On My Own Two Feet | Book Review

Extraordinary events often reveal our leadership characteristics. Amy Purdy's deeply personal The Stranger chapter reminds us of Mark Crowley's Lead From the Heart, suggesting we can become much more aware of our energy, the vibrations from our heart, and live a deeper life afterward (p. 6).

Purdy shares multiple premonitions, such as the story (p. 35) of a kid who lost both of his legs to a rare infection, and a most unusual (pp. 6-7) client conversation about "crossing over to the other side," which together remind us of Dr. Bernard Beitman's  Connecting with Coincidence.

This review pieces together excerpts from Purdy's continuing journey forming a powerful, intuitive leadership philosophy, followed by her expressions of love and energy. Later in the book (pages 240-241), Purdy references Neale Donald Walsch, in Conversations with God:

"In truth, there are only two emotions, only two words in the language of the soul. Fear wraps our bodies in clothing. Love allows us to stand naked... Fear attacks. Love amends."

Reading and reflecting upon all of Purdy's story, emotions, and raw grit is necessary for the aforementioned quote to take full effect.

It hits hard.


Let's recall eight elements of a Personal Leadership Philosophy:

What Does Leadership Mean to Me
Describe what leadership means to you written in third person.

Personal Values
What you believe in; such as honesty, commitment, respect for others.

Operating Principles
Description of how you will carry out your responsibilities.

What you expect of others and what they can expect of you.

What you will demand and what you will not tolerate.

What’s important, and in what order.

Personal Idiosyncrasies
Your peculiar likes or “pet peeves."

Your willingness for feedback

A Purdy Leadership Philosophy

"If my life were a book, and I were the author, how would I want my story to go?" (p. 91)

[LEADERS] AREN'T BORN. They're created (p. 177). Leadership is when [we] decide to move forward as courageously as [we] can (p. 91). The only way is the shaman way (p. 54), becoming healers in our community (p. 62). "Leaders are learners" (p. 226) and connect to something bigger than [themselves].

We always have the most important choice there is: whether to resist, or to give ourselves over to the twists and turns of the terrain. As it goes in snowboarding, so it goes in life (p. 212). Each person I've connected with has come into my life for a reason (p. 239). [Let's be] advocates -- and make a difference in the world (p. 157).

A vision is a seed (p. 243). Know that if you envision something so powerfully, then there is the possibility that it can become real (p. 78). [Listen to] that voice, that intuitive sense that compels [you] to do something different (p. 132). We are not labels, we are people (p. 82). When life doesn't go as planned -- and don't I know all about that -- I've learned you just have to regroup (p. 174). "Just understand that no matter what happens in your life, it will make sense in the end." (p. 53)

I keep my eyes fixed on the road in front of me (p. 67). The obstacles in our lives can only do one of two things: stop us dead in our tracks, or force us to get creative (p. 102). [Sometimes disappointments] are just a stepping stone to something more (p. 189). [Understand what we do is] about far more than just dancing. [It's] about transforming how people see their very dreams and possibilities (pp. 220-221).

Don't be scared (p. 7), choose to live (p. 56), and surround others with love and positive energy (p. 56). [Find your] breath of life (p. 53). You've got this. Do what you've been training to do (218). There's always a way, if we're willing to try hard enough to find it (p. 231). Sometimes all you have to do is ask (p. 159), and [sometimes we have to] make our own rules (p. 112).

When we're focused and determined enough, we are capable of so much (p. 105). [You'd be amazed] what a difference two weeks and some serious determination makes (p. 96). You can expect me to ask: "How can [we] make this work? How could [we] fix that?" (p. 101)

Ultimately, it doesn't help to keep regretting (p. 67) and it's a waste of energy berating yourself for what you can't go back and change. [I don't] resent the legs or seeing them as a daily chore, I actually embrace them -- one cute pair of shoes at a time (106).

Let's give [ourselves] a goal, a huge one (p. 92). [During my recovery I set] three goals (or priorities -- pp. 73-74):

1. I will never feel sorry for myself
2. I will snowboard again this upcoming season
3. Once I figure this out, I will help others

Adapt to evolving conditions. Control what [you] can -- and surrender what [you] can't (p. 211).

I never wanted to be boxed in -- and I'm still that way (p. 16). Fill your lungs with the fresh smell of impending rain (p. 68). Stack -- surround yourself with the powerful energy of gratitude (227). We may be separated by oceans and continents, but we all still have hopes, passions, goals and dreams (p. 165).

Always refine your performance until the minute you go onstage (p. 216).

Go Deep

Purdy has gone very deep, defying every doubt she ever had of herself, demonstrating the capacity we all have to do more. Her reference to agape love (p. 241) reminds us of Joel Manby's Love Works, and she goes further: "I've also discovered a fourth kind of love, the love for life itself, and the passion we bring to everything we do." (p. 242)

Ultimately, our lives are not determined by what happens to us, but by how we respond to what happens to us (p. 240). Purdy concludes each of us is energy. And whether or not we know it, we are constantly giving and receiving energy. That energy has the power to either harm or heal (p. 240).

That's leadership.

Thank you Amy Purdy for the wonderful signed copy of your book.

JE | October 2016