Some time ago I had the pleasure of seeing Dr. John Izzo talk. I remember being very surprised at my reaction to him, because I was expecting a touchy-feely, kind of experience and really here was a very engaging, interesting speaker who is very compassionate but absolutely pragmatic about what is important.
When you read about him it always mentions words like about spiritualism and compassion, which tend to turn me off … but I like his stuff! I secretly became an Izzo fan and have been receiving his regular newsletters “the enlightened leader” ever since. You can subscribe to them on his website.
His latest newsletter has a great piece about dreaming big, and the power of dreaming big. The subject is a new film about the Apollo trip to the moon, which I remember following avidly as a child. here are just a few extracts from John’s newsletter … subscribe, I think you’ll like it!
As many of you know from reading this newsletter, my wife Leslie and I are movie buffs. We believe that film, at its best, captures the human imagination much like music and poetry. This month I want to talk about a new film titled In the Shadow of the Moon. Produced by Ron Howard, the film is a fascinating look at the Apollo mission program to land on the moon. It is told through interviews with all but one of the astronauts who experienced what no other human beings in history had the privilege of experiencing, seeing the Earth from the perspective of another world. Collectively they traveled further from our home than humans have ever gone.
The film has many important lessons for leadership, for accomplishing great things, and for what it means to be human at this moment in history. The film begins with John Kennedy’s first speech before Congress in 1961 when he put forth a grand vision: “That this nation shall, before the end of this decade, land a man on the moon and bring him back safely.” The dream took hold.
John talks about the affect on those involved in the project and their travels afterwards …
There was deep pride as well in these men, a pride in country and colleagues. Yet one of them talked about how, after landing on the moon, they traveled around the world. He said: “Wherever I went-Asia, Europe, Africa- people kept saying ‘we did it.’ I came to realize that they did not mean Americans, they meant, we-the human race-had done this. I had this sense the world had come together, for however short a moment.” Maybe we need new dreams, dreams bigger than country or culture, dreams that will inspire us again to say “we did it.” There is no shortage of possibilities-ending poverty, making sustainability a reality, finding a way to love each other in spite of our differences. As Greenleaf said: “A dream is not enough but the dream must be there first.”
So see this film and take your teenagers. From whatever country you are from you will be reminded that for one moment, not so very long ago, we did something humans had dreamed about for ages. Maybe it will remind each of us of what is possible in our organizations and what we may yet leave as the legacy to future generations.