Excerpted from The Virtues Project™ website, Linda is a best-selling author and an inspiring international speaker on personal and global transformation. Linda was named a “cultural creative” by TIME magazine. She served on the Boys & Girls Clubs of America National Think Tank on character and the Advisory Editorial Board for the Spirituality and Ethics segment on CTV National News in Canada. In 2001 she received a Women of Distinction Award from the YW/YMCA. As a psychotherapist, she designed teen suicide and violence prevention programs used in U.S. cities. She consulted to Arthur Young International, Hallmark Cards, Hyatt Hotels, the Inspector General for U.S. Health and Human Services, and General Motors. Among her books are The Family Virtues Guide, The Virtues Project Educator’s Guide, Sacred Moments and A Pace of Grace. Linda has appeared on Oprah and many other television shows, including a national documentary series in Canada: “Virtues A Family Affair.”
Leader ToC™ (Thoughts on Character) is our monthly series engaging leaders around the world on character, leadership and more.
Hi Linda, and thank you for graciously agreeing to this interview. Long admiring your work and service, I am very much looking forward to your perspectives on leadership, character and more. Let me start by asking, “How would you describe what it is it you do?”
I am best known as co-founder of The Virtues Project™, a global grass roots movement to bring virtues to life. I’m the author of 5 books on virtues, including best sellers, The Family Virtues Guide and A Pace of Grace: The Virtues of a Sustainable Life. I have retired from the administrative side of the project and now, in my last years, am focused on writing. I have just written my first novel, A Scent of Sage, which is based on the history of “the lost generation” of indigenous children in Canada forced into residential schools. I also write a weekly column for The Cook Islands News called “Virtues in Paradise” and am a blogger.
Wow indeed. Well, I thought I knew you, and I do, but I am learning even now and that is a good thing, lol. Your service continues in wonderful ways. In your own words, “Who do you best serve?”
Truthfully, I have served people of many cultures and all ages through international speaking tours and my books. I have a special place in my heart for the indigenous or First Nations of the world, and where we live now, in the South Pacific, I write a newspaper column for the Maori people.
That is both a depth and breadth of service, globally. In doing so, what are your thoughts on what makes for great leadership?
The most fundamental foundation stone of great leadership is clear communication of a possible vision and the encouragement of people as they build the reality of that vision. It is also listening deeply to the views, ideas and needs of others. A great leader is a servant to the people, the customers, the clients, the colleagues, and the staff. My goal in life has been to make the sacred accessible in everyday life, from the sacred texts of all faiths to the oral traditions and stories of indigenous people. At the heart of them all are the virtues, like a silver thread of unity connecting us all – love, honor, gratitude, courage, justice, joy, service.
Truly, music to my ears and heart… especially this notion of unity. So, what is one challenge you feel requires engaging leadership at this time?
For me, as a debut novelist, now in my seventies, my challenge is to learn and use the full potential of social media and internet to communicate about my book, A Scent of Sage. I am already part of the blogosphere www.gracefulendings.net/blog and am building a new author website www.lindakavelinpopov.com as a gathering place for people interested in the spiritual and historical themes in my novel. The book describes exercises such as Vision Quest, gratitude journal, virtues pick, Medicine Wheel, Ho’o pono pono, healing circle, walking meditation, virtues “Parts Party” and others. These will be made available to facilitators and folks in the healing professions in detail on my new website and can also be used privately by individuals.
I love your focus; centering energies around a single point is powerful. What is the return on investment in facing that challenge, for you?
My vision and purpose — my joy — has always been and continues to be to make a difference in the lives of people. As Frederick Beuchner says, “Our calling is where our deepest gladness and the world’s hunger meet.” I am told by local islanders that my column “Virtues in Paradise” has helped them speak, act and live at their best, to walk their talk, to be kinder to their children, and more mindful of the beauty of these islands. My hope is that A Scent of Sage and all my other books help people to heal the past and create a spiritually authentic, meaningful and joyful life. For me, this is living the dream.
I have long admired those words of Beuchner. I was first introduced to them at age 22. They speak powerfully to me. We share in that. Linda, I am excited for your path forward and thankful for your path to date. It has been an honor to get your perspective and passion and purpose today. I humbly thank you.
It is my pleasure Barry.
Over the coming months, around the third Thursday of each month… we will continue to engage and explore with experts and leaders around the globe. We invite you to join us.
Until next month… peace, passion and prosperity.
Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™
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