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Kenn Butler Leadership Newsletter



Good morning my friends. The work of Robin Williams, the comedian & academy award winning actor was uplifting & vast. Williams played a range of characters in his movies; from dramatic roles to comedy. Since his passing, many commentators have discussed his immense influence on many aspects of contemporary culture. A US business journal has noted the real life lessons Williams’ characters inspire for us in the business world.

Dead Poets Society was an enormously successful movie. Williams played John Keating, an English teacher with a love for poetry & creativity, who inspired his classroom of boys to engage in literature. His character taught his students to seize the day, which is how we could view our business ventures – seize the opportunities & take risks while you can.

Mrs. Doubtfire – the Business lesson is ‘Find the positive even in the negative’. You will always find people who can support you & encourage you through difficult times. Business is about challenges & sometimes risks do not pay off. When this happens it is important to try to find the silver lining or move on from the negative event. There are always other business people who have gone through similar situations to you or who have faced serious challenges & managed to get through. Finding the positive in the negative is an important skill to develop.

Patch Adams –the Business lesson is ‘Dare to come up with new business strategies instead of following the herd’. Williams played Dr Hunter “Patch” Adams in a real life story about his unorthodox approach to helping sick patients cope with their illness or face death through acts of humour & compassion rather than clipboards & serious talks. Although Adams’ approach to helping the sick was different, it eventually was accepted, proving the same strategy may not work for every business. Everyone may have their own path to success.

And this weekend I watched again Good morning Vietnam. Set in Saigon in 1965, during the Vietnam War, the film stars Williams as a radio DJ, who proves hugely popular with the troops, but infuriates his superiors with what they call his “irreverent tendency”. Owning our dream means having a belief in yourself which outweighs your fears. Acclaimed leadership author John Maxwell wrote in his book, Failing Forward: How to Make the Most of Your Mistakes, this inspirational thought: ‘ If you know who you are, make the changes you must in order to learn & grow, & then give everything you have to your dreams, you can achieve anything your heart desires.’

It is not about the failures you have experienced in the past. As Maxwell says: ‘If you tend to focus on the particular events in your life, try to put things into perspective. When you do, you will be able to share the philosophy of someone able to say, “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content”. So, if we are to realise, as long as we are doing what we are supposed to be doing, being labelled a success or failure by others, really does not matter.’

So dear friends, what matters more to you? Past failures or the dreams on your heart. We all have these unique abilities to prosper which will give us hope & a future. My best wishes to you all on the journey & the week ahead.
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Kenn Butler

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