I’ve never felt that I learned as much or took as much away from an event where I was a speaker as I did yesterday. I was in Miami speaking at the annual strategic planning event for the senior executives of the Miami Children’s Hospital, and over the next couple of days I’ll share some of the more poignant lessons.
Let’s start with their mascot, Lance.
His back legs became paralyzed during a spinal operation he had to have 2 years ago. His owner, Caio, told me that he just decided he had to make something good happen out of this painful situation. So he got what he refers to as Lance’s bicycle. (This Lance’s namesake was also known for riding a bicycle and achieving greatness after suffering a medical crisis.) Then he enrolled in the therapy dog program at MCH. He wanted to show the kids that even if your health issue leaves you less than 100%, you can still do amazing things.
MCH Mascot Logo
The kids loved him. He became the hit of the therapy dog program. He even became a cartoon complete with his own comic book that Caio hands out to the kids.
Caio told me that some said he should put the dog down instead of have the surgery, that Lance would have a lousy life and it wasn’t worth it to put him through that. They said Lance would be miserable that he couldn’t run around the way he used to.
Then Caio said this:
Dogs don’t think about what they can’t do. They just see what they can do, and they go and do it.
We should all take that lesson from Super Lance.
A few months ago I wrote a post about a heroic response after tragedy. Today and in the days to come we will need many heroic responses after what has happened in Haiti. There are many ways to help, but perhaps the easiest is to text “haiti” to 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross’s International Response Fund.
Please consider donating today. The weeks and months ahead will require a massive effort to first get out of danger and then try to return to some kind of life as usual.
A few weeks ago I was given the opportunity to offer my book, Be the Hero, to one of my own heroes, Seth Godin. A few days ago he wrote a post titled, “The Victim.” I couldn’t help but wonder if it was inspired in part by his reading of Be the Hero. I know the language and sentiment are neither original to my work nor new to his writings. But I wondered.
In either case, he offers a terrific lens through which to determine when you might be falling into victim mentality.
Keep in mind this is a way to determine WHEN not IF you are being a victim. I speak to many people who try to convince me that they really do maintain a heroic mindset. (Though they always know other people who are in dire need of this advice.) The truth is that we all fall into victim mode at times. Seth Godin has simply offered us a useful test to recognize when we are there.
Recently I was asked to guest blog on Sources of Insight. I find the host, JD Meier, to be an interesting guy with valuable thoughts to share.
So what did I write about? How to be heroic of course. Here it is.
It’s not just a new year, but a new decade. We’ve seen events and changes over the past several years that we once might have said would be impossible. We’ll see more of the impossible in the years ahead. Some of it will be good. Not all.
The question is – How will you respond?
In the year ahead when your budgets are cut, how will you respond?
When your boss (or your spouse) criticizes you, how will you respond?
When you get passed up for that big promotion or lose the big sale, how will you respond?
When you get stuck in traffic on the way to an important meeting, how will you respond?
When your kids do their best to drive you crazy, how will you respond?
When you are at your wits end, how will you respond?
Make this year heroic. Don’t ever let yourself become a victim. This choice is yours. In those most dire moments, ask yourself what the heroic response would be. Then go be a hero.
What if you could do something simple that would change your life or that of a friend, family member, or colleague? This week I received the following email from someone who had just read my new book, Be the Hero.
“I’m feeling truly inspired, rejuvenated and energized. This is exactly the kind of perspective change I needed to work on to be a more productive, happier person. I hope your book reaches and helps as many people as possible.”
I’ve received similar emails from readers who have used Be the Hero for challenges ranging from work conflicts to battling cancer.
On August 4th, 2009 we are trying to mobilize 1500 people to buy Be the Hero on Amazon, send it to the top of the bestseller list, and change the lives of as many people as possible.
I need your help to make this effort a success.
First, I’m asking you please, buy the book on August 4th. It’s a fun and inspiring read.
Second, I’m asking you, and this is big, find one other person to also buy on August 4th.
It is said that a friend in need is a friend indeed. I hope I have stored up enough Karma for this effort. Thank you so much for your help.
Be the Hero Website
Posted in Be the Hero
Tagged Be the Hero, Blumenthal, Career challenge, Hero, Improving Communication, Leadership, Leading Principles, Management Challenges, Managing Stress, Noah, Noah Blumenthal, Overcoming challenges, Self-help, Victim mentality