Today marks the 6th Ice Bucket Challenge I've taken for ALS Awareness. "Super Carpe Diem Woman" is dressed in a bathrobe, representing the time her "secret identity" was sick at home, and received a phone call from Former CEO and co-founder of Sun Microsystems, Scott McNealy.
When Scott did call me in 2004, I was sure it was a prank. It was hard to believe that the CEO of a major corporation would take time out of his busy schedule just to call someone on medical leave to "cheer her up." But Troy Wright, who was on my team, had emailed Scott and given him my phone number and suggested he give me a call! What a surprise!
That's not the only time Scott McNealy impressed me with his generous heart. When I asked for a congratulatory letter for my son's Eagle Scout ceremony, Scott personally delivered it to the Broomfield office so I would have it in time for the event.
Scott McNealy was always a leader I greatly admired. "Kick butt and have fun" was one of his mottos and I loved the playful spirit that he instilled in the organization.
I remember being inspired once by a speech he gave about leadership. I don't remember the entire story but the moral of the story was something like this: It's easy to be positive when things are good, but truly inspirational leaders stay positive when things are not so good, and find a way to make things better.
I've thought of that lesson often over the years, and especially in witnessing Craig's positive attitude in the face of ALS. It was incredible to me how he could continue to find joy and humor in the face of such a devastating disease.