There are moments in our lives when the impact is so profound that we are changed forever. When I was in my mid-twenties, I attended a management seminar based on Earl Nightingale’s audio series – Lead the Field. Nightingale was known as the Dean of Motivation and to suggest that I was motivated is as vast an understatement as could be made. Intellectually, emotionally and spiritually, I was touched at every level.
At that seminar I was introduced to my potential. And so was everyone else. However, for me it was the beginning of a life long journey of discovery, accomplishment, breaking through the limitations imposed by self and others, learning how to respond to crisis and failure, and, most importantly, creating a life of purpose and meaning.
During this time the world changed dramatically. Technology developed at warp speed. Business competition increased internationally on an unprecedented scale. Communications brought isolated people within intimate reach of each other via cell phones and what was happening in almost every country was being broadcast instantaneously into our living rooms.
Here, however, is what I know. The same principles taught to me at that original management seminar are as relevant today as they were then. It’s as if, in that regard, time has stood still.
Principle One: Fulfillment requires living with a sense of purpose.
Principle Two: Engagement and commitment is connected to believing that what we do matters.
Principle Three: Achievement is the result of having clear goals, persistence and determination.
Principle Four: Leadership is about discovering, growing and encouraging talent.
Principle Five: Teamwork and collaboration are inspired by a common vision and compelling mission.
I am personally driven by the philosophy that we were not put on this earth just to pump blood. As the acclaimed social philosopher, Marshall McCluhan, stated: “On Spaceship Earth there are no passengers, only crew.” To accept our status as crew means to accept responsibility for what happens to our world. I cannot think of a more worthy purpose.
The challenges of life do not escape me. I have had a wife die of cancer and I have personally experienced cancer. As the father of five children who now have their own children, their daily lives and the issues they face are all in the mix of what life presents to me every day. However, I am wise enough to not want it any other way for that is life. I believe that why we are on the planet is to learn and grow and that involves developing the skills and emotional intelligence to navigate through turbulence and tranquility.
My vision has remained constant: To expose as many people as possible to the principles learned in that first management seminar. There are, of course, more sophisticated and versatile ways to communicate and install that learning. However, the mission remains the same: To provide organizations and individuals with the knowledge, skills and inspiration to perform at their best.