we need to rekindle our fires. He became mayor a couple months after 9-11. He didn't know how to be a mayor. "I was at a loss as to how to be a mayor. I love history. I began looking at ways to become a better leader. I'd been preaching about it, but I hadn't done it. Peacock said he learned many lessons from studying the founding fathers of America. He also learned a lot from looking at the life of Rick Rescorla a great American hero. He was born in Hayle, Cornwall England and he saw American soldiers as he grew up. He loved them so and wanted to be like them. He joined the British army and fought in Africa. He fought valiantly. He met American Dan Hill there. He later joined the US army. He fought in Vietnam. "He was amazing, the thing that was so different about Rick was he cared about people. He knew them, he got to know all about their families and would ask them questions about how they were doing. He served two tours of duty and commanded 200 men and only lost six in that time, but to Rick it was six too many and he never forgot them or his inability to bring them home safely. It grieved him. The movie We Were Soldiers, based on a book was a true story about this time in Vietnam. "
Peacock said Rick loved to sing to his men to keep them calm in battle.
After Vietnam, Rick went to college and became a US citizen. He became a security boss for Dean Witter and Morgan Stanley. He contacted his friend Dan Hill from the service to come and look at the World Trade Center where the offices for his company were located. An examination detected a weakness in the basement area. A plan was written and given to the officials of the building, but it was ignored. This was in 1989 and in 1993 trucks loaded with explosives killed six in the basement of the building. After this they listened and fixed the basement. After that Rick predicted a plane would hit a tower because the twin towers were very vulnerable. He wanted his company to get out of that building. He found a location in New Jersey that was four stories high and easily secured. But, Morgan Stanley wouldn't move because they said they still had four years left on their lease.
So, Rick decided since they wouldn't move he would practice fire drills and evacuations with all the employees so they would know what to do in an emergency. He installed special fans in the stairwells to clear smoke, he installed special lights so if the power went out, people could still see. The drills taught people not to panic and to go down the stairs two by two. He taught them to grab someone and take them with them if something happened because the trade center had thousands of visitors each day. The training was an annoyance to top officials in the company, but to those who remembered the bombing in 1993, they listened and learned. "Then came that day, the north tower was hit by a plane. Rick saw it out his office window. He immediately went to his bull horn and announced the evacuation of his building and building five where the other employees worked. Even though announcements came over the intercom for people to stay put. Rick ignored those warnings and got people out and because he did 3,000 and more people were saved. Even though the tower rocked as it too was hit by a plane, the people continued evacuating down the stairwells. He sang to the people as they evacuated, Ye men of Cornwall. Although 3,000 and more died that day, he saved 3,000 all of the Morgan Stanley employees survived. Those employees also took 200 others down with them. Rick went back into the building after he had safely evacuated his employees and 18 minutes later that tower went down and Rick along with it. Later at a memorial service, his wife said that Rick was going back for those six men he left in Vietnam. He would never again leave anyone behind. "I will never again leave people behind and come out safe, Rick had said.' There is a statue for him in Cornwall England. In Arlington there is a grave for him, although his body was never recovered. He was a true American hero. "I learned a lot from this man, I learned that if I had vision and if I cared about people and was willing to work I could be a good leader. I owe him a lot and a lot of people owe Rick Rescorla their very lives. Rick Rescorla, the man who predicted 911," said Peacock.