Do you play the victim or the hero in the way you lead your life? Are you just surviving or are you thriving as a leader? Does fear grip you from doing what you want to do? Do you take responsibility for your actions or do you blame others for your circumstances? Answers to these questions will determine how you show up and lead your life.
These were questions that came up for me last week as I attended a coaching conference in Park City, Utah. The Summit was put on by The Leadership Circle/Full Circle Group. The attendees were all leadership development and coaching practitioners. It was one of the finest conferences I have ever attended. The content was rich, inspiring and thought provoking. Over the next few weeks I will be sharing my thoughts on the conference by addressing what I learned about the questions posed above.
The highlight of the conference was the closing speaker, Amanda Lindhout. Amanda was a photo journalist and was reporting on the terrible famine and conditions in Somalia in 2008. She and another colleague, Nigel Brennan were kidnapped in August of that year by an Islamic terrorist group and held in captivity for 15 months. Amanda was tortured physically and mentally during her captivity. Her story is a raw, emotional, and inspiring testimony of her ability to forgive her captors and show compassion during her captivity.
Amanda called the ordeal a gift and not a tragedy. It changed her life so much she has dedicated herself to humanitarian efforts including back in Somalia. She formed the Global Enrichment Foundation (www.globalenrichmentfoundation.com) that seeks to promote peace and development in Somalia through sustainable educational and community-based empowerment programs, while undertaking humanitarian and life-saving emergency interventions in times of crisis.
I had the opportunity to personally meet and talk to Amanda at the conference. She signed my book with “Never, Ever Give Up”! Amanda would never call herself a victim; let alone a hero. The experience changed her life and she is leading it with passion and a vision for good. I encourage you to read her story and follow the trial of the leader of her kidnappers which started this Monday in Ottawa, Canada.
Her story will inspire you.