Good Morning, Friends!
We found ourselves at a rural rest stop in the mountains. We grabbed our cameras, capturing pictures of the monkeys stealing food from weary travelers. Looking through the camera lens, we absorbed mountains that went on forever. We watched strangers come and go, wondering if we were the intruders. Our complexion and our language were foreign to even our eyes and ears.
On the adventure of a lifetime, my late wife, Kim, and I traveled around the Indian state of Kerala. We found ourselves somewhere between Kochi and Munnar. We had no idea of where we were, but we were present. We weren’t thinking about where we had been or where we were going. We were just here living the experience.
We drank in the pure grace of the enchantment. The aroma of the street food beckoned to us while the foreign chatter of vendors selling their souvenirs blended with the sounds of cars passing by. We wanted to experience India authentically, immersing ourselves in the flow of life. And here we were!
We greeted fellow travelers with a smile and nod, and they returned the politeness. We shared an understanding that we were passing through this slot in time. In the singularity of the moment, we were gravitating toward something just out of reach. Strangers rolled by us, and we them. Nothing brought us closer together.
Then everything changed! I started to exchange pleasantries with strangers for no particular reason, and I was met with cautious eyes and exotic responses. My formalities changed to inquiries about their day, and those inquiries turned into conversations. And then people approached us and started learning about us and our journey.
I approached an older gentleman sitting on a rock overlooking the mountains and valley. With a friendly smile and subtle wave, I said, “Hello.” His response was a smile and a gentle wave back. Continuing, I asked how his day was going. He shrugged and smiled. After a few seconds and more questions, I wondered if he spoke any English.
Before I could ask another question, he pointed to his ears and throat. I realized that this kind man was deaf and mute. I faced a decisive moment. Do I say goodbye and walk away, or do I do something more? Of course, I chose the latter.
I shifted my gaze toward the overlook, and with an expansive gesture, I introduced the view. I drew my hands towards my eye and then raised them to the sky. His mustache stretched across his face as he smiled and nodded in agreement. He pulled my attention to a small river with a barely visible bridge connecting the sides.
We spent the next hour establishing a deep connection without a word passing between us. I met his son and daughters and felt his love for them. He introduced me to the pride and joy of his life – six grandchildren. I learned that he lost his wife of almost 35 years, and this was his first road trip since her passing. I shared in his loss when his toughts drifted to her.
We shared a connection that transcended language, culture, and intellectual pursuits. We were connecting at a purely emotional, vulnerable, and authentic level. During our moment of interrelatedness, I experienced his love, pride, loss, awe, and wonder—something rarely done in the fast-paced reality of daily life.
Saying our goodbyes with awkward gestures, I walked back to my car, a changed man. Sometimes in life, we learn more about ourselves from the strangers we meet along the way.
[TED] Pewter Hearts
WOW! What a powerful TED Talk! Jeanne Malnati, an intentional leader, shares her story of not being seen and how she was motivated to change the world. Jeanne is the Founder of Spreading Hearts – an international movement where over 32,000 tiny pewter hearts have been spread to individuals worldwide, letting them know they are valued, seen, and loved.
So, how can you change the world? What are you doing to create a positive impact? Or, are you simply being the bright light on a dark day?
[VIDEO] Learning Kung Fu
In Kung Fu Panda, Po gets chosen as “The Dragon Warrior.” His shifu worries how Po will ever be ready to face the villain Tai Lung. But Shifu quickly learns that everyone is unique, and each of us has our particular way of learning. We learn at various paces. We are motivated by different factors. The teacher (leader) must adapt to meet the student.
An intentional leader’s job is to discover how your team learns and then help them grow and achieve greatness. Lead on!
Intentional leaders continually search for knowledge to become better. They invest in more robust relationships leading them down a path to exemplary leadership. This short but meaningful Inc. article, “Why Emotionally Intelligent People Embrace the Rule of the Awkward Conversation, Backed by Science,” explains why we need to ditch the small-talk and dive into some significant conversations. The deeper and more meaningful our connections become, the more effective leader we are.
Henri René Albert Guy de Maupassant was a 19th-century French author, remembered as a master of the short story form. His stories focus on the Franco-Prussian War of the 1870s. He describes the futility of war, the innocent civilians caught in events beyond their control, and how their experiences permanently changed them.
“It is the lives we encounter that make life worth living.”
– Guy de Maupassant
The Intentional Leader Update
It has been three weeks since The Intentional Leader was released! I am not a man of few words, and all I can say is that I have been overwhelmed by the experience. Friends, family, and early supporters thank you for your enthusiastic response.
It will be several months before I know how many books I have sold, but the initial response has been solid. It has been fun watching the changes in the daily Amazon rankings. I still have a long way to go for a best-seller.
If you have started to read my book, I would love to hear from you. Even better would be an Amazon rating and review! (Please be kind) I need to obtain at least 25 reviews by the end of the year to cross the next threshold.
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Rescheduled! My recording for an upcoming Growth Igniters® Radio PodCast has been rescheduled to December 15th. I will discuss and explore my book and intentional leadership with growth igniters Pam and Scott!
Book Launch – It’s Official
We are one week away from our book launch. I am so excited to share this moment with friends and family. We have selected a small and unique venue, Machine with Magnets, for our festivities.
Unfortunately, because of COVID safety guidelines will be able to host only 60 people, and proof of vaccination is required. Send us a note if you are interested in attending.
We look forward to seeing you there!