Positive Vibes — Leaders and Drug Addicts
John: In 2010, Michael Brody-Waite, left a Fortune 50 company at the height of the recession to co-found and lead InQuicker, a healthcare SaaS company that allows patients to self-schedule appointments.
His leadership grew the organization from 2 employees to 50 employees and 20,000% revenue growth in less than 6 years. This exceptional growth landed InQuicker a spot on the Inc. 500 list of Fastest Growing Private Companies.
However, there was a time when he was addicted to drugs and homeless – his is a story of recovery and accountability based on 3 principles that saved him from death and set him apart as a leader. They are small enough to fit in your pocket, yet big enough to change your life, built across being authentic and honest.
This is hard for many of us, myself included. I always thought I had to portray that image to the world that everything was awesome and that I have it handled. That is not always true.
Sometimes all people are looking at is your authenticity. If you do not have it or your reputation, you have nothing. What makes Brody-Waite so powerful is that he freely admits he is a recovering addict.
I say often that there is nothing more powerful than an addict in recovery because they never have forgotten what they have been through and what it took to get them to change; unless they are careful, they could slip back into old habits. Because they know how to get out, they should be listened to because, well, their opinion is fresh, raw and open.
Sandy, I hear a lot about leaders needing to grind and get things done, but I believe that managing personalities is just as important as managing results. To that extent, anyone can lead, because anyone can serve. After you view his TED talk (click here) I am interested to hear how his story resonates with you.
Sandy: Hey John, I really enjoyed Michael Brody-Waite’s story. His message is an important one for us all to hear and learn from.
We all make mistakes, make poor decisions, do the wrong thing, and often hurt others in the process. The important thing is to see what you’re doing and how you’re impacting yourself and the people around you. Then gather your strength, acknowledge how you’ve messed up, and CHANGE.
I’ve known a lot of people who acknowledge they’ve messed up, but then they don’t change. Their apologies are hollow and worthless, because they continue the same destructive behaviors. What Brody-Waits did was see the error of his ways, own it, and change, so he moved ahead in a positive direction.
When someone does that, they gain huge credibility and respect, and people trust them because they have made themselves vulnerable and been honest about the tough stuff. When someone has been tested and come through in a positive manner, they usually earn the respect and trust of others.
Of course, they need to continue to be congruent, and make sure that their behavior is consistent with their words. If they relapse, all trust will be gone, and very difficult for them to win back.
Once again, it’s about taking responsibility for who you are and what you do. Creating the reality you want rather than letting poor choices, other people, and bad behavior define you.
Please comment so others can benefit from your wisdom and experience.
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