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4 Lessons Leaders in Crisis Can Learn from Watching Avenue 5



Image Credit: HBO

The HBO original Avenue 5 revolves around spoiled rich tourists on a space cruise ship with a questionable crew backed by billionaire owner Herman Judd, it’s confused Cruise Captain Ryan Clark and Matt Spencer, Head of Passenger. The female crew and passengers are a force to reckon with from Billie McEvoy the engineer to a passenger aptly named Karen.

In many ways each character showcases leadership traits in a peculiar way. Loose lessons on leadership can be found throughout each episode if you know where to find them. Here are a few of my favorite leadership lessons from Avenue 5.

1. How You Communicate Matters

How you communicate news, good or bad, is key to acceptance most especially in the time of crisis such as the crew and passengers of Avenue 5 found when their 8 week space cruise suddenly becomes a potential eight year space adventure.

To deliver such bad news, you have to remain objective and share the facts to get buy-in, a task Captain Ryan failed at, but successfully delivered by Karen Kelly, one of the many affected passengers. Key in communicating bad news as a leader is to avoid embellishing the truth. Avoid the crude tactics of cruise ship owner Herman Judd to make this go away. 

Another important key is to listen. Don’t deliver the bad news and try to run away like Captain Ryan, but let the message sink in and allow the recipients to digest the news. There is bound to be emotional outbursts and as a leader this is the time to listen and not be a coward.

“The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.” – Jim Rohn

2. Title Doesn’t Equate Leadership

Another lesson learned is that a leader needs to take responsibility and not play the blame game, something Herman Judd was good at. Being the billionaire business owner of this space cruise ship didn’t necessarily make him a good leader. 

An out of touch leader will have a hard time admitting fault, but would look for ways to pass the blame as we saw Herman attempt many times, when at this point he really needed to own the issue at hand and apologize. When a leader apologizes, it is not a sign of weakness, instead it is a sign of we messed up and we’re going to fix this.

A good leader takes responsibility and will earn respect from those they are leading as a sign of confidence in their leadership. Karen Kelly the passenger, shows more leadership than the entire crew put together and no wonder the passengers listen to and follow her lead. She’s able to get their vote of confidence despite the not so good news message she was delivering.

3. The World Doesn’t Revolve Around You

Selfishness does not pay. A selfish leader is rarely liked; instead they display their insecurities by their actions and Herman Judd proved to be no different when all he thinks is how he would appear to passengers in the midst of the crisis and an escape plan that did not include anyone but himself.

As a leader, when you begin to exhibit traits of “I like you because you make me look good” or you use people and after they’re no longer useful, you toss them aside, there’s a high probability that your leadership skills need a tune up. It’s easy to spot a selfish leader, they are typically surrounded by ‘yes men’ and can never seem to have ‘good people’ working for them because they are so absorbed in the universe of me, myself and I.

“Leaders think and talk about the solutions. Followers think and talk about the problems.” – Brian Tracy

4. Empower Your Inner Circle

Leaders in crisis don’t throw a fit like Herman Judd; instead a leader has a plan of action, but this starts with empowering the inner circle way before crisis strikes. A lot of time can be wasted when the inner circle (senior management) feel despondent. It’s a leader’s responsibility to ensure his team doesn’t fall apart and crumble under pressure, but we see scenes where Herman Judd can’t hold himself together much less the team and it takes Iris Kimura, his formidable right hand woman (personal assistant) to keep him in line. 

Having an empowered inner circle keeps a leader in line even when they veer off course. A motivated team will do what it takes for success and come up with a plan on how to turn negative situations around, which in turn naturally makes the leader look good.

Even when there is no current solution at hand like the crew and passengers of the space cruise ship were experiencing, it is still important for the leadership team to stay motivated enough to want to work together to come up with a solution that benefits all and that can only happen when this behavior is modeled from the top down.

After all, it is said that in the face of adversity character is built and truly this can be said of leaders as seen even in the quirkiest of characters on Avenue 5.

Lola Salvador Akinwunmi is a writer, global consultant, leadership & reinvention strategist with a passion for helping professional women navigate the ever-changing leadership landscape. She brings more than two decades of corporate experience to her clients on their journey to uncover the next stage in their lives. As the founder of LolaSal, Inc., Lola elevates professional powerhouse women to their next level. Her award-winning clients have gone on to speak on stages; get awards in their careers and media features.

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How to Ignite the Spark Within for Future Success

All of us come to this world with our own reserve of magic unfortunately, not everyone can unleash it



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What is it that makes some people great leaders while others remain followers? What magic do they have that others don’t? What special blessing gives them the power to bring significant change?  (more…)

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Your life is dictated by beliefs and biases that drive your thinking, behaviors, and decisions



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How to Break the Cycles of Mediocrity and Manifest Your Greatness

There is no greatness without becoming and there is no becoming with authenticity



Image Credit: Midjourney

In just a few weeks, we will be wrapping up 2023. Can you believe it? This year has been absolutely incredible for me.

I have seen amazing doors opened, new relationships formed and I am seeing dreams realized in my life. While this seems like the hallmarks of a great year, this has also been the most challenging year of my life. With all of the change happening in my life, I have been forced out of my comfort zone and challenged to grow in every area of my life.

I can truly say that I have made the most of my moments this year and I have used everything as a catalyst for maximizing my greatest potential.

As a revolutionary leader, I have the pleasure of consulting and advising leaders around the world to fulfill purpose, realize their greatest potential and make an impact.

I want to share some insights with you that will help you to break cycles of mediocrity and manifest your greatness

Everything legal must come through the matrix

I am sure that some of you are wondering why I am using the term matrix. However, what you have to understand is that I am trying to make a highly complex spiritual principle practical to understand.

Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, every life has an origin and I believe that origin is divine and begins with eternity. You are birthed from eternity and into time to fulfill a unique purpose and assignment in your lifetime and generation.

The matrix is simply the portal or vehicle that brings something out of the invisible realm and into tangible form. The problem with much of the teaching today is that it excludes the matrix. We are told to believe that success is instantaneous and overnight.

Nobody talks about how a dream progresses through stages beginning with visualization and ultimately culminating in manifestation. Without a matrix or portal then everything that you attempt to birth and build will be illegal.

The matrix not only makes you legal but it gives you the authority and power to function as the greatest expression of who you were created to be. 

Every matrix has an incubation process

While many people admire and respect me today, I remember a time when nobody knew who I was or the significance of my message. How did I get to where I am today? I got here through an incubation process.

In other words, everything that has been destined for your life is incubating and awaiting a set time of manifestation. The problem is that most people live their entire lives idle and never initiate the incubation process.

What do I meany by that? Most people are living reckless and very few people are living intentionally. I am amazed at the number of people I have conversations with that have no vision, goals or strategies for their lives. They show great promise and they have undeniable potential.

However, without development they will die with their dreams still in them.

Everything that has been destined for your life must be incubated and converted to become realities born to time. 

“Visualize this thing that you want, see it, feel it, believe in it. Make your mental blueprint and begin to build.” – Robert Collier

You must give expression to that which is not yet born to time

When you think about a matrix or a prophetic incubation process, you have to understand that potential is often unrealized and untapped. In other words, your potential is in raw form and your potential cannot serve you as long as it is untapped.

The thing that makes me valuable is that I have the ability to convert potential into power. I have done it in my own life and I have empowered leaders around the world to do the same. How do you convert potential into power?

First, it is important to note that you have to perceive potential. If you cannot perceive your potential then you can never cultivate your potential. In addition, you must take the time to cultivate your potential. We often get excited about our capabilities; however, we never expand our capacity in order to realize our greatest potential.

In other words, the strength of your potential is only discovered through your willingness to stretch. The more we are challenged the more we are empowered to expand our capacity for greatness. Most of all, you must begin to express your potential. The expression of potential is different for every person.

For example, the expression of my potential is best demonstrated through the thoughts, ideas, products, services, books, etc.

For another person the expression of potential may look like a screenplay, artwork, sports, scientific discoveries, medical breakthroughs, etc.

Regardless of the form of expression, I know that you will live empty and unfulfilled until you make the decision to express your potential. The expression of your potential gives voice to your dreams, life to your vision, significance to your moments and activates your true power.

You must manifest your greatness

As a revolutionary thinker and leader, my work has impacted people around the world. I am grateful that my life is a source of empowerment to so many people. However, before anyone could ever benefit from my life, I had to make a non-negotiable decision to become who I was born to be.

I wish I could tell you that this journey is easy and that you will get there overnight. However, in a world that celebrates us for doing we are often criticized for being. As a result, I wasted a lot of time trying to be who other people wanted me to be instead of being who I was born to be.

There is no greatness without becoming and there is no becoming with authenticity. It is through our bravery to be vulnerable that we ultimately manifest our greatness. We do not bless the world by being a duplicate. We bless the world when we honor our difference. When you honor your difference you honor your potential.

Ultimately, your difference is how you manifest your greatness.

When you present anything but your authentic self to the world, you are playing small and you are robbing the world of your significance. Manifesting your greatness requires you to master your gifts.

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