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Shutdown Heroes

Great leaders don’t worry about fitting into a mold—they do what they do best and change the mold. The concept of poking situations is one I explain when I am trying to describe a philosophy for life. What I mean by poking is taking the realm of what is expected and possible and looking into a third dimension: the unknown- the space that you have not gone to before.

In the way we all look at any aspect of the world, particularly in regard to technology, products, and solutions to problems, there are the things we know for sure, that exist and work. There are also things that we do not know, and these are areas in which many companies, organizations and individuals find themselves working to make discoveries and solve problems. My challenge to you is to look further, to the space that we know that we do not know, things that seem impossible and unsolvable. This third dimension is where I have found the ability to innovate and think of creative technological solutions. If you work in this space, there is the possibility of being a trailblazer and a leader in your craft.

What does poking life look like? During the federal government shutdown this fall, I was inspired by my employees who chose to take the situation at hand and use it as an opportunity instead of a handicap. Those who saw a cut-back on hours and came to work anyways without feeling held back by the shutdown showed that they look at expectations differently. These people took restrictions and discarded them, challenging them and refusing to be dictated by circumstances. This is just one recent example that stands out as a way for people to poke life- by making decisions based on desire to better achieve and give instead of seeing limitations.

By living a life of questioning and challenging the status quo, we each as individuals can make an impact on the world and stay connected to the causes and passions that make life fun and fulfilling.


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