I used to be a Vistage guest speaker. Vistage is an extraordinary organization spread all over the world, which sponsors small groups of businesswomen and men, corporate executives, and CEO’s who coalesce around a theme of making themselves better. Aside from mentoring each other, advising each other, and supporting each other, Vistage sends guest speakers who regale the aforementioned members with knowledge they heretofore knew nothing, or little about, hopefully leaving them wiser and ready to re-enter their own individual lion’s dens and conquer their worlds.

I lectured on getting over their fear of public speaking, the number one fear suffered around the world, more frightening even than the fear of death according to many Studies. It is called Glossophobia, and if you’ve ever gotten up in front of a group of people and had to speak, well, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

The roots of this fear are varied and occasionally truly terrifying. They range from having been demeaned or bullied when young, to deep, emotionally humbling insecurity, to bad dental work and all occasions in between. But what struck me every time I finished speaking in front of them was how welcome they made me feel, these people with whom I had nothing in common. I will never be a businessman. Yes, I do run Magnum Mediation and yes, the business is getting better but I’m pretty much following the lead of those who came before, living off advice and mentorship, exactly like the Vistage members. They were so brilliant, so smart, so sharp, so eminently capable of running an
entire company and they left me in awe. Kindness and brilliance are a potent combination.

This past Monday I mediated for a couple who had custody issues. After the agreement was reached, the father generously wrote a brief review of me on my Google entry for Magnum Mediation, in which he thanked me for my “kindness” which touched me and made me immensely proud. If I can do for my mediation clients what the Vistage men and women did for me and continue to do for each other, then I’m happy.