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Leadership Lessons

September 11, 2008
At the dawning of another September 11th, I am mindful of the losses that many of us sustained on that bright blue sunny morning. It was like everyday in America when children were going to school, men and women headed off to work, and individuals were taking flights across the country. Nothing was extraordinary about the dawning of that day.  We were all living life until the world changed in an instant for everyone.
 
As I think back on 9/11, I realize what strikes me most during and after the emergencies unfolded, were the individuals who showed great leadership in the face of heart wrenching adversity. The passengers on Flight 93, the firefighters and policeman, managers in the World Trade Center buildings, and even ordinary citizens; they each had to make tough leadership decisions to save the lives of other people and themselves.
 
As women entrepreneurs we are seldom faced with such desperate circumstances in our own leadership roles. But sometimes on clear blue sunny mornings, we know as corporate leaders we might have to fire staff, walk away from clients, head our business in a different direction, borrow money, or handle countless other scenarios that require tough decisions.
 
Sometimes what helps us to be better leaders is witnessing or learning from other great leaders. Today’s headlines will be filled with stories of heroism, people who demonstrated clarity and wisdom in the throes of extreme situations, and individuals who made smart decisions that saved lives. Be inspired by them to lead stronger today.
 
Today I send my warmest thoughts to all of you who suffered any losses on that tragic day. In honor of my good friend Dan Brandhorst, who was on the fateful second flight that hit the World Trade Center, I will choose to lead stronger today in his memory. 
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