Crisis creates clarity™. In the way you communicate, in the way you lead, and in the way you eat coffee-flavored ice cream.

Just viewed John Krasinski’s SGN graduation ceremony. John selects four graduates to ask their questions related to navigating our world and he asks Steven Spielberg, Jon Stewart, Oprah Winfrey and Malala Yousafzai to answer their respective questions.

Pure gold.

From these conversations (and mine) here are three traits needed to successfully communicate and lead through obstacles.

Perspective. Oprah gets demoted from her first TV anchor job in Baltimore. Rather than just firing her, management tosses her a daytime local talk show spot. Failure can be your best opportunity.

Spielberg shares the importance of staying positive and going after your dreams with a clear vision of what you want your results to look like. Pipe dreams vs. real dreams.

Hope. “Mom, are there lessons from the Holocaust that could help us now?” would be my question – and I’d be asking my mom, Anne Cortell (of blessed memory). She would say – and did say – “Karrrrren (image German accent), it’s about HOPE. That’s what has guided me throughout my life. I lost my parents in Auschwitz, landed in England without money and family, but I later met your father, created a new life in America and had two daughters. You have to have hope. It’s what’s carried me through all of it.”

Persistence. Malala says, “Believe in yourself, find your voice and don’t give up.” Jon Stewart adds, “Embrace the possibilities and the challenges.”

What does coffee ice cream have to do with any of this? I love coffee ice cream. Don’t forget to stop, relax, breathe and enjoy one of your guilty pleasures…. with moderation!

Crisis creates clarity™. Continue to communicate and lead your organizations with perspective, hope, and persistence.

Now go eat a scoop of coffee ice cream. 

© 2020 Karen Cortell Reisman, All rights reserved     

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Karen Cortell Reisman, MS, Executive Communication Author & Speaker

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