Be kind. People are all doing the best they can with the information they have. It can be a tough world. Open doors for them. Say hello. Pass along a smile. It has an impact. It matters. It helps.
As part of my series about the leadership lessons of accomplished business leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Lee Burns.
With a voracious curiosity, fueled in part by an IQ in the top .03% of the planet, this rough and tumble Texan was riding horses solo by the time he was 5, calling the cattle home with his grandfather. In his early twenties, finally a full-grown cowboy, he switched to riding bulls. Raised in a very strict religious home, Lee felt much of his reach for life being greatly restricted. And when those bonds were broken, he rode for the hills and all that life had to offer — on both the good and bad sides of the road.
From drug addict and dealer, to adrenaline junkie (jumping from airplanes and topping out motorcycles at over 165mph), to spiritual seeker — the former firefighter/paramedic and rookie firefighter of the year has faced the heat of the inferno and learned the true value of life through sobering experiences with traumatic injuries and loss of life.
He has known the fame of appearing in Jockey underwear’s most successful campaign, which landed him repeatedly on Entertainment Tonight. And he has shared the screen and stage with Oscar/Golden Globe winners and Hollywood legends alike while living and working in showbiz. During that season he also taught at a top acting school and developed The 7 Steps to Getting on Set, to help actors understand the business of Hollywood and their own tools to succeed.
Amidst all of these games, Lee’s search for spiritual answers to the riddle of himself and all he encountered never ceased. He went on journeys with Native American shamans, learned and practiced a number of types of meditation. All while studying New Age Christianity, the Vedas, the Bhagavad Gita, quantum physics, and everything in between.