I hope you’re reading this message today as you are about to celebrate a peaceful, joyful and happy Thanksgiving with your friends and family. It’s essential for all of us to remember how fortunate we are in this great country. There’s no place I’d rather be because if you work hard, are disciplined and consistent, there’s always an opportunity.

Lonnie Mayne

In my annual Thanksgiving message, I want to talk about something you might not have heard of, but that serves as an excellent reminder to both do better and be better. A few weeks ago, I had the honor to host at my headquarters in Orlando, Lonnie Mayne, who is the leader of the Red Shoes Living, which is a business, and a movement.

Before founding Red Shoes Living, Lonnie was the head of InMoment, which is one of the largest customer experience optimization companies in the world. Lonnie works with c-suite executives and teams helping them becoming leaders with how they treat their customers, which is one of the critical ingredients for success over competitors. However, Lonnie’s secret formula is his motivational leadership in telling people that by stepping up, they are helping to create a positive and better world.

Red Shoes Philosophy

Like many visionary leaders, Lonnie is restless in that he wants to leave the world a better place than he found it. He came up with the red shoes experience, which is about standing out––as a human being by giving everyone a positive experience. Ultimately, the human experience is what defines our lives. How we treat ourselves and those in our lives, or even around the world, is what matters each day. The red shoes philosophy is about being leaders, businesses, and people so we can make the world a better place; it’s a way of life.

I write about Lonnie today and the Red Shoes Living way because we live in a world that seems to be filled with negativity. That has to stop. We have to get back to the place where we all care about each other, no matter where we’ve started in life. Seeing how we spend our days, not only in this country but also in other nations around the world, sniping at each other because we have different experiences, religions, ethnicities, gender identities, political ideas or whatever else is just wrong. Each of us plays a part in bridging the divide and Thanksgiving should serve as a reminder that we have to treat others with consideration and respect.

Red Shoes Experience

Every one of us can join the red shoes movement. As Lonnie says, you can choose to live a life of mediocrity or live by the values that your parents and mentors taught you, which is to be respectful, always to do your best, to be the best version of yourself, to do more, give more and live by the golden rule.

If you were to work on Lonnie’s team, on the first day at work, you would be presented with a pair of red shoes and a letter from him. The red shoes serve as a reminder to be the best version of you, and they represent the experience (e.g., positive and good) that everyone wants to have with the people, organizations, businesses or any other interaction that happens.

The red shoes serve as a reminder of the five truths or realities for living by the values of a red shoe experience.

5 Pillars of Red Shoes

The basis of red shoes living is based on the following five ideas.

  1. Awareness
  2. Gratitude
  3. Everyone has a story
  4. Respect (Kindness)
  5. Put yourself out there.

Thanksgiving Day is a great day to reset your life or re-affirm your commitment to being the best version of you that you can be every day, be it at work or in your personal life. Be thankful today of everything you have, and I suggest that you get yourself a pair of red shoes tomorrow (it is Black Friday after all) to remind yourself to be bold in being the best version of and give others the best experience they can have when they are in your presence.

Author of “Not Your Father’s Charity: Grip & Rip Leadership for Social Impact” (Free Digital Download)


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