If you were an adult on September 11, 2001, you likely can tell exactly where you were when you heard about the terrorist attacks. Much attention has (rightfully) been given to the victims and first responders but until I went to the Museum I had not given much thought to the survivors. Over 15,000 people recall that where they were on that fateful morning was inside one of the towers.

 As part of the Museum, there is an entire stairwell that was saved for display. Entitled the “survivor staircase” this particular set of stairs remained accessible and was the path that hundreds took to safely exit the building. For many, those steps are the reason they are alive.

The Museum Committee needed to acknowledge the wishes of victim families but also of those who lived through the disaster. The staircase is there in response to that constituent group.

While the steps may be a painful reminder for some that their loved one did not survive, they also represent redemption for those who did escape. Everyone experiences life from a different perspective. Take care to honor the multiplicity of emotions and views when telling your story.

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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