According to behavioral scientists, when you are under stress, you default to your natural behavior. You operate on instinct. Thank God for that, in the wake of the bomb blasts at the Boston Marathon last month.
Most of us have witnessed video of the explosions near the finish line, the initial confusion of the crowds, and then the panicked flight of people from the site. But there were some images that seemed incongruous. Uniformed police officers disregarded danger to evacuate people and ensure access to the area by emergency personnel. Medical professionals immediately rushed into the area to provide aid. I saw a video of men from the Massachusetts National Guard, who had covered the entire 26 miles in uniform, and with full packs, removing barriers and escorting people to safety. Marathon officials in bright yellow windbreakers stayed in the street to escort confused runners and dazed bystanders to safety. Continue reading “Your Neighbors, the Boston Heroes” »
Occasionally you run into someone who helps draw out of you a better version of yourself. You cherish your interactions with them, and sometimes take for granted your next opportunity to be uplifted by them. It makes their passing all the more painful, and the profound impact of their life all the more poignant. Continue reading “Now It’s Our Turn” »
When a great story presses on your heart, it can change you. From then on, the world around you never looks the same.
Last month I attended the February meeting of Lifework Leadership of South Florida. The theme for the morning’s meeting was Compassion. We began our day by boarding a bus to tour some local Fort Lauderdale facilities that provide resources to the homeless. Our tour guide, Robin Martin, the Executive Director of Hope South Florida, shared information and anecdotes, to help us understand the magnitude of the need in the community. He also humanized the situation: sometimes financial, sometimes medical, often tragic, and destined to continue, unless we as business leaders DO something. Continue reading “Worthy of a Hug” »
As we watched the events unfold around Manti T’eo and the love of his life / figment of his imagination, Lenay Kekua, many of us drew the same conclusion: either he is one devious son-of-a-gun, or he’s one of the most gullible people on the planet. It was OK for me to believe that and say it – but the first time I heard it expressed by someone else, I had one of those uncomfortable flashbacks. Continue reading “My Mini Manti Moment” »
When your child…, strike that… when your daughter … goes off to college, you hold your breath. You hope that she connects with friends and gains a sense of community – in a hurry. You wish for peace of mind (both hers and yours) about an environment that is safe and nurturing. And you pray for friends who will be a positive influence on her.
And then someone like Peggy Gasior walks in the door and you realize that you’ve hit the trifecta. Hope realized. Wish granted. Prayer answered. Continue reading “Teaching us How to Listen, Lead… and Live” »
“Nothing so conclusively proves a man’s ability to lead others as what he does from day to day to lead himself.” — Thomas J. Watson
Second Lieutenant Juan Pinzon
I recently heard a speaker urging a group of CEOs to identify leaders at all levels of their companies. “Look for people who have already assumed the responsibility to lead. Promoting them is merely a validation of the job they’re already doing.” Continue reading “You Want Him on That Wall” »
We all know the nursery rhyme, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” But we’ve all been hurt by things that are said to us. The little bruises and scars teach us lessons and help shape our perspective. But some bruises run very deep, and remain sensitive decades later. And sometimes your bruise reminds me of my own. Continue reading “Sticks and Stones” »
We’ve become a sound bite society. News, entertainment, sports, and politics, all delivered in thirty and sixty-second bursts. No wonder tweets and text messages have taken over the world. We’re learning on the fly and drawing conclusions in milliseconds. Unfortunately. When you subtract the smiles, the tone of voice, and the twinkle in someone’s eye, you risk missing the heart of the message. And you may miss an amazing story. Continue reading “The Stories Behind Sound Bite Nation” »
Most role models don’t seek to play the part. Just ask Charles Barkley. But when you’re recognized for your gifts, sometimes it just goes with the territory. There are legions of savvy investors who study Warren Buffet and try to copy his investing strategies. They pore over his annual Berkshire Hathaway newsletter to see what he’s investing in today and thinking about tomorrow. When it comes to advances in the internet, people follow Chris Anderson, and read his publication, Wired, cover to cover. For others, it’s Oprah Winfrey. Or maybe Tim Tebow. Continue reading “Where On Earth Do I Begin?” »
“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.” – Margaret Mead
For all the valuable lessons I learned from my father, one of the more impactful ones came to me second-hand. I think of it often as I start my day, and it makes me ask myself two questions: Whose life or circumstance can I improve today? Among my circle of family and friends, who will end their day knowing that I really care about them? Continue reading “He Needed a Nudge” »