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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.

Success Advice

How Your Friends Determine Whether You Succeed or Not




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Can anyone do without having friends? We all have our friends, we share ideas with them, talk together, have fun, and fight. Yes, that’s the baseline of friendship. But, do you know that aside from you, your friends can determine whether you achieve success or not?

There are two things in friendship which are the ability to ”love” and the ability to “influence”. This means you are loved and you are influenced. How do your friends affect your success in life? How are they one of the biggest deciding factors of your success? Let’s find out.

What type of friends do you keep? 

First, what type of friends do you keep? Who do you call your best friend? There are two different kinds of friends, good friends, and bad ones. A lot of people have lost their pathway to success and some have also found their road to success all because of the friends they keep, the people they mingle with. 

Who is your best friend? Answer carefully. Having a best friend means you find each other compatible and understanding. Analyze who your best friend is. If your best friend has not motivated you to do something positive, if who you call your bestie has never given you positive advice, lastly if your best friend has never informed and advised you on your shortcomings, then you don’t have a best friend.

This quote tells us “birds of the same feather flock together”. Countless people have changed from their good nature into a bad one all because of friends. One thing to note is, “negative people move with negative aura”. If your best friend is filled with negativity inside-out then you will surely be affected by his/her negative aura.

They influence your success with positivity or negativity 

The friends you keep can either influence you with positivity or negativity because your friends have the power to change your kind of person completely. 

This is how your friends influence you:

  1. They influence you indirectly with what they do
  2. They influence you directly by teaching and giving you advice 

Yes, that is how they influence you. For instance, you watch a movie and you like the way the actor walks. The question is if you truly like the way the actor walks, won’t you try to imitate the actor? Of course, you will.

Just the way you imitate the actor is the same way your friends can influence you with their character. However, the funny part is, they don’t have to teach you to do things like them. You just find yourself imitating and copying them gradually.

An important question to ask is, are you imitating a good friend or a bad one? If you imitate a good friend then you will be good, but if you imitate a bad person, you will surely become a bad person.

Everyone wants to succeed, a good friend will always teach, enlighten, and motivate you for success. A bad friend will only motivate you to do evil things (smoking, drinking, fight, envy,).

And you should know that things like that are a great enemy of success and even of God. So, if you have these bad elements in your life, how will you achieve success? There is no way!

And also, they can teach and advise you directly. But, what do your friends teach you? When you ask them for advice do they inspire you positively or teach you the bad stuff.? A lot of people have regretted lifelong decisions just by listening to the advice of friends. 

The company you keep has the power to influence and change you. Never forget that a positive influence will teach, motivate, and brush you up for success. While a negative influence will inspire you to become a bad person, change your good nature, and leave you with regrets in the end.

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Success Advice

The 3 Step Process to Building a Profitable Pitch




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As a communication coach, one of the top questions entrepreneurs ask me is how to deliver a winning pitch to potential investors. They want to know if there’s a magic formula to get an investor to say yes and buy into their dream and their business. (more…)

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Success Advice

The 4 Pillars of Wealth and Abundance




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Have you ever wondered what the formula for a wealthy and abundant life is? Many people have. Lots has been written about the subject of wealth creation and living an abundant life. It was a breaking point in my journey and pursuit of success when I found out that there is a clear path to achieve success in life. Thanks to those who have shared their journey, we can clearly see and follow the principles of prosperity. (more…)

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Success Advice

Here Are 4 Reasons Why You Should Have a Podcast, Youtube Channel or Online Show




why you should have a podcast
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Confidence comes from a place of strong understanding of self. After close to three years on radio, I’ve grown from a shy introvert to a shy introvert with an extrovert persona. When the mic is turned on, I can channel a version of myself that some say is attractive, strong, and of course, confident but it wasn’t always this way.

What I want to share with you is what I discovered on this journey into broadcast that you can apply to your life, your ventures, and your personal development. This doesn’t require any fancy gear. It does require a leap of faith on your part because once you go down the road of media; it can change your life.

1. Perceived Expertise

When you go to a doctor, you expect their knowledge will guide them to a solution to your problems. When you have a show, you become your listeners’ doctor. For all the multiple thousands, maybe millions, of YouTube channels, podcasts, and user-created content in the world, each person that gets behind a mic takes a position on their passion, their opinions, and their themes.

They challenge the status quo for the benefit of their listeners in hopes to entertain and educate. With consistency on your side, those fans place you on a platform and give you permission to influence them.

2. Global Acknowledgement

One of the benefits to increasing confidence is when you receive thank you notes from people you may never meet. The feeling of enriching someone’s life from halfway around the globe, provides validation you’re enhancing someone else’s life with your wisdom and your wit.

The very first time I was told I was making a difference in someone’s life in a country other than my own, I felt like I caused massive impact that transcends my circle of influence. When you experience just how much you can cause impact and it comes back to you, it’ll change your worldview.

“Be grateful for what you have and stop complaining – it bores everybody else, does you no good, and doesn’t solve any problems.” – Zig Ziglar

3. Backed By Numbers

One of the most exciting ways to measure success is to quantify your growth. It’s not enough to just broadcast. Having subscribers and downloads helps to know, numerically, how well you’re doing. Word of caution. This can be a way to set yourself up for distress because of number envy but if you understand what the numbers mean; you can control the narrative of the numbers.

The major number that makes most people smile is 10,000. I’d advise it to be 1. Here’s why. As you grow in your industry, so does your reach. If you learned that the one person that subscribed totally changed for the better because of you, wouldn’t that be worth the effort?

4. Effective Communication

While it’s not talked about much, having a show is documentation. You create a dynamic account of your life, your industry, and the pulse on what’s important simply by having a show. When you find a channel to improve your communication skills, you demand attention and people will listen to you. You become more trusted as a leader and people will follow you once they believe you can lead them to their wants and needs.

“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” – Tony Robbins

These insights have helped many people become leaders and, ultimately, move others to their best selves. It’s worked for me and I hope it works for you. At the end of the day, it’s all about showing up and showing out.

Have you ever thought about having a radio show? If so, what would you talk about? Let us below!

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