Just moments into my first interview, I have offended our interview subject. Luckily, my local colleague Leo intervenes and smoothes things over. The meeting ends on a positive note, but I have re-learned a valuable lesson: Leadership begins with listening.
How could I become successful if I got kicked out of a practice in the first few months I was at the Olympic Training Center? I was supposed to be an elite athlete.
“Grab the rope!” my now father-in-law bellowed from atop his horse. The chaos of branding swirled around me – the shouts of the ropers dragging in new calves, the roar of the fire warming the branding irons, the moo’s of mother cows searching for their calves – and I, the newest to the ranch and the branding scene, couldn’t understand why no one was following the directions yelled by the family’s patriarch.
The idea of being a student of leadership sparked something in me. It suggested making a career out of studying leadership and helping to unlock other people’s leadership potential is a viable option.
El Pomar staff engaged with Kurt Wilson, Ph.D. in Evaluation, to work with the staff to “strengthen feedback systems to identify clear and measureable outcomes and compile and distribute data in a useful format.”
Growing up a young athlete in Lakewood, Colorado, the Manitou Incline was the pinnacle of training for any and every sport imaginable. Fabled as an almost untouchable feat, the Incline—approximately 2,745 wooden railroad ties/steps stretching 2000 vertical feet in less than a mile—was the most intimidating training challenge.
Most people would connect El Pomar Foundation's mission directly to philanthropy. But how has our society’s understanding of philanthropy shifted over the last 75 years?
As I made my way to work, my normal route, I couldn’t help but be captivated by the mountains. The national anthem came to mind, “Oh beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain, for purple mountains majesties…” I imagined Katharine Lee Bates, who originally titled the poem “Pikes Peak,” waking up early on a winter morning to pen these immortal words.
It was late May, but the morning air was frigid on the south rim of the Grand Canyon. I was excited but nervous about what lay ahead of me. Our challenge: hiking from the south rim to the north rim in one day.
Paul invited me to be part of the founding team for this new enterprise, Kadi Energy Company. Kadi means “light” in Paul’s native language of Ewe, spoken in southeastern Ghana. Addressing Ghana’s energy insecurity issues seemed like an unsurmountable task to those of us on the team, and it was an even tougher sell to investors. Convincing them your startup is the most deserving recipient of their money and time requires considerable conviction and strategic planning. It was – hands down – the most exhilarating professional experience I’ve ever had.