#166 – Courageous Leaders: True Stories

It’s always inspiring to witness real-life situations that dramatically illustrate the importance of positive leadership. Linda Sartor, of Santa Rosa, California, is an example of a courageous, values-driven leader. Linda has participated in numerous civilian peace missions to war torn countries, most recently in Afghanistan. Personally, she is self-effacing, even a bit shy, and soft-spoken. But her commitment to serving as an emissary for peace is iron-willed. And because of her deep convictions, she ventures into countries most of us will never visit. She overcomes her natural reticence and gives public presentations about her work, raising awareness about the lives of ordinary people in Afghanistan. She personifies leadership in action. Recently, Linda hosted a Skype call to her counterparts in Kabul, Afghanistan. I had the honor of leading our group here in the very moving experience of singing John Lennon’s beautiful song “Imagine” for her colleagues half-way around the world.

Food for Thought ~

Linda’s slide presentation about her trips to Afghanistan introduced me to the other heroes in this story – The Afghanistan Peace Volunteers, a small group of young men, many still teenagers, working quietly for peace in their country. Each of them has suffered great personal loss and hardship due to the war, yet they reach out to others in their community, searching for peaceful solutions to the complex social, cultural and political problems in their country. They frankly acknowledge that they don’t expect to see peace in their lifetimes, yet even so, they have the vision, courage and resolve to persevere.

Question for the day ~

In what ways do these examples of courageous leaders inspire you? What deep convictions do you have that help you persevere through difficulties? How might a very long-term vision change your perspective?

In Closing ~

My recent, and relevant, column in the North Bay Business Journal is about your values as a leader and your organization’s values. If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, click here.