Channel surfing can have its serendipitous moments, and I was the benefit of two of them this week. Each had strikingly different content. One of them showcased the best of our American society; the other, the worst (yes, it feels like we’ve seen a lot of that lately). What follows below is the tale of two leaders. Despite the stark differences, I believe there is reason for hope, and we can all participate!
Kinship. Noun. “The feeling of being connected to other people.” Our performance, and even our survival, depends on the feeling of kinship we have with others. To underscore its importance, I will share two stories of two very people, from two very different parts of the world, whose lives were transformed by kinship. Both were problem children; nobody benefits more from kinship than a problem child. Why? Because others often turn against them, leaving them feeling isolated, undervalued, and beleaguered. In such circumstances, kinship can be a lifesaver.
So, whatever you’re doing right now – right this minute – I want you stop. Just stop. There. Have you hit the pause button? Now, I want you to remember what it was like when you didn’t know how to do what you were just doing.
A few mortals find enlightenment by following the leader. For the rest of us, enlightenment often arrives in the form of a sharp crack from God’s 2×4. The University of Michigan’s basketball team received one of those “God gifts” this week when they survived an aborted takeoff and then overshot the end of the runway. They crashed through a fence, ran across a road, and ended up in a ditch. Burning rubber, fuel, and fear filled the plane. What happened next is a remarkable lesson in leadership.
I am an Idea Machine – Ideation is my number one StrengthsFinder® talent. While I was watching TV on Monday, I saw a marvelous GE commercial on how the corporate world responds to people who generate ideas. It absolutely knocked me off my feet. The Idea is represented by a creature that looks like an offspring between Big Bird and a peacock. It is repeatedly kicked to the curb, locked out of the building, and trashed as being undesirable until, morose and deflated, it walks through the doors of GE.