Before leaving for Nepal yesterday, Mike Thompson, author of the upcoming book The Anywhere Leader, answered a handful of questions for us to provide greater context for his trip to visit some of Heifer's projects. We hope he has a great journey, and we look forward to seeing what's to come.
Brooke Edwards: How did you learn about Heifer International?
Mike Thompson: I've known and admired Heifer for several years and have always been drawn to its mission.
What drew you to connect Heifer's work with your own?
Today's leaders are forced to battle uncertainty and disruption. I define an uncertain situation as having minimal resources, high volatility and complexity. Heifer supports communities that are deprived of sufficient resources and that face significant volatility. With Heifer's involvement, many of these communities experience economic transformation, and some amazing leaders are behind it. I want to capture the stories of those leaders and highlight the results so we can help others apply similar productive behaviors.
How did you decide to visit Heifer project participants?
I don't just want to hear the stories, I want to experience them.
Why Nepal and China in particular?
I plan to visit France and the Ukraine as well. I'll also try to visit Africa and South America too. Asia was a good place to start.
What are you hoping to find on your trip?
Progress and transformation and the leaders and ideas behind them. I want to see glimpses of what once was and of what will be. I want to experience the pride, the joy, the work, the challenges, the people, etc. I want to learn what leads to such transformation, and I want to discover how to help leaders apply some of the behaviors.
In preparing for your trip, what are you most uncertain about?
Everything. I don't even know if I'll get into the country. I don't really know how to pack, if I'll understand anyone or if I can really get close to the stories and capture them well.
Can you tell me more about the training you'll be providing to Heifer participants?
I'll talk about facing uncertainty and how to succeed through the unknowns. I'll present the traits and behaviors that will help leaders succeed no matter what situation they may face.
Don't forget to follow along on Mike Thompson's blog to learn more about his visits with Heifer project participants.