I’m writing this while sitting on a plane from Minneapolis to Denver. I’m finalizing in my head the details of a talk I’m giving in Boulder later today and thinking about a recent invite I received to bring the keynote address at the Aviation Association of Indiana – their annual convention which is to be held at the Belterra Casino and Resort.
The event planner called and said “That talk…the highlights of which you have in a video on your website…that talk would be a perfect for our convention…It has humor in it. Yet, it’s thought-provoking. It’s full of leadership stuff and the Director of our organization has watched it and believes it would make the perfect keynote on leadership for our annual gathering.”
I said, “You mean the talk on leadership I call “Things I’ve Learned about Leadership from Jesus, Buddha, Moses, Muhammed, Gates, Buffett, and Other Masters of the Universe?”
“That’s It,” he responded.
“Great!” I answered. “I’d be honored to share that talk with your association.”
When we finished working out the details of the contract, I put the date on my calendar and began thinking about the fact that I’ve been getting several calls lately from event planners and company CEO’s who like this approach I’m taking to teaching leaders about leadership – and, particularly, the way I try and blend the various spiritual traditions, sprinkled with lots of humor, with insights about leadership from those in the world of commerce. All of it with deep insights too into life, leadership, and one’s legacy, and what we can learn, even from the universe’s spiritual masters…without favoring any one religion or shoving religion down the proverbial throats of people.
I suspect some of the reluctance of the business world to invite speakers like myself to give such respectful talks is the fault of religious zealots in this country (and I was chief among them at one time). In our country, religious zealotry comes mostly adorned in Christian clothing. Still yet, far too many Christians for far too long have believed practitioners of any other religious traditions were practicing something subpar compared to Christianity. And, if you were not practicing any faith…or were…dare I say it?…an “atheist,” or an agnostic, you were to be shunned as if you might have some transmutable disease. It is no wonder, therefore, our Democracy has had to enforce the separation of church and state laws. Such would not be necessary if people in this country would be respectful toward people of all faiths as well as those who claim no faith.
That’s precisely what I try to do in all my talks. I believe that even people who do not practice any faith tradition still have the wisdom to know wisdom when they see it or hear it, no matter where it comes from…whether from Jesus or Lao-Tzu, Muhammed or Moses, or from the likes of Steve Forbes or Michael Hyatt.
There are important lessons for life, living, leading, and legacy-leaving that Jesus and Buddha can teach us that are just as profound as the lessons we learn from the Warren Buffets, the late Steve Jobs, Gates or other “Masters of the Universe,” as I call them.
Now, for me, a “recovering Baptist minister, the only weird part of this speaking gig will be that I will address this aviation convention in the banquet hall of a popular casino.
Hm! It should be fun. And, I probably should not be enjoying the thought of it so much! I’ll let you know how it goes.
If you like the things you read that I write, may I invite you to visit my website blog at www.SteveMcSwain.com and follow me on Twitter @DrSteveMcSwain. Follow me on Facebook, too. I’d love to be friends with you.