4 Ways To Be An ACTION Hero

facts tell us what to do and how to do it, but it is our humanity that tells us
that we must DO something, and why we must do it
~ Sully Sullenberger

On January 15, 2009, Sully Sullenberger DID
something courageous that resulted in something miraculous.  That was the day
 U.S. Airways Flight 1549 took off from LaGuardia Airport in New York, struck some birds on its assent, and lost both engines.

But a “Miracle on the Hudson” occurred when the plane was successfully guided to a safe landing in the Hudson River off Manhattan by Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and co-pilot Jeff Skiles.

All 155 people on board were saved because swift and sure action was taken!

Looking back on that day, Sully told CBS This Morning on the 5th Anniversary of the miracle, It was one of those events, in the first couple of seconds, I knew it was going to be unlike anything I had ever experienced. It was going to define my life into before and after.”

Sully was quickly labeled a hero, and he certainly was. The Guild of Air pilots and Air Navigators awarded Sully and the entire crew of Flight 1549 a Master’s Medal. The citation read:

The reactions of all members of the crew, the split second decision making and the handling of this emergency and evacuation was ‘text book’ and an example to us all. To have safely executed this emergency ditching and evacuation, with the loss of no lives, is a heroic and unique aviation achievement. It deserves the immediate recognition that has today been given by the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators

It is clear that the crew reacted to the emergency as they had practiced in training.  However, Sully had not only logged 19,000+ hours in airplanes, but he was also a glider pilot.  It was the know-how of flying glider planes, and Sully’s quick action that resulted in the miraculous outcome on that particular day.

Sully Sullenberger is an ACTION HERO!  

Your ACTIONs can make you an ACTION HERO, too!  Here’s how:

1. Participate in activities that empower you.

Never confuse movement with action” ~ Ernest Hemmingway

“Busy” people are not necessarily successful people.  “Busy” doesn’t empower you or make you wealthy.  You must take the right action to progress forward.

Take time to analyze how you spend your time, and decide if your actions are really helping you to go where you want to go.  

2. Be on the offensive side of action – not the defensive side.

The possibilities are numerous once we decide to act and not react” ~ George Bernard Shaw

If you spend your time always “catching up” and not “moving up”, then your actions will likely not make you heroic.  Sully Sullenberger and the other crew members were expected to react in the way that they did during the flight emergency in 2009.  But Sully surely could not have foreseen that his time in glider planes would ever be used to safely land a jetliner. Sully Sullenberger saved 155 people because he acted from knowledge and experience instead of simply reacting from training. 

Take time to analyze whether you are making decisions defensively, or if you’re taking action that will lead to more positive action.

3. Don’t wait for _______, just take a step forward from where you are.

Action conquers fear” ~ Peter Nivio Zarlenga

Zarlenga also said, “The difficulty of every individual who ever desired to achieve something worthwhile, comes in the movement“. 

I have been in a place where fear created so much fog, that I wasn’t sure which direction I should step in.  I learned that the direction didn’t matter as much as the action to simply start moving.  You can always get back on track if you head in the wrong direction, but there IS NO progress in a stand still.

Take time to analyze your fears.  Face those fears.  Make a move offensively. Do it scared.  Just DO IT.

4. Do something unpredictable and vary your experiences.

If you only do what you know you can, you never do very much” ~ Tom Krause

Try something everyday that you’re not convinced you can do.  You’ll have one of two results:

1. You’ll do it, and now you’ll KNOW you can do it! You’ll be an ACTION HERO.

2. You won’t be able to do it, and now you’ll KNOW where you need to grow.  Your decision to grow will make you an ACTION HERO.  

Just like Sully Sullenberger relying on his glider experience, you may never know where your simple action will take you; OR how it may save the life of another. 

Remember, “…it is our humanity that tells us that we must DO something, and why we must do it”

Today is the day to define your life into

 “before” and “after”.

No matter what life throws at you, you can

 always be an


The ABC’s of Leadership

Michael Jackson sang “ABC”.  Remember that song?  Listen here to a short snippet of the chorus: 

ABC. 123.  Do Re Mi.  These are elements we are all familiar
with.  Elements that denote simplicity,
basics and foundations for greater, more complex concepts.

You might even say, that the song ABC,
performed by Michael Jackson, was the foundation for much of what Pop Music has

Everything starts with the basics.  Even leadership.

Leadership can get quite complicated if we
don’t begin with the right foundation, a foundation of principles I call
“The ABC’s of Leadership”




Many years ago, I was the leader for an
organization of young women ages 12-18. 
We were organizing an event, and each of these young women had an
assignment that was integral to the success of the event.  One hour prior to the event, Heather’s mother
called me.

Heather won’t be coming to the event
”, she said.

My panicked reply was, “But Heather was
assigned to bring the ingredients for our main dish

Heather’s mother replied, “Well, she won’t be attending, and I won’t
be bringing her assigned items.  I guess
that’s just some of the challenges of being a leader
”. Click.

I learned a few things about this interaction:

1. This young
woman was not dependable.  (Perhaps her mother served as an example for that). 

2. This young woman was not accountable.    

Accountability is the characteristic of
being accountable.  A leader that is accountable feels responsible for the outcome, both good and bad, of a situation.  Accountability requires not blaming others, but always
looking for a way that a better outcome can be achieved, despite the failings
of others.

In the case of Heather, clearly she didn’t
fulfil her responsibility, but I was the one that would be viewed as
responsible for the outcome of our planned event.  Perhaps, it was even my fault that Heather
didn’t follow through.  Perhaps I had not
communicated properly to her.  Clearly, I had failed to get Heather’s buy in.  

Heather’s mother was right: I was being challenge as a leader. 

After a few deep breaths, I made a few calls, worked out some deals, and made sure we had what we
needed for our event.  
It wasn’t easy, but I had maintained my ACCOUNTABILITY.  

If you want others to see
you as a leader, then you must conquer the first characteristic of basic

The second characteristic of basic
leadership is:

Resolute; Chutzpah; Courage, whatever you call it, boldness requires
a willingness to step outside the box, try something new, and even take a little risk.  

The band K.I.S.S. had a pretty good handle on BOLDNESS.

You don’t have to wear heavy makeup, or be a rock star to be bold, however.  Here are 5 easy steps to becoming more BOLD in your leadership:

1. Don’t hesitate – make the
first move.  A wrong decision is usually
better than no decision.

2. Be unpredictable.  Take a little risk.  I guarantee you’ll get a different reaction than normal from those who know you best.

3. Get rid of pretense – be yourself,
and delight in your weirdness.

4. Act as though you already are
what you want to be.

5.  Say no to what you really
don’t want to do.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said, “Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it…for boldness has
genius, power and magic in it

BOLDNESS is the second characteristic of the ABC’s of


Without Commitment in leadership, accountability and
boldness won’t matter. 

Once there was a
skinny, awkward kid from New Jersey named Eugene Orowitz.  He was
painfully shy and very self-conscious.  Although Eugene greatly lacked
self-confidence, when a high school coach half-jokingly asked him to try out
for the track team, Eugene took him up on it.

“Ugy,” as his friends affectionately
called him, fell in love with javelin throwing and committed himself to
being the best that he could possibly be.  What Ugy lacked in
self-confidence, he made up for in commitment.

By the time he graduated high
school, Eugene had achieved a national High School record (for throwing the
javelin 211 yards).  His commitment to being the best also bought him a
college track scholarship in sunny California!

A torn shoulder muscle ended
his javelin-throwing career and any hope of making the Olympic team. 
However, while watching a play, Ugy fell in love with acting.  So, again,
he committed himself to being the best he could be.  He was determined to
make it in the ridiculously over-crowded acting field, so he enrolled in acting

Eugene Orowitz, better known as
Michael Landon, went on to star in three of the most popular shows in
television history:  Bonanza, Little House on the Prairie, and Highway to

Michael Landon exhibited both boldness and commitment.  

As a teenager, I always got a little “bold” when I watched Michael Landon play Little Joe Cartwright on Bonanza every day.  (Be still, my heart!)

Little Joe never went down without a fight, and I challenge you to lead with COMMITMENT in the same way!

Remember, the
ABC’s of leadership:




Abc, easy as 123
Or simple as do, re, mi
Abc, 123, baby, you can lead!

Ability: Are You A Little Flat?

To be an exceptional leader, you must have ability to do so;
or, at least the desire to have ability.

I once said to a friend, “I would give anything to play the

My friend replied, “obviously not, or you’d already be a
piano player

So true!  I realized
that I didn’t want to be a piano player bad enough to put in the effort. 

How about you?  Are
you willing to work hard for what you really want?  Exceptional leaders have the ability to do
many things.  In the areas where they
lack ability, exceptional leaders learn, study and practice their desired skill.

That being said, everyone has the ability to inspire and
motivate others.  That is the essence of
leadership.  Recognizing your strengths,
and enhancing them is where you likely fall short of your capacity to lead.

Bob Marley, a man who exhibited much musical talent said, The
greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity
and his ability to affect those around him positively”.

And positively speaking, Norman Vincent Peale proclaimed, Believe
in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable
confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy

Having belief in ourselves is often the hardest challenge to
overcome.  I find it is so much easier if
I focus on what I CAN do, and think less of the things that I CANNOT do.

realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one
can build a better world.  ~
Dalai Lama

We are innately blessed with certain gifts, talents and skills;
yet we have a hard time seeing these abilities in ourselves.  If you’re like me, and you believe in God, or
a power greater than yourself, then you understand that you are here for a
reason, and that the abilities you possess will help, guide and nurture others
if you have a desire to do so.

From the New Testament in 2 Peter 4:11, we read,

If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as
of the ability which God giveth….

Ponder on your strength, abilities, and natural talents.  Decide how you will nurture those abilities
as you strive for exceptional leadership. 
Consider lessons from that piano I always wanted to play:

Whether you are sharp, a little flat, or always natural, a beautiful
piece of music contains all these elements.  

When you enhance your talents, strengthen your weaknesses, and act in a
manner true to yourself, you will be an instrument of exceptional leadership.

What ability are you going to enhance in the next 30 days?