As I got up and started my morning, I told my plants and rocks what we had accomplished for humanity yesterday, and I asked them for guidance for today. Looking around I also realized that a white orchid that has been with me for two blooming cycles was doing its best to hold it together. It seemed tired and I could tell it was not its perky self. But it was blooming and giving me one more show before it moves on to the next phase of its regeneration.
I reflected on how inspirational this orchid has been for me. In its last cycle, the blooms fell off but new ones immediately showed up. This is something I had never seen before and according to experts is pretty unlikely outside a greenhouse environment and without added nutrients. This orchid got — and gave — a lot of love and was going to go out strong.
Then I immediately thought, I want to go out strong, too! Then I thought about all the great projects our Code Blue team is working on and how fortunate I have been to be involved in them. Then I thought about what an amazing week this has been.
I met an individual who has accomplished an enormous amount in business and life, and now is shredding it in the latter part of his career. He is so authentic, gutturally real, intensely present… all while being incredibly inspirational. His knowledge on issues is beyond belief, and the remarkable part is that he was willing to share and teach me, right where we sat in the lunch room of the company he founded. He poured his passion out onto paper, in front of me and to all employees who came by to say hi, too, by smiling big, with gratitude and a pertinent comment. He was absolutely incredible and he made sure every employee knew how important each one was to the company. I don’t usually meet people like this, so it rocked my world. After the meeting I immediately began looking up people and theories on the web and ordering numerous books.
It is unusual to find people that have founded multi-billion dollar businesses that are just real human beings —no ego, lots of gratitude, with a “bro-man attitude.” He was heavenly, delightful and mind-blowing, all at the same time. It gave me absolute hope for the Fortune 500 and public companies that today are under constant earnings pressure.
Leadership that is authentic, that is driven by the real, guttural person, that is human, caring and nurturing at the same time, is the way we will get to the next level in business and organizations. Wow, what a refreshing thought! It makes my shoulders relax just writing about this.
So today, in your work or business, are you going to be your real authentic self? Will you shed any tendency toward ego or fear and just lay it out the way you see it? Be the real you? No filter, no “saying the right thing.” No fear that you may be criticized and no fear that you cannot accomplish anything you want. Just confidence knowing that there are billions of dollars and people out there waiting for what only you bring to the table.
What a blessing to have the opportunity to meet people like the individual I told you about above and to be able to share it with you. This brings me to the other part of this story that I wanted to share. The other lesson I learned (and was reminded of by the white orchid and my new friend) is to make sure I get bolder, smarter and stronger the later I get into my career. That means learning, teaching, digging into big issues from an educational stand point and being able to share with anyone that wants to listen.
Whoa, Nellie! My new friend had me learning about multiple scholars and individuals from Michael Faraday to Charles Murray to Arthur Brooks. He has me rethinking issues and learning more on climate change, the impact diet has on health, what real happiness means and more. He inspired me to do much, much more.
What are you going to do today to learn more about major issues society is dealing with? When are you going to learn enough to be a teacher on these critical issues? I provided some names here, without any real idea of who or why. Is your inclination to check Wikipedia to find out about them? I hope so. And I hope that you realize, like I did this week, that no matter what age you are or where you are in your career, always be your authentic self. Continue to “yearn to learn” and teach anyone that will listen.