live what we preach

I have been quite blessed to be surrounded by friends who learn to value people and group dynamics over the work they produce. It is refreshing to be reminded that it doesn't matter the work that our hands produce if we aren't concerned about the individuals affected by that work.

The last few weeks have been exciting for both New Leaf and PURE - lots of new connections and lots of new opportunities. As they continue to move forward, I have been reflecting more about my understanding of leadership, and how I hope to approach it on projects in the future.

One of the first role models I look to as an example of what it means to effectively lead people is Christ.

But the more I read about his life, the more I realize that his leadership style was so different from anything else of the day. He broke many rules and often did things his own way. He rarely scheduled meetings to teach, but rather used situations as they arose to teach those who happened to be around him. When people would ask him to come inside and heal the sick, he would occasionally say his time hadn't come yet and would wait or move on. And there were times when he would make people angry - even other leaders - because he wouldn't listen to their advice or suggestions.

But crowds were drawn to him. Not because he kept the rules and checked off all the tick marks, but because he lived what he preached.

He wasn't selling something and wasn't trying to build up a team of supporters - he was simply leading like he lived, and living like he lead. And I think that's one of the great traits of any inspirational leader - from Martin Luther King Jr. to Gandhi to Nelson Mandela.

This has been a re-emerging theme in discussions on the leadership teams at both PURE and New Leaf. They tend to care about the dynamics of a team, more than just the potential of an idea. Now granted the ideas are also quite powerful and compelling, but at the end of the day, it comes down to more than an idea - it's about people.

For the past few days, I met with the PURE team in NYC and we criss-crossed the city meeting with different groups and people telling them about the company. I won't get into all of the exciting details of the company (that will have to wait for another entry, or more likely, an entire book) - but the basic jist is that we are looking to create more than just a business, but a movement, within the entertainment and media industry to rid all of the crap currently there. We want to leverage the industry as a power for good and to spur sustainable social change. We want to shake things up, flip things inside out, and transform an industry into something brand new.

One of the common aspects of all of our meetings in a short few days was that we didn't have to sell much. And I don't believe it's because people immediately resonate with the idea, but rather because they see that our leadership team telling them about PURE are attempting to live what we are selling. As humbly as I can, I hope to be an example of what it means to live a pure life - and that's a tall order to live up to and I know I will fall short every day. But it's something worth striving for.

We're not trying to pull one over anyone, we're not trying to speak about lofty ideas simply to make another dollar, but we're trying to match the values and morals that resonate within so many of us into the structure and vision of a company.

We ARE the company - and just as Ghandi lived what he preached, we are trying to live what we are designing. That is a company I can get behind and an idea I am willing to share with others. Now let's see where the next few weeks lead...

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