Terrorism can help us find our inspirational self

Like most people, the WTC bombing left me stunned, confused, and horrified. For the last three days, I’ve watched the news, listlessly done some work, and listened in shock to our national leaders declaring war. Today, I had another shock as I listened to the radio discuss an intercepted memo, leaked from an organization with members in countries around the world. The memo laid out the advantages to killing more than 20,000 foreign civilians. It wasn’t until the end of the news report that I realized… the company was Philip Morris, analyzing how much money early smoking deaths would save the Czech Republic in federal pensions.

As horrible as the WTC bombing was, I left lunch numbed by the behavior of our own countrymen. It is horrible to kill quickly, motivated by hatred and religious fanaticism. Is it somehow better to kill slowly, motivated by profit?

As businesspeople, we represent our country and our values to the rest of the world. Diplomats talk to other diplomats. Businesspeople reach everyone.

Whether you read my list as an entrepreneur, as an aspiring leader, or just as a bystander, take this opportunity to dig beneath your outrage. Beneath it all, you’ll find what you Stand For. Was your sense of security shaken by the bombing? Then you stand for Security. Were you filled with fear for your children, then you stand for Safety. Were you upset by the lives cut short? Then you stand for Leading a Fulfulling Life.

As a future leader, entrepreneur, manager, or human being, begin incorporating your values explicitly into your life. Stand For What’s Important. Ask daily how you can contribute to Security around the world. Question how you can do your part to help people be Safe. Help those around you Lead Fulfilling Lives. Whatever you Stand For, bring it into your life, every day.

You truly rise above yourself and begin to create a stronger, more powerful world when you operate from and act on your values. As horrible as this disaster has been, use the horror to find the good. Find your passion. Live it. Inspire those around you, and create a better world. There will always be those who bring pain to the world. Be someone who brings progress and advancement.

Best wishes,


Tragedy Helps us Lead

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