Good Morning Friends!
I don’t know about you, but we seem to be stuck in a crisis whirlwind. First was COVID, then social unrest, political controversy, inflation, and now, the verge of a world war. Everything is spinning around, blurring together and inhibiting our ability to breathe freely. Add in the loss of my father and my wife. It has been a tough two-plus years!
Today, I am plagued with yearlong grief and frustrated with the insanity of all-out war in Ukraine. It has led to a month of restless sleep. But I am resilient, and I have learned to bounce forward in the face of adversity.
I hope you have found the strength to bounce forward as well. Yes, I know it’s not easy, but we can move forward.
I wish I could say as an intentional leader, I have handled two years of struggles with grace and deftness. The truth is I have struggled to keep my head above water, but I keep swimming, looking for the best the world has to offer. Sometimes, I rise to the circumstances and meet challenges head-on bringing out the best version of myself. I also, often watch amazed, as others donned their intentional leadership capes and flew into action.
Last weekend, I hired a transportation services company to drive me to Boston’s Logan airport. At 12:45 sharp, Angel arrived in his black Chevrolet Suburban. He graciously loaded my luggage into his vehicle, and we started a simple dialog as we drove to Boston.
Angel has been in the transportation service business for about three years, and he got his start with Disney. After three years, he moved back to Rode Island to be closer to his family where he began working for his current employer. And you could tell that he was proud of what he does for a living.
We chatted non-stop to the airport terminal. We talked about his career, aspirations, inspirations, family, love, mysteries of life, religion, and karmic philosophy. A young man of twenty-six years he was an old soul and had wisdom beyond his years.
Angel and his wife, Juliana have a simple belief that what you put out into the world, you receive back tenfold. Angel gives without expecting anything in return, from helping neighbors shovel out after a classic New England Nor’easter to providing stellar customer service.
Juliana works with autistic children helping them navigate, cope, and thrive. She recently went above and beyond to help a young non-verbal boy say his first word (mom). Imagine the joy and tears it brought to that young boy’s mother’s eyes.
The world is full of Angels and Julianas who make the world a better place one small deed at a time. That Saturday morning, I had one of the worst days of the past two years. I slept for about three hours. I was an emotional mess and about to board a five-and-a-half-hour flight to Phoenix.
Angel’s kindness flooded me with gratitude for being alive in that exact moment. My problems and challenges seem to fade away with every kind word or thought. I was moving forward, and Angel was my guide. Somehow, my day got a little better.
When you are overwhelmed with the whirlwind of crisis, remember a tsunami of intentional leaders like Angel are making the world better for all of us. So, true believers, how are you being resilient and rising above your situations? How are you helping out others deal with the crisis whirlwinds? Lead on—my friends. Lead on!
[VIDEO] The Present
The Present is a short 4-minute animation film created by Jacob Frey based on the comic strip “Perfeição” by Fabio Coala. This fabulous 2014 film is about a 12-year-old boy who seems to prefer his computer games to anything else. Nothing can drag him away. That is until his mother leaves him a gift. What happens next is heartwarming and is a fine example of intentional leadership.
What leadership lesson can you take away from The Present?
[TED] I Stand Alone
In life—whether at work, at home, or out in our communities—we have the choice to stand up or sit down. Intentional leadership is about being willing to stand up and lead in a world where no one is forcing you to be a leader.
Check out this 2014 TED Talk by Photographer Boniface Mwangi. Mwangi wanted to protest the corruption in his home country of Kenya. So, he planned to make a difference. He and some friends decided to stand up and heckle during a public mass meeting.
However, at that moment of truth, he stood alone. What happened next? He found his inner authority, which showed him who he truly was.
Intentional Leaders are Made
Some leaders might be born with a sword in their hand, but most of us are made. We are forged through the flames of adversity – struggling, failing, and passing each test that pushes us to our limits and then beyond. Check out the fantastic Harvard Business Review article by Nancy Koehn – “Real Leaders Are Forged in Crisis.”
The Hero’s Choice
Leadership is tested when it counts the most – when we face adversity! Intentional leaders find the strength within to rise above their circumstances. History has leaders like Washington, Tubman, Lincoln, Churchill, and Yousafzai who dug deep within themselves and found their courage. And new leaders are seizing the opportunity to lead in the face of impossible odds like our fellow liberty seekers – the Ukrainians.
“Fire is the test of gold; adversity, of strong men.”
― Martha Graham
The Intentional Leader Update
Forty-one and counting Amazon five-star ratings. I have received thirty-one global reviews. I still need even more reviews for Amazon to keep me integrated into the recommendation engine. My next milestone is to get to fifty reviews by the end of March 2022. I need nineteen more reviews, and I need your help!
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HR Power Hour!
David Ciullo interviewed me for his Career Management Associate’s HR Power Hour Radio. We had an amazing conversation about The Intentional Leader and leadership transformation. Our Podcast is scheduled for release on March 26, 2022.
Business Influencer Podcast
I was interviewed by Ninder Johal from Business Influencer Podcast this week. Ninder and I had an hour-long conversation regarding entrepreneurship, leadership, and my book, The Intentional Leader. It is pure magic to bring people together with a shared passion. In this case, Leadership! The show is expected to air sometime in April.
We’re Coming Back
I am scheduling in-person Leadership Challenge and Accountability workshops for May, June, and July. I am incredibly excited about reconnecting for live in-person events. My team is working on the logistical details, and we will soon be announcing dates and venues. Stay tuned!