Bono Archives, Page 1 of 1
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Aug 2
Willow Creek Association Leadership Summit Welcomes Bono
Bono, front man for the band U2, human rights activist and Time Magazines’ Person of the Year can now add leadership speaker to his resume. 

Bono will join Christian leaders that will address and train an estimated 70,000 attendees located in 130 locations across North America for the Leadeship Summit 2006. Bono will be interviewed via videotape by Summit founder and Willow Creek Senior Pastor, Bill Hybels who met Bono through their work in Africa.

Bono has lobbied world leaders for the cancellation of third world debt and for funding to fight the AIDS pandemic. In 2002, he co-founded DATA, and last yearbono.jpg Bono was instrumental in organizing Live 8, a one-day concert held in ten locations worldwide, and leading the ONE Campaign. Last February he was the keynote speaker for the 54th National Prayer Breakfast.

The Summit theme is

“A Leader sees reality not as it is….but how it might be”

According to its website,

“the Summit has been designed to provide leadership principles from the best leadership experts and communicators available—both inside and outside the church.”

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Mar28
Guest Bloggers Come Forth
Our business blog network, Know More Media, has deemed this week, guest blogger week.  It is actually a March Madness tie-in and seems like a great idea.  IGuest Book.JPG have a few guest bloggers lined up but I would still like to see more get involved.

You don't have to be Joey Cheek or Bono or Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke to get in on this.  You just have to appreciate the influence of great leadership.

So, who wants in?  Leave me a comment below if you would like to be a guest blogger for LeaderNotes.  This is your chance to get front and center on a leadership topic.  It is as simple as you emailing me what you want posted, and I will put it up for you with an introduction of you, our guest blogger.

Ellen?  Roberta? Liz? Greg? Macy? A reader in Battle Ground?  You readers in Italy?  Come on, now is your chance to have a say about a story of greatness, leadership or just making a difference.  I hope I hear from someone if not all.
Feb 9
U2 Grammy Haul
It has been an eventful week for the lead man from U2. Bono addressed U.S. leaders at the National Prayer Breakfast on February 2 in Washington D.C. One week later, he addressed his peers and the the planted audience at the Grammy’s. U2 took home Album of the Year for "How U2 grammys.jpgto Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" as well as Best Rock Song, "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own." Three more Grammys were added taking the band’s total to 20 Grammys for those scoring at home.

"If you think this will go to our heads," said Bono, "it's too late."

Honesty is always the best policy even for a rock star.

Read more about the winners and losers.

AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
Feb 7
Bono Leads at the National Prayer Breakfast.
Bono continues to show up in the strangest places. On Thursday, February 2, Bono addressed President Bush and members of Congress at the National Prayer Breakfast.  His leadership in thebono bush Prayer.jpg cause against poverty is a lightning rod that crosses political, economical, racial and religious boundaries. That is good and I hope that this message can be universal and supported by all. Bono quoted from Islamic, Jewish and Christian texts in his speech.

The highlights are below. To read the entire text, click here.

"Well, I’m the first to admit that there’s something unnatural… something unseemly… about rock stars mounting the pulpit and preaching at presidents, and then disappearing to their villas in the South of France. Talk about a fish out of water. It was weird enough when Jesse Helms showed up at a U2 concert… but this is really weird, isn’t it?.....
……I presume the reason for this gathering is that all of us here—Muslims, Jews, Christians—all are searching our souls for how to better serve our family, our community, our nation, our God. I know I am. Searching, I mean. And that, I suppose, is what led me here, too……
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Jan 4
Worst Examples of Leadership in 2005
I opined in an earlier post regarding Time magazine's choice for Persons of the Year. Clearly the Gates’s and Bono demonstrated leadership throughout the year in their respective fields of expertise (software and music) but won the award for their humanitarian effort and their ability to engage so many in their causes.

There are of course a few cases in 2005 where so-called leaders, failed and I hope something to learn from each. Local, State and Federal governments’ response to Hurricane Katrina was an example of failed leadership and really where this blog got its start.

Leaders find their way to positions of power in many ways. How they use that power often defines them. While many leaders have power, power is not leadership. Power often accompanies the position and is an external symbol. Strength, on the other hand, relates to the character of a leader, rather than his position. Strength is internal. Leaders typically use power to motivate people through fear, while strength leads people through inspiration.
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Dec27
Stand by Right
How do two giant egos from two different worlds collaborate and succeed?  A commitment to a cause and a willingness to put the cause before oneself.  Bono and Gates forge the model. There must be a lesson here.

Excerpts from Time magazine article on 2005 Persons of the Year as posted on the Philanthropy Workshop West shed some light on the partnership between Gates and Bono in ending poverty and offer insight on how to lead.

Stand for right. Don't be defined by perception or stereotypes.

"Rock stars are designed to be shiny, shallow creatures, furloughed from reality for all time. Billionaires are even more removed, nestled atop fantastic wealth where they never again have to place their own calls or defrost dinner or fly commercial.  It makes you think that if these guys can decide to make it their mission to save the world, partner with people they would never otherwise meet, care about causes that are not sexy or dignified in the ways that celebrities normally require, then no one really has a good excuse anymore for just staying on the sidelines and watching. "

Check ego at door.  Start with genuine sincerity.

"Such is the nature of Bono's fame that just about everyone in the world wants to meet him-except for the richest man in the world, who thought it would be a waste of time. "World health is immensely complicated," says Gates, recalling that first encounter in 2002. "It doesn't really boil down to a 'Let's be nice' analysis. So I thought a meeting wouldn't be all that valuable."

Find and focus on commonalities not differences.

It took about three minutes with Bono for Gates to change his mind. Bill and his wife Melinda, another computer nerd turned poverty warrior, love facts and data with a tenderness most people reserve for their children, and Bono was hurling metrics across the table as fast as they could keep up. "He was every bit the geek that we are," says Gates Foundation chief Patty Stonesifer, who helped broker that first summit. "He just happens to be a geek who is a fantastic musician."
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Dec23
Can Rock and Roll Feed the Poor?
I wanted to add a few more thoughts about Bono being named person of the year with Bill Gates and his wife Melinda.

A pet peeve of mine is the celebrity that uses his or her performance platform to promote a cause. This is most often not leadership but rather a celebrity trying to find more celebrity with a new audience.  Too often a performer's message is more about tearing someone or someone’s ideology down rather than building bridges or offering solutions. This approach only verifies a celebrities inability to lead or cause change. Yet, because they are popular for reasons completely unrelated to their cause, they assume we may want to listen. It leaves most of us feeling ripped off and exploited.

Bono has not taken this approach. I have been to several U2 concerts. He does promote his cause but it is all positive. Rather than demean or criticize or point a finger of blame, he calls for a solution.bono wef.jpg He calls for positive action and change. And I don’t seem to mind when he talks about the good that people have done and the potential to do more.

There was some criticism and skeptical commentary about the causes that Bono and Gates were engaged in. Most of this criticism was not directed at them but at a system that doesn’t work. Namely, corrupt African dictators that enrich themselves and further poverty by terror and military force.

From Paul Theroux in a New York Times Op Ed and quoted on Fausta’s Blog

“But we are more appalled by most of the proposed solutions. I am not speaking of humanitarian aid, disaster relief, AIDS education or affordable drugs. Nor am I speaking of small-scale, closely watched efforts like the Malawi Children's Village. I am speaking of the "more money" platform: the notion that what Africa needs is more prestige projects, volunteer labor and debt relief. We should know better by now. I would not send private money to a charity, or foreign aid to a government, unless every dollar was accounted for - and this never happens. Dumping more money in the same old way is not only wasteful, but stupid and harmful”

I would agree with Paul that “dumping more money in the same old way: makes no sense.”  However, I think Bono and Gates understand the issues raised by Theroux.  I can't agree that what  they are doing is a prestige project. 
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Dec20
The Rock Star and the Nerd
Strange bedfellows indeed -  rock start Bono of U2 and famed nerd Bill Gates of Microsoft. Gates and his wife Melinda and Bono were named persons of the year by Time magazine.
 
Time noted that while sudden disasters grab the headlines, other tragedies unfold daily. time bono gates.jpg

"And who is proving most effective in figuring out how to eradicate those calamities? In different ways, it is Bill and Melinda Gates, co-founders of the world's wealthiest charitable foundation, and Bono, the Irish rocker who has made debt reduction sexy," Time's managing editor Jim Kelly writes.

It is fascinating to me that such an odd couple could share this distinction. What is important is not their differences but their shared commitment to make the world a better place. In this they are one. Their hope for a better world brought them together in 2002. At that time, Bill and Melinda happened to be two of only a handful of baby boomers that did not know and worship U2. Maybe that is why it worked.

Gates and Bono play their hands well and use their strengths. Bono uses his celebrity, influence, charisma and unworldly energy to meet and cajole world leaders. His ability to gain access to top world leaders resulted in the forgiveness of $40 billion in third-world debt owed by the poorest countries of the world. To his credit, his issues have not been political. He is equally comfortable and passionate talking to liberal, conservative and in between. His agenda is a solution not an ideology. His aim, an equal right to food and health for everyone.

Gates on the other hand has money. Lots of it. And to his credit, in 2005 he gave a bunch away for good causes. His concerns are education, global health, improving public libraries and supporting at-risk families.

As two pop icons from two different worlds, their reach and influence is far and diverse. Their message resonates as noted at Chingy84

“The coming 12 months are a test for us all - especially the leaders of G8 nations, whose vision and resolve have never been more on the line…..History's judgment will be harsh if we fail, precisely because we are the first generation with the power to succeed.”

Bono Archives, Page 1 of 1
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