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Good Leaders: What makes your heart swell today?

Bonnie Otting held a family Bible, while her husband Joseph Otting was sworn-in as the Comptroller of the US Currency by Steven Mnuchin. Melinda and I were honored to be included in the ceremony.

Every Monday morning we have a scheduled review meeting in our firm. It takes a lot of coordination to produce world-class coaching, speaking, books & tools, and events. Typically we look ahead six weeks to ensure we’re ready for whatever life brings our way.

The email invitation.

The Monday of Thanksgiving week we received a huge surprise. An unusual email invitation popped into our inbox: The Secretary of the Treasury of the United States of America, invited me to Washington D.C. to attend the Swearing-In Ceremony for the Comptroller of the United States Currency. Melinda and I dropped everything to say, “Yes!”

Rare air

1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington D.C. is rare real estate. And Joseph Otting is a rare leader. He and I met when I was assigned to be his executive coach 15 years ago. He was one of the top 15 leaders at US Bank – a commercial banker living and working in Los Angeles. Our relationship has been consistently intense since then.

The Cash Room, inside the Department of the US Treasury, 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C.

He was nominated by the Secretary of the Treasury because of their relationship in building One West Bank in California. He’s endured the most intense scrutiny of the court of public opinion and survived – even garnering votes from the other side of the aisle.

Exactly one week after accepting the invitation, Melinda and I were standing in the security line at the US Treasury Building – flanked by armed military police and Secret Service who never smile. Upon entering the Cash Room, we were greeted by Mr. Otting’s family and a small collection of personal and professional friends.

Whether you swing from the left or right of the political plate, we all want more goodness in Washington. Joseph Otting radiates goodness. He’s happy, fair, tough-mind, and warm-hearted. And he’s on a mission to make the US banking system more friendly to the lowest earning families. He hates the fact that nearly 1/3 of the people in America don’t qualify for the services of a bank – so they turn to Walmart and/or check cashing services. That’s just not right.

Looking back, we can still feel the sensory overload and heart-swelling pride. It was magical to see Bonnie Otting holding a family Bible, while Secretary Mnuchin asked her husband Joseph to uphold the US Constitution. Rare air.

Despite all the dark noise that’s emanating from Washington, there are good people there who really care about the American Dream. It’s goodness. And I’m damn glad to know the US Currency is in good hands.

Good leaders show up for people they believe in. And they drown out the dark noise by believing Goodness Pays.

Please share with me: What makes your heart swell today?

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