20 Overriding Truths for Our Men’s Team

Jim Ellis


In last month’s edition of the Legacy Magazine, we perused through “20 Inconvenient Truths” that basically kicked the asses of men and your men’s teams. Were those “truths” accurate or even inconvenient? Only you and your uncompromising gut would know for sure.

Now for the good news. Underneath any inconvenient truth related to unconscious men and their limitations reside some other types of truths – the sort of overriding truths about men that can be found in the depth beyond words. Yes, they are true, I do believe, and it’s our job to bring these out more so that our barriers and bullshit do not rule the day.

So, for you and your men’s team, below it all, are these truths accurate or no?

Gut check time.

  1. Your men simply want success – They want to win not just for themselves but for their teammates as well. Even though competitive in nature, the men still love seeing others on their teams win big.
  2. They men want to contribute – It’s in their nature to give to the circle and provide for loved ones. Even when building a fire it’s not enough to simply watch; everyone wants to feel useful. A man wants to know what he has to offer supports the best for the team.
  3. The men just want the truth. Ever see a circle of men where the truth is not coming out? Pacing, an agitated vibe. Ever see a circle where the truth finally comes out? The collective exhale.
  4. The men are patient – Deep down, they’ll wait out for the truth for a long time. I guess they want that collective exhale bad enough. And they want the man to get their on his own
  5. The men father other men. They won’t feel right doing some task FOR another man or usurping his power. They “father” other men by making sure he gets to his truth and power through empowering questioning and not know-it-all advice.
  6. The men want to laugh – How many one-liner punch-lines can follow an obvious setup line from someone in the circle? Start counting. Sometimes you have to cut it off at five with an “all right already.” It’s because men want to laugh, and they’ll add what they need towards that end.
  7. The men don’t take themselves too seriously – Many outrageous and ridiculous activities have come from the circle of humble goofballs. Humility comes from trust. A trusting circle allows a man to simply be who he is, beyond a mask of pretense. What a relief! Silliness reigns when you can release the façade and see the joke … even at your own expense.
  8. The men can be carefree – Belching, farting, stinking – who cares? We’re not there for etiquette training. But for being real and getting to the truth.
  9. The men are low maintenance – Sometimes a 3-second voicemail can be enough connection to get the job done.
  10. The men love their family and children – Don’t believe the male-bashing of media propaganda. There is no word big enough for the love men have for their children.
  11. Men’s commitment is huge. In this day and age of stressed time management and family obligations, it’s nothing short of amazing that 10 men can find the same time to meet.
  12. The men are fighting to keep masculinity alive. Feminization of men has weakened them and the society. At least that appears true enough for the men to take a stand … where many have faltered in the past.
  13. The men are not politically correct. Trust and a deep foundational bond allows for the space to say it like you sees it, without fear of hurting another’s feelings.
  14. Honor is held high – This is one of the only places on Earth that embraces so high honor and a higher code.
  15. A broken word matters – Where else are people making up for their oversights and broken word? Today we see a society filled with irresponsible goofs who don’t attempt to give back to those negatively impacted by their actions. A magic phrase still alive within MDI: “What do you need from me?”
  16. The circle is as strong as its weakest link. If someone is not committed or is weak in his life in some way, the circle sniffs that out naturally and gives focus where it is needed.
  17. Not an ounce of racism – we are men, that’s it.
  18. Consideration of others – Rather than being stuck in a self-absorbed state of mind, the men on the teams consider the needs of others, and expand beyond just the limited self.
  19. The men take on challenges – Whenever there is a challenge to accomplish some goal, the men band together and show up huge. The bigger the challenge, the bigger the men show up.
  20. Men attend to the hurting – If ANY man shows up with a wound, the circle attends to him and his wound. And they stay with him until he gets what he needs. Circle up.

Yes, circle up…


James Anthony Ellis is an award-winning playwright, journalist and filmmaker, who is the author of eight books, including the men-focused “The Honor Book” available HERE.

The Honor Book, James Anthony Ellis

4 thoughts on “20 Overriding Truths for Our Men’s Team”

  1. I’ve been with MDI and before that with Geronimo respectively for eight years and seven years. Geronimo was boot camp. Then I cycled out from December 2007 through most or all of 2009 and finally resurfaced in Valhalla where I officially rejoined in 2010. I’ve always admired the way men in Division use the “gut check” to get to the truth.
    I hate the fact that while in the circle, I turn mute, as if all the years of experience just dropped out of my memory bank. Once in a while, I find myself on target, and everything I say seems like words minted in truth. The rest of the time, I might as well be made of stone.
    I’ve tried to find out why this happens, but I’m not sure whether I’m lacking self-confidence and feeling awed by the more self-possessed men there or just infected with a temporary case of jitters. What do other men do to overcome this? I know that I have things to contribute, but it just seems like a part of me retreats into a corner, while the other part looks on in amazement at my “freeze-up”. Suggestioons?

    1. It happens to everyone I believe. For various reasons.
      My tape in my head that stops me is “Is this ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ what I’m saying?” Which is complete absurdity in the land of the free.
      The only cure – open your mouth and just say what’s true for you.
      The worst thing that can happen is this being followed up with countless opportunities to continue the process of revealing what’s true for you.
      You just gotta start.

    2. Greeley, I’ve been in men’s circles since my SMW 1986, NYC. Most of all this time was spent being exactly like you said; Once in a while, I find myself on target, and everything I say seems like words minted in truth. The rest of the time, I might as well be made of stone.

      Practice, practice, practice being in leadership roles. Being on the LD training team has given my confidence a shot in the arm. I’ve been in front of middle and high school students as a substitute teacher for years and the pressure of constant performance anxiety and desire and need to express myself with some wisdom and clarity has gotten me in habit of freely expressing myself.

      The more you put yourself out, the more mirroring you will get and that may inspire, encourage, and get you to get it that you have what it takes.

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