His smile pulled me in like a magnet. When Greg Cunningham, the Diversity and Inclusion leader at U.S. Bank shook my hand for the first time, I knew he was special. Last Friday, guests at the Good Leadership Breakfast were treated to a magnetic keynote speech, by a non-traditional "banker" who came dressed in black jeans, a black sweater with a white shirt, and black polka dot tie - an outfit that was completed by white Puma tennis shoes. His outfit presented a perfect backdrop to show off his smile - a smile caused by what he calls his "super power."
I enjoy noticing the coexistence of ancient wisdom and modern miracles. That happened last week as my coaching colleague Kristi and I co-facilitated a leadership retreat in Costa Rica. My favorite ancient wisdom comes alive whenever I visit an ocean – somehow the vast open water and the roar of the surf brings alive the mind-body-soul connection articulated by the Egyptians more than 4000 years ago. To state the obvious, living in Minnesota it takes a modern miracle for me to experience the ancient sound of the ocean surf. That highlights my favorite modern miracle:
It was his smile that grabbed me. You know what I mean. There are some people in this world, when you meet them all you see is their smile. That's how I felt when I met Greg Cunningham. He and I had already spoken over the telephone, but we didn't share a handshake until the photo shoot for the 2018 Power 50 awards, sponsored by a business magazine. We instantly bonded over our bright blue business clothes. But his radiant energy - including that smile - is what elevated the goodness for everyone in the room.
Last week was a whirlwind of travel, training, and coaching to spread goodness through good leaders. The week began with a global leadership team in Detroit, comprised of people from three different continents. Their mission is to transform the IT function in a business that needs business transformation to improve financial performance. And to restore pride in the brand. So...it's not surprising they were interested in the core Goodness Pays idea:
The Comptroller of the Currency for the United States Treasury, Joseph Otting, was the honored guest at the Good Leadership Breakfast Series this past Friday, October 19. He came to us because he’s a repeat coaching client, someone I consider a friend, and a good leader who radiates goodness. Sitting next to Joseph Otting during the interview segment of the program, he shared his boyish amazement over moments in the White House when he participated in global economic chats with the highest leaders in the land. That’s when I had a hard time concentrating…thinking:
Yesterday, the offices of Good Leadership Enterprises were abuzz with excitement and anticipation. After four years of feverish energy, the How Goodness Pays book finally went to press. But not without a significant last-minute change.
Today, my blogging starts from a place of reflection. It's because next week we are hosting client and friend Joseph Otting for the October Good Leadership Breakfast. He's flying in from Washington D.C. where he's the second most powerful person in the U.S. Department of the Treasury. So here is my chain of reflective thought: How did I meet Joseph Otting? What work did we do together that made us so close? How did Otting become the head of banking in the USA? What will people hear that will be surprising? On our very first coaching call he said:
The U.S. Bank Tower in Los Angeles, California, was a stimulating reminder of how our latest book project began. The pathway for spreading goodness through good leaders had me in Los Angeles for most of last week. While breaking a sweat on my morning walk, I had one of those blast from the past, "Shazam" moments. While walking [...]
Journalists (me included) like to hype the story that has branded Pahoua: her family immigrated from Laos under hardship, landing in America, aided in part by a good Samaritan who adopted their family. She thrived in school, was the first in her family to go to college and finish graduate school. But, that's not what left the biggest impression.
Here's a question that's likely to be a surprise - a curve ball coming out of the blue. I wonder, do you have the space in your life to let goodness grow around you? I’m asking that question because I caught myself saying one particular word a lot within the past 3-4 weeks. I often said it aloud with people, and even more often said it to myself in my inner mind. It’s a word that stifles momentum and sends a weird message into our psyche… that word is: