11
Oct
10

A humbling no-compromise decision

This is a story of courage and extreme generosity – of a leader willing to step up to help another. This is the story of giving the gift of life to a friend and fellow business owner. This is the story of Lisa Cochran, a business owner from Mississippi, and Domenic Cicala, a fellow business owner from Maryland.

Lisa came to Strategies a number of years ago when her business was in the fiery pit of financial hell. When others would yield to the extreme stress and apparent hopelessness of a business in such dire straits, Lisa found that rare inner strength to dig and claw her way back to financial daylight. Through coaching, training and many tough conversations and tears, Lisa not only saved her company, she made it profitable, has paid off most of her debt, and built a “sleep-well-at-night” cash reserve. She has an extraordinary team and a business culture that is worthy of being called “world class.” So much so that Lisa is now one of our distinguished Certified Strategies Coaches and trainers.

Known by her friends and colleagues as “Miss Miss,” Lisa represents the perfect balance of determination and a compassionate heart. Even so, I was taken back when I heard that Lisa had decided to donate a kidney. My first reaction was pure admiration for offering another the gift of life. It wasn’t until a few weeks later that I learned she was donating her kidney to her friend, Domenic Cicala, who was also a frequent attendee at Strategies seminars for many years. I know Domenic. He’s a hardworking business owner and always a friendly face when we connect at industry trade shows. I didn’t know he was terribly ill and that his kidneys were failing quickly.

A few weeks ago, Lisa went to Maryland to see if she was a donor match. Not only is she a perfect match, the tests showed that the kidney she will depend on for the rest of her life is strong and up to the task of working solo.

The transplant is scheduled for November 1st. Lisa will be out of work for about 10 days and then gradually will return to both work and her newly found sport of running marathons. (Lisa running marathons just makes sense.)

The real lesson here is that it takes courage to make no-compromise decisions. I am truly humbled by Lisa’s decision to give Domenic one of her kidneys. I’m also beaming with pride that Lisa’s business is strong enough and her team united enough, to allow her to step away so she can help a friend and colleague.

No-compromise leadership takes many forms but always stays true to its mantra, “If it needs to be done – get it done.”

If you want to learn more about being a living organ donor, visit the National Kidney Foundation at http://www.kidney.org.

You can follow Lisa’s journey on Facebook. Just ask to be her friend. You will have a friend for life.

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Please share your thoughts with me about today’s Monday Morning Wake-Up. Click the Comment button above.

Neil Ducoff, Founder & CEO of Strategies and author of No-Compromise Leadership

Pass this e-mail on to your business colleagues, managers and friends. They’ll appreciate it.

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