Connecting Tribes!

I had the honor of being the dinner speaker tonight at Aetna’s world-wide finance team leadership conference in Hartford, CT.  They had 400 of their finance leaders there from around the globe.  Aetna bought a copy of the book NOT FOR SALE for each attendee.  It was really fun to share the story of Pine Ridge and the story of Spasmodic Dysphonia and how both changed the way I thought about leadership with their team.  The theme of their conference was transformational leadership and thinking about new models for leadership that engage the members of the team more deeply!

Here is an excerpt from my talk…”We have been looking in the wrong place for purpose, power, meaning, opportunity and guidance all along.  Leadership does not live ‘out there’ somewhere in the hands of others.  It’s inside us.  We are each the source of our own power.  We each are the leader we have been searching for all along.  Each of us is the only one who can set things right.”

I shared a passage from the book of a dinner conversation I had one night at the Singing Horse Trading Post with my dear friend and respected elder, Catherine Grey Day as well…”Change comes from within,” Catherine explained.  “Our progress as a people must come from within.”

It made me very happy to be a portal for connecting the wisdom of Catherine Grey Day, Dakota Sioux, with the entire finance leadership team at Aetna! :):)

The Aetna team had a great vibe!  You know how when you spend a few minutes with a group you immediately get a feel for the spirit and culture of the organization?  Their spirit of care and enthusiasm came through in a powerful way during my time with them.  The room was filled with talented and motivated people who take pride in what they do and the impact they can have on health care in America.  It made me think…the entire television debate about health care access and affordability is almost exclusively focused on what government is going to do…there is very little talk of all the amazing innovation, technology and fresh ideas coming out of the insurance industry itself.  Instead, the insurance industry is often labeled as the ‘problem’ that the government has to ‘protect’ the people from.  If you had spent the night with me in the Marriott ballroom in Hartford with the Aetna leadership team I am confident you would have left with good feelings.  The room was filled with  talent, enthusiasm, innovation and good values.  It would be helpful if our political leadership would recognize the important work the private sector does to make health care in America better every day.

Aetna’s team was amazing and inspiring!  Made me feel good about the future possibilities for health insurance and the positive power of the people working in the industry!

We had a great time!  Learned a lot!  Shared a lot!

I told them,”only in New England would your motivational speaker be the guy from the local lumberyard”!  Thank you Aetna for being you and for all you do!

3 thoughts on “Connecting Tribes!

  1. Hi Kevin – Congratulations on being selected for that honor….and it is a real honor. I’m curious about how they found you and ultimately decided you were the chosen one? How are you coming on your new book? Good luck with the weather. The first day of Spring is Monday and I will be going to my third Red Sox game. Game # 2 was crazy….they beat the Tampa Bay Rays 19 -2! Barry

    1. Hello Barry! We miss you up here in Maine – but I am sure you don’t miss the weather we are having! So this is how Aetna found me…They have a monthly “lunch and learn” conference call available to their leadership team. The consultant who organizes that program for them and finds speakers saw the article about me in the New York Times. He recruited me to be one of their teleconference presenters. That presentation was well received apparantly but a core group at Aetna and then Aetna reached out directly and invited me to speak at this in person conference of their finance leadership team. It was really fun. I was very impressed by the culture of the company and the high quality people in the room. Go Red Sox!

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