A little over a year ago, we posted a blog reflecting on the extraordinary leadership witnessed after Hurricane Harvey.  Today, the East Coast is currently facing a devastating blow from Hurricane Florence’s perilous conditions.  Given the current events, we are re-posting last year’s blog.  May it bring some courage, hope, and inspiration.  Visit American Red Cross to learn how you can help.

As we get news of Hurricane Irma barreling towards Puerto Rico and making its way towards Florida, we barely have time to catch our breath from Hurricane Harvey. Harvey has been described as unprecedented and beyond anything experienced in the United States, and the aftermath brings a long, slow, and expensive process to rebuild homes and entire communities from the ground up. Our hearts go out to everyone who has been affected by this catastrophe and those in the path of Hurricane Irma.

When reflecting on the devastation and chaos born out of natural disasters, it never ceases to amaze me that out of those situations always arise ordinary people coming together to do extraordinary things.

You may have heard the story of people forming a human chain to save a pregnant woman, or the group of civilians from Louisiana called the Cajun Navy who caravanned out into the floodwaters to rescue folks by boat, or the brave people who mobilized to help animals that were scared, hungry and alone. And there are many, many more. The stories of people putting aside their differences to rescue and rebuild, truly exemplify what leadership is all about.

At InnerWill we live by our own values: hope, compassion, courage and significance. Applying those values, we inspire awareness that anyone and everyone can learn to be a better leader. We inspire action with engaging tools that ensure the learning process is ongoing. And we create an inspired community that is connected and mutually supportive.

The inspiring and tireless work of those who are stepping up to provide comfort, assistance, and support in Harvey’s wake is evidence of the courage and compassion, hope and significance that we talk about so often at InnerWill. People coming together in the spirit of generosity and collaboration is what enables Values Based Leadership to thrive. And it’s a good reminder for all of us that it needn’t take a disaster to step up as better leaders at work, at home or in our communities.

Think about how you can bring values based collaboration to your life – perhaps it’s simply encouraging participation from a colleague or appreciating what a family member brings to the table. Consider how to break down silos and develop the skills and capabilities necessary to build strong teams who are ready to tackle tomorrow’s challenges. Focus on a common goal and maximize your effectiveness. And remember, we’re only as strong as the sum of our parts.


Betsey Fortlouis

Betsey Fortlouis

Betsey has dedicated over 15 years of her career to driving awareness, support, and funding to nonprofits of all sizes. She is passionate about relationship building and believes that scalability and sustainability are at the center of an organization’s success. As our Director of Development and Partnerships, she is responsible for building partnerships and fostering connections with individuals, foundations, and corporations to advance InnerWill’s mission.

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