Blog

  • Obama (part 1)

    Barack Obama had what many would consider a trying and problematic beginning of life.  Raised mostly by his grandparents, he moved often, changing regions and countries several times.  In addition, he lived many of these early years in extreme poverty. In his speeches, Obama talks often of these difficult times and the marks they left on him. The son of

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    John Sadowsky Leadership & Storytelling
  • Gandhi had an extraordinary ability to process his life experience

    As we saw in the previous entry, a major turning point in Gandhi’s life occurred when, as a young lawyer in South Africa, he was removed from a first class train seat because of the color of his skin. While one can certainly not deny the importance of this turning point event in Gandhi’s life, I would argue that it

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    John Sadowsky Leadership & Storytelling
  • We are wrong to think that leaders have extraordinary past experiences

          As I have traveled throughout the world for a number of years, I have been struck by the prevalence of this particular myth. In my coaching or teaching, I have often encountered the entrenched opinion that there is something extraordinary or “special” in the life experience of people who emerge as leaders. In other words, people such

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    John Sadowsky Leadership & Storytelling
  • It’s about how we process the events of our lives

    As part of my ongoing reflection on the CNN Heroes program I would like to discuss a specific point that struck me. At one point in the CNN Heroes show, host Anderson Cooper remarked: “We’ve seen tonight how a personal crisis can transform an ordinary individual into a hero.” While my goal here is not to take issue with this

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    John Sadowsky Leadership & Storytelling
  • Presentation in Geneva on “the art of storytelling”

    A month ago, at the Business Forum at Palexpo in Geneva, I gave a conference on leadership and storytelling, followed by a book signing.  The event was organized by Rezonance, a remarkable networking organization, in cooperation with the Fédération des Entreprises Romandes. Recently, I received this drawing from the artist Elizabeth Auzan, who makes these types of sketches “on the

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    John Sadowsky Leadership & Storytelling
  • More thoughts on what we learn from the “hero” stories

    As I related in the previous post, we can fill volumes with the lessons from the people on CNN Heroes. Last time, I highlighted the following issues: Leading by autobiography Leadership and charisma Learning from life’s events To these I would like to add: Finding your true purpose and your passion gives meaning to life: Each of our heroes says

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    John Sadowsky Leadership & Storytelling