Everyday Heroes

What's your mission? What leaders can learn from NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto

What's your mission? What leaders can learn from NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto

On July 14, 2015, NASA's New Horizons mission will reach its much-anticipated destination: Pluto. Since the spacecraft left our planet on January 19, 2006, it has traveled more than 3 billion miles.

As the New Horizons spacecraft approaches Pluto, I invite you to ask yourself, "What's my mission?"

The riots in Baltimore: How could they do that?

As I've been following the around-the-clock news coverage of the riots in Baltimore over the last few days, simultaneously scrolling through my Facebook news feed and Twitter timeline, I have found one of the most frequently asked questions is:

How could they do that?

You are powerful, by Tracy Maxwell

You are powerful, by Tracy Maxwell

This is the title of chapter 8 in my bookBeing Single, with Cancer: A Solo Survivor’s Guide to Life, Love, Health & Happiness, and also the topic of one of the sessions in a 5-week tele-course I teach.  The thing is, for a long time, I didn’t feel that way myself. It wasn’t until cancer knocked me flat on my back that I truly understood my own power. The power to heal, the power to make a difference, the power to connect others in meaningful ways, the power to change my perspective. We are all powerful, but many of us are going through life like I was – not recognizing our own unique superpowers, or even actively denying them. 

The Heroism Of West African Ebola Workers | WGBH News

An Ebola virus quarantine in Eastern Sierra Leone. Harvard Business School historian Nancy Koehn said community leaders have been doing the bulk of work to combat the virus, while world leaders stand by. Credit https://www.flickr.com/photos/69583224@N05/ / Flickr

An Ebola virus quarantine in Eastern Sierra Leone. Harvard Business School historian Nancy Koehn said community leaders have been doing the bulk of work to combat the virus, while world leaders stand by. Credit https://www.flickr.com/photos/69583224@N05/ / Flickr

The Ebola outbreak is a crisis that exists on a level above political and geographical boundaries. The rapid spread has forced organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) to wrangle with politicians and governing bodies. The process has been slow and fraught. "Someone has to stop this. It's not going to be the WHO. It's not going to be the government of these nations. ... They basically shook their heads, and sat on their fingers for months before they did anything, as has most of the West."

By necessity, other actors have stepped in to fill the void, and they've done so at great risk to their lives and livelihood. But what type of person puts herself in the middle of a humanitarian crisis?"

It's less about characteristics, and more about the inner power and spirit that lies within us, often dormant — and then something ... calls it forth," Koehn said. "I think what we see here — and those people who put themselves on the [Boston Marathon] finish line, those emergency workers who just pour into danger zones — is the spirit that gets unlocked, and is incredibly powerful, that makes an enormous difference ..., much more difference than any of these huge, big leaders that we put up on pedestals."

via The Heroism Of West African Ebola Workers | WGBH News.

Step Up | American University

A note from The Power Button: The below video is a fantastic illustration of the concepts of the 3D (Direct, Delegate, Distract) model for bystander intervention, which we discussed in The Speed of One: 4th of 6 Heroic Arts. The Office of Campus Life also has some tremendous resources via http://www.american.edu/ocl/stepup/index.cfm You can make a big difference in the lives of others and change your world. Here's one way to do it.

From YouTube: Step Up is an award-winning bystander intervention program, adopted by American University, that uses five steps to teach students how to intervene in situations including sexual assault, alcohol abuse, mental health emergencies, hazing, and more. Step Up. Be More Than A Bystander.

This film has been created by the Office of University Communications and Marketing and the Office of Campus Life.