Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly, or it vanishes. --Peter Drucker
Welcome to the archive of monthly Leap Updates from Mario Morino and Lowell Weiss. The final Leap Update was published in March of 2022.
I grew up in an immigrant family of blue-collar workers in Ohio and coal miners in Pennsylvania. My family experienced plenty of anti-immigrant bigotry—and, of course, we saw Black families getting far worse treatment. Even so, I grew up in a household with deep faith in America. If you were from our part of town and of our ethnicity, the ladder of upward mobility wasn’t quite as safe or sturdy as the ladder for “better” families from the communities where my mom cleaned houses. But at least we had a chance to…
Sam Cooke composed “A Change Is Gonna Come” in 1963, shortly after “I Have a Dream,” the Birmingham church bombings, and his own imprisonment for “disturbing the peace” after he was refused a room at a Holiday Inn because of his race. The song is considered one of the greatest of all time because of the way it captured the hope and despair of the Civil Rights Movement.
This month, we’ll get right to practical advice for social-sector leaders trying to captain ships through the dark, stormy seas of this pandemic. We’re by no means leadership experts. But Mario is a longtime student of crisis leadership and has been forced to navigate—as a CEO, director, advisor, investor, and donor—through many different periods of turmoil. Sometimes he was successful. Sometimes he screwed up. Here’s what he learned from both.
The wonderful Cheryl Collins told us, with the firm but loving tone she used in her schoolteacher days, that we must use this platform to share both brutal honesty and credible hope. So that’s what we’re going to try to do.
Let’s be clear: The Coronavirus pandemic is deadly serious, and we all need to observe the CDC’s latest guidelines for keeping ourselves and others safe. There’s good reason that Lowell’s home state (WA) and Mario’s (OH) are on virtual lockdown, and we have great respect for Governors Jay Inslee (D) and Mike DeWine (R) for making these calls. These two elected officials are demonstrating precisely what courageous, adaptive leadership looks like!