Blake Leeper is an unbelievable embodiment of the 5th Quest Belief: You can do anything you set your mind to, without limitation. Blake is one of the fastest runners in the world, a feat that’s astonishing in itself. But Blake has an extra hurdle to clear to sprint faster than his fellow athletes – he was born without legs.
He’s literally a bladerunner, but Blake’s mind is even sharper that his racing razors. Despite his nearly unheard-of condition, bilateral congenital below-the-knee amputees, Blake has cultivated an unflinching determination to become one of the world’s elite athletes. More specifically, he wants to be the fastest person on Earth… and believe it or not, he’s on the right track (and earning medals along the way). His success thus far is further proof that human potential is nearly limitless. Blake is a hybrid icon of our generation, an unprecedented success of prosthetics innovation and a testament of the human spirit.
Some of Blake’s most vivid prosthetic leg memories and mindset triggers actually come from middle school, so it’s immediately apparent how deeply rooted his ideals and ultimate ambitions are. When we talked about his motivational Middle School moments, reinforced by his fearless “Never Give Up” attitude, I got chills on set.
Blake’s pursuit to become the world’s fastest runner isn’t in a subcategory for the disabled. If he qualifies for the able-bodied Olympics in Rio this summer, he’ll have a shot at becoming the first paralympic athlete to ever win gold in standard Olympic competition. Imagine the history-making moment when he leaves those “able-bodied competitors” lacing their shoes in his dust.
We’ll keep an eye on the finish line for you, Blake. Hopefully we don’t blink.
Within 15 minutes of our interview, the world’s leading executive coach, Marshall Goldsmith, displayed in real time why he’s earned a lifetime of accolades. His job is to assess and coach leaders and without me even realizing it, he was holding me accountable to the words coming out of my mouth. It was an eye-opening experience and I hope you enjoy the way he calls me on my need to reward my intelligence as much as I did.
The main point I want to drive home for this episode is to listen to the wisdom coming out of this man’s mouth. He actually practices his teachings and it has elevated him to coaching the CEOs of over 150 major corporations. The most compelling story from our time together is how he pays someone to call and ask him active questions in order to hold himself accountable to his own beliefs.
Accountability is key to Marshall’s ethos and he’s the first to admit that it’s okay to be wrong. Being wrong means you admit you can do better. Embrace your lack of knowledge and see it as a learning opportunity instead of a weakness. At the end of the day, the only person you have to answer to is yourself. If it’s not working, change it.
I remember the obscenity controversy surrounding 2 Live Crew – never thinking to myself that one day I would pick the brain of the man at the forefront of the conversation, Luther Campbell. While now he’s older, wiser and an incredibly inspiring man, the impetus to never accept the concept of “can’t” has always been his driving force. That’s because at the end of the day Luther is and always will be a thinking man.
After spending some time with him I was blown away by his ability to stand back, assess a situation and postulate all possible outcomes without reacting emotionally. This is a guy who faced two choices: End up in jail or take control of his own destiny. He chose the latter. Luther’s career is a prime example of what happens when you get out of your own way and stop trying to manipulate outcomes. When life throws up a challenge, he analyzes it from all angles and makes an informed decision devoid of destructive emotion.
I couldn’t have asked for a better guest to share the stage with. Luther is an inspiration to hundreds of misguided youth in his hometown of Liberty City, Florida because he learned the importance of mentorship at a young age. Liberty City is lucky to have him and so is Inside Quest.