A few weeks ago, I had a life-changing conversation.
I *finally* met someone like me.
Him: a former US Army Combat Diver. 🤿
Me: a bookish thought leadership guy. 📕
On the surface, we’re very different people.
But under the water line, we’re very similar.
He said: “Dolphins 🐬 are attracted to me,
because I produce weird electrical signals.”
Me: “You have a pacemaker?!”
Both of us have severe heart failure.
Without a pacer – we couldn’t walk across a room.
Let alone swim, run, or dive.
And for the next few hours,
we talked about living—and thriving—with heart failure.
He still SCUBA dives 🤿 most days (it’s his job).
And I run 🏃♂️most days.
And after eight years of living with heart failure,
I’d found someone who shared my mindset.
We’d refused to give up easily.
We’d fought our way back.
And although we aren’t able to do
everything we’d done before —
we push our boundaries every day.
I can “pass” as a healthy adult.
I run half-marathons because I enjoy them.
That’s why I’m publicly out as living with #heartfailure.
A young person, newly-diagnosed with heart failure
Shouldn’t have to wait eight years to meet someone
who has found a way to thrive.
Most days, I talk about #thoughtleadership
which is about making the invisible, visible.
But life and thought leadership are way more complex
than just *what* we do at work.
The ideas we advocate are deeply tied to who we are and
how we choose to live.
Thought leadership, is a deeply human (and vulnerable) activity.
Our ability to create impact isn’t random.
It’s defined by what we choose to make visible.