What inspires you?
First and foremost, I'm inspired by my spiritual source. I think all inspiration comes from Spirit, hence the word in-spir-ed. Externally, I'm inspired by pain and possibility. Painful stories that make me mad or sad that I've experienced firsthand, seen, or heard about also inspire me to action. For instance, at the age of 17, I had what I call "my magic bullet experience" when I was held up at gunpoint for my car. I think we all have a "magic bullet experience" whether it be the death of someone close to us, discovering we have a disease, a car accident, a deep spiritual experience, a pilgrimage, or simply reading a transformational book. It's all about how you interpret that experience—Do you ask "Why did this happen TO me?" or do you ask "Why did this happen FOR me?" And finally, I am inspired by new possibilities. I am a futurist and my visions of how the world could and should be also inspire me. Two of my favorite quotes are "The best way to predict the future is to create it" and "Find another way to make a better way."
Tell us about an issue that matters to you and how you became aware and involved.
The issue that I'm committing all of my time and energy to solving right now is perhaps the biggest issue in the world to date and it is underemployment. Whereas unemployment is only 10% in the United States, underemployment is over 50%. underemployment is when an employee isn't passionate about their work or the problem their paid to solve. They are fully present, therefore not fully productive, and as a result, they definitely aren't making their highest contribution to their company, customer, or economy.
I believe underemployment is the reason the global economy is in the depression it is today. Some of it has to do with cut-throat corporate culture that represses employee's gifts, talents, and strengths. The rest of it has to do with employees' risk aversion and fear of doing work that matters most to them instead of only work that pays the most to them. I believe that we can all make meaning and money at the same time. And the secret about underemployment is that it has nothing to do with your income—you can earn over $100,000 a year and still be underemployed. It's a question of love and commitment and currently I'm creating an online course called the Career Change Challenge that will help people find meaningful work in the for-profit and non-profit world.
Share your perspectives on what makes a good leader.
The only way to measure the greatness of a leader is to see how many more great leaders they create and I think that their are 4 Levels of Leadership to get there. The first level of leadership is self-leadership or you believing in yourself. That's when an individual has a clear sense of purpose and living on a self-directed path. The next level of leadership is when others start to believe in you. This happens when people start coming to you for guidance and advice because they respect who you are, even when you're not necessarily holding a leadership position. The third level of leadership is when the leader gets others to believe in themselves the way they believe in him. I call that empowerment. And finally, the fourth level of leadership is when others believe in each other the way they believe in themselves. At this point the leader can actually leave and the team won't miss a beat. Essentially, the "initial" leader has made themselves irrelevant by cultivating a community of leaders.
Do you think TakingITGlobal can help you achieve some of your goals? Have we already? Please tell us how.
Great leaders consume the right information and surround themselves with the right people and I TakingITGlobal allows individuals to do just that. A leader knows that their time is their greatest asset and the website filters information and people in a way that saves leaders times, enhances learning, and increases connectivity between causes, organizations, and people. I would love TakingITGlobal to spread awareness about the issue of underemployment globally because I think it is the root cause of many of the other causes we're fighting for. When a human being is fully employed, they know and love who they are and they love what they do and I think that this awareness of self will mitigate many of the problems we see in the world that reflect that we don't know our true power to create change in our own lives and the world.