The 21st century hasn’t started the way that many of us expected it would. We’re looking at a potent mix of a global pandemic, global warming, the resurgence of authoritarianism, white nationalism, and war that again threatens to consume the planet. It can feel frustrating and hopeless. And those are just a few of the issues that are pervasive and in people’s consciousness regularly. Still, with all of that going on, there’s hope. We’ve got the resources, the wisdom, and most importantly, we have one another. Tomorrow Together is a collection of essays by David Dye that highlight moments of wonder, beauty, connection, and friendship. It’s about hope, healing, and humanity. That’s the throughline, the thread that runs through all of them. These essays are really meant to be read and reflected on but are also opportunities to start conversations.
Tomorrow Together Episode Transcript
Let’s try something a little different. Hey, it’s David and you’re listening to Leadership without Losing Your Soul, your source for practical leadership, inspiration tools, and strategies you can use to achieve transformational results without sacrificing your humanity or your mind in the process.
Welcome to season 11 of the show. So glad that you’re here and very excited about season 11 as we get going. I know that you’re listening to this show because you are committed to human-centered leadership and we’re all in progress. We’re all growing, we’re all learning. And I’m so grateful for you for listening and for your leadership, for the difference that you’re making for the people on your team, in your organization, and in the larger world.
Now I want to take a little bit deeper dive into the human or humanity part of human-centered leadership. In season 11 I’m going to continue to bring you some of the guests that you’re accustomed to and some shorter episodes focused on answers to your questions or specific needs that I know are out there.
I also want to use season 11 in a little bit different way, partly centered around a new book that I have coming out, which is not a, strictly speaking, leadership development book. It’s called Tomorrow Together: Essays of Hope, Healing, and Humanity. This is a collection of essays, and let’s be real, the 21st century hasn’t started the way that many of us expected it would. We’re looking at a potent mix of a global pandemic, global warming, the resurgence of authoritarianism, white nationalism and war that again threatens to consume the planet. It can feel frustrating and hopeless. And those are just a few of the issues that are pervasive and in people’s consciousness regularly.
Still, with all of that going on, there’s hope. I believe we’ve got the resources, the wisdom, and most importantly, we have one another. If we can find our way to one another, and these essays are all about that in different ways. They highlight moments of wonder, beauty, connection, and friendship and cover everything from Maryland crabs to donkeys on an island in the south Caribbean, storms on mountains, the help of strangers, odd advice, strong emotions, the miracle of a modern meal, gas stations, travel adventure so much more. But it’s about hope, healing, and humanity. That’s the throughline, that’s the thread that runs through all of them. And so over the course of season 11, I’ll take the opportunity to share a couple of those with you. And if you find them meaningful, I would love if you could pick up a copy of Tomorrow Together, available on Amazon and everywhere else. It’s also available in paperback or eBook and feel free to share it with others. These essays are really meant to be read and reflected on but also are opportunities to start conversations.
Kevin Cruz, who has been on the show before, New York Times bestselling author, and the CEO of LEADx, described the book as filled with love, hard-earned wisdom, and thought-provoking questions. Tomorrow Together is a joy to read and a catalyst for meaningful conversations with friends, family, and the strangers with whom we will build the future.
So there you go, a little bit of a commercial for Tomorrow Together. I hope that you’ll pick up a copy, but I’ll definitely be sharing some of those stories and essays on the show as we go. And I’ll also note as a good friend told me who read it, who’s known me most of my life, still learned quite a bit about me, that he didn’t even know. So, there are those opportunities to, if you’re interested in my story and my journey, there is some of that there as well.
Alright, so I want to start with the first essay in the book, it’s called a together future. And I start with a quote from Carl Sagan. This is from his essay Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space.
He says, “the earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in our near future, to which our species could migrate visit. Yes, settle. Not yet like it or not for the moment. Earth is where we make our stand.” And I contend that Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot is the most important piece of writing in the 20th century.
He wrote it in response to seeing a view of our planet taken from Voyager one, the satellite that was sent out as it neared the edge of the solar system. So it turns around, it looks back at the solar system that it’s leaving and Earth is a tiny dot of light from the edge of the solar system. That’s all you can see. He says look again at that dot, that’s home. Sagan’s description of all human history of all known life. It’s haunting, it’s humbling, and awe-inspiring that dot, what he calls a moat of dust suspended in a sunbeam is all we have.
Melba Beals was one of the Little Rock Nine, the first nine black students who registered to attend the formerly all-white central high school in Little Rock Arkansas. In her memoir Warriors Don’t Cry she wrote the task that remains is to cope with our interdependence, to see ourselves reflected in every other human being, and to respect and honor our differences and interdependence. It’s one of those words that can mean so much.
John Green describes it easily as all life is dependent upon other life. And the closer we consider what constitutes living the harder life becomes to define in short, we need one another. The only real future we have is one that involves all of us but that’s hard work.
Back when I was a local elected official city council member, one of my assignments was to represent our city on a task force, dedicated to four miles of road. At the time those four miles of south Colorado Boulevard were the most heavily trafficked stretch of road in the entire state of Colorado. And the task force formed included elected officials, real estate developers, school administrators, business chamber leaders, and people from every jurisdiction department or group with a stake in reducing traffic and making the road more usable for everybody. We considered so many different options, including localized mass transit shuttle lanes that could change directions, carpool clubs, and ride shares in the days before Uber or Lyft. It was interesting work until I realized we were doomed to fail. And the realization happened one day because I heard one member emphasizing the need to reduce traffic because, and this was his quote, it takes me 30 minutes to drive those four miles, and the dozens of committee members all nodded in sympathy.
Well, most of them nodded, I didn’t nod because I couldn’t empathize because I didn’t own a car. I was still in college supporting my sister and I was able to either walk, take public transit or get a ride. Eco-friendly transportation wasn’t my virtue, it was economics. As soon as I saved enough money, I bought my first car, a blue Dodge cult. But as everyone, nodded their sympathy at the frustrating gridlock, a light went on for me. I raised my hand and I asked a question. I’m curious, I said, who did not drive to today’s meeting? One person raised her hand. She was an elected representative who diligently, tried to use the services that she supported. The only other person who hadn’t driven to the meeting was me.
The group looked at me, curiously. Thank you, I said, I ask because as we’ve been discussing options, it seems like our goal is to get cars off the road. They nodded again, but they were less patient this time as they felt, I was just stating the obvious. Other people’s cars, I continued, we’re trying to get other people to stop driving so that we can drive faster. Maybe you start to see the problem here. Well, it seems to me that those other people are going to feel the same way. The only way any of this will work is if we create solutions that we would all use, instead of our cars, because they make more sense to us.
The conversation petered out and eventually found its way back to the predetermined agenda items. But it was a good lesson for me. The only future that will work is one we build together for all of us. And I recognize that defining what will work is challenging. You know, as humans, we tend to consider ourselves unique and special different from those other people. And from a leadership perspective, it holds equally true. It’s a critical question and one we often overlook. The task is to cope with our interdependence, like it or not for the moment. Earth is where we make our stand. I will leave you there for this episode.
If you want more of these sorts of episodes, let me know, [email protected] or you can go to LeadershipWithoutLosingYourSoul.com and there’s a big orange button you can hit and record a message and leave that for me, we’ve been talking about Tomorrow Together: Essays of Hope, Healing and Humanity. Hope you’ll pick up a copy, leave a review if you can, and until next time be the leader you’d want your boss to be.