Some leaders prefer to show perfect calmness. Other leaders gravitate toward spontaneous of the cuff responses. Michelle Obama does both — frequently at the same time.
While touring to promote the memoir, Becoming, the former First Lady sat down with poet Elizabeth Alexander in front of a sold-out crowd in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. As the two of them spoke about the roadblocks to women’s equality and advancement, Obama spoke candidly about the failure of the “lean in” philosophy to make a meaningful difference for women.
“I tell women, that whole ‘you can have it all’ — nope, not…
Anthropologist Claude-Levi Strauss said, “The wise man doesn’t give the right answers, he poses the right questions.” In our modern society, we are obsessed with knowledge. We ask voice assistants and search engines to get instant answers for our questions.
We have the majority of human knowledge right in our pocket. The ability to ask the right questions at the right time defines being skilled at research and investigation. The skill of inquiry is valuable. It can be applied to any business, product, process or area of study and yield significant outcomes.
Andy Stanley says, “Great leaders ask great questions.”
In 1846, Elizabeth Blackwell decided to go to medical school. She got advice from some family friends who were doctors. They told her to forget about it because women could not become physicians at that time in the United States.
She got a job, worked hard and saved enough money so that she could apply for medical school.
Elizabeth Blackwell applied to 29 different medical schools and received rejection letters from all of the schools that she sent an application to.
Blackwell’s next move was to visit every school in person that denied her acceptance and try to convince the…
When Indra Nooyi took over as CEO of PepsiCo in 2006, the outlook for the company was precarious. Nooyi used her new position to publicly address the challenges the company was facing directly.
“The one thing I’ve learned is: Don’t lie to the people,”she said. “Don’t tell your people one thing when the reality is something different.”
Her determination to tell the truth wasn’t just limited to speeches.
Nooyi led a team of PepsiCo executives on a daylong trip to various retail and restaurant vendors, painstakingly pointing out and photographing every merchandising mistake so that it could be given to…
In 2015, American astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko worked together on the International Space Station, circling the planet for 340 days. Kelly has flown to space four times in his 20-year career as NASA astronaut.
While he acknowledges that personal issues or politics can potentially get in the way of a mission, he says there’s always an opportunity to find common ground. When he talked about working with Kornienko he said,
“Even when you are not the greatest of friends, you can work together for something you both believe in, feel strongly about and has mutual benefits.”
In 2010, a collapse at the San Jose copper-gold mine in Chile trapped 33 men 700 meters underground. Foreman Louis Urzua immediately recognized the seriousness of the accident and took charge, organizing the men for a long-term survival situation and helping them cope mentally with what was happening to them.
He made detailed maps of the area to help with the rescue effort and coordinated closely with engineers on the surface.
He was the last man to be rescued and remained calm under pressure, merely remarking, “It’s been a bit of a long shift.”
The word “leader” makes you think…
Life is a continuous learning experience. Throughout our lives we keep rising and falling, picking up important lessons along the way.
Some lessons come from uncomfortable situations. Others we learn from watching others or reading books.
There are many life lessons that we simply cannot learn until we face a crisis in our life. Some lessons we learn from being caught off guard or unprepared for different life moments.
Other lessons we learn from reaching a challenging goal or giving more effort to a cause than we thought we had inside of us.
Sometimes we learn invaluable lessons through simple…
I noticed my social awkwardness in my sophomore year of college. While I was shy in class and preferred to avoid public speaking in school, I never thought I was any different than anyone else.
My friends and family would describe me as warm and friendly. Some would describe me as an extrovert. At the very least, I would feel comfortable if someone asked me to give a speech in front of people I knew. I would not be reluctant to give one.
On the first day that we all sat down in an Economics class, I noticed a major…