We are not positive because life is easy. We are positive because life can be hard

A Leader is a dealer in hope, during adversity, obstacles, crisis, and trying times; the leader should always show optimism and positivity. The most powerful tool in a leaders toolset is what he does (example), not what he says. A leader who is positive and optimistic during trying times gives followers the confidence they need during tough times.

In the Power of Positive Leadership, Jon Gordon shares what he has learned and provides a comprehensive framework on positive leadership filled with proven principles, compelling stories, practical ideas, and practices that will help anyone become a positive leader.

Positive leadership is all about seeing and creating a brighter and better future. It’s about inventing, innovating, creating, building, improving, and transforming education, healthcare, business, government, technology, farming, design, communities, cities, transportation, and every aspect of our lives and the world we live in. Some scoff when leaders share bold ideas, imaginative goals, and seemingly impossible dreams, but ideas, imagination, and dreams are the fabric positive leaders weave together to create the future and change the world.

Here are my favourite take aways from reading, The Power of Positive Leadership by Jon Gordon:

It’s not like there’s a science to being creative. Just do what works for you and keep going forward.

I am a super fan of two of Shonda Rhime’s Hit TV Series, How to get away with murder (with Viola Davis) and Scandals (with Kerry Washington). While watching these series, I was always amazed by the suspense in the show, and I wondered how they wrote the plot and how it is even possible to write a script that good with the twist and turns in every episode. If you have not seen both shows check them out, they are outstanding. When I subscribed to Masterclass, Shonda Rhime’s session was one of the first I had to see, and she did not disappoint.

Shonda Rhimes was born in 1970 and raised in Chicago, Illinois. The daughter of intellectual and supportive parents, Shonda grew up telling stories. She strove to become a novelist but turned her focus to film and television writing later in life. Shonda majored in English and film studies at Dartmouth College and earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from the USC School of Cinematic Arts. She wrote the HBO television movie, Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (1999), her first professional credit, and penned two feature films thereafter, including The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004).

Go write. Prove yourself to be a writer. Nobody has to pay you in order to write. You have to just find the time and do it.

Author: Mark Nepo
Title: Breaking Surface

Let no one keep you from your journey,
no rabbi or priest, no mother
who wants you to dig for treasures
she misplaced, no father
who won’t let one life be enough,
no lover who measures their worth
by what you might give up,
no voice that tells you in the night
it can’t be done.

Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.- Hal Borland Success in any endeavor requires perseverance and persistence, the ability to continue…

Whenever you wake up, that is your morning. What matters is that you wake up. – Igbo Saying

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian Writer born 15 September 1977; she grew up in Nnsukka, Enugu, Nigeria. While she was growing up, her father, James Nwoye Adichie, worked as a professor of statistics at the University of Nigeria. Her mother, Grace Ifeoma, was the university’s first female registrar.

Chimamanda completed her secondary education at the University of Nigeria Secondary School, Nsukka, where she received several academic prizes. She studied medicine and pharmacy at the University of Nigeria for a year and a half. At the age of 19, Adichie left Nigeria for the United States to study communications and political science at Drexel University in Philadelphia. She received a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Connecticut State University, with the distinction of summa cum laude in 2001. In 2003, she completed a master’s degree in creative writing at Johns Hopkins University. In 2008, she received a Master of Arts degree in African studies from Yale University.

In May 2012, bestselling author Neil Gaiman delivered the commencement address at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, in which he shared his thoughts about creativity, bravery, and strength. He encouraged the fledgling painters, musicians, writers, and dreamers to break rules and think outside the box. Most of all, he encouraged them to make good art.

The Commencement Speech was distilled into a book format, Make Good Art, and designed by renowned graphic artist Chip Kidd. Neil Gaiman’s Masterclass on Storytelling, is one of my favorite Masterclass session have seen so far; I wrote a blog post about the lessons learned from the course.

Full Transcript of Neil Gaiman’s 2012 University of the Arts Commencement Speech:

I never really expected to find myself giving advice to people graduating from an establishment of higher education.  I never graduated from any such establishment. I never even started at one. I escaped from school as soon as I could, when the prospect of four more years of enforced learning before I’d become the writer I wanted to be was stifling.

I got out into the world, I wrote, and I became a better writer the more I wrote, and I wrote some more, and nobody ever seemed to mind that I was making it up as I went along, they just read what I wrote and they paid for it, or they didn’t, and often they commissioned me to write something else for them.