An African-American from a family of modest means, Bonnie became an amputee at age five. Against tremendous odds, she used imagination and determination to push past the limitations of disability and win a silver and two bronze medals in downhill skiing in the 1984 Paralympics in Innsbruck, Austria. As the first African-American to win Olympic or Paralympic medals in skiing, she has been honoured at the White House during the annual Black History Month Celebration.
More than an Olympic skier, Bonnie's other accomplishments include an honours degree from Harvard, a Rhodes scholarship, multiple awards for her innovations as an IBM sales rep, and a position on the White House National Economic Council. President Obama named her to represent the US in delegations to both the Winter Paralympic Games in Vancouver and the Summer Paralympics in Rio.
NBC Nightly News called Bonnie, “One of the five most inspiring women in America.” She has also been featured on the Today Show, CNN, and The Montel Williams Show. In addition, the nation's leading publications, such as the New York Times, Oprah Magazine, Essence, and People Magazine have profiled Bonnie and noted her extraordinary achievements.
Drawing on her unique experience, analyses, and signature brands of resilience and inclusion, Bonnie St. John established Blue Circle Leadership with the mission to equip professionals with research based, rigorously tested, easily actionable tools and techniques that directly improve bottom-line business results.
Now, Bonnie focuses on bringing out the best in others through executive coaching and motivational speaking for corporations and associations, as well as writing books and articles.
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Who is Bonnie
Some of the challenges Bonnie has faced becoming a ski racer
Getting into skiing at a young age
Having an amputation when she was 5 years old
Learning to ski on one leg
Training hard and qualifying for the Paralympics
Competing in the 1984 Winter Paralympics in Austria
Dealing with a lack of snow
Was it life changing winning medals
Being picked as a Rhode Scholar
Learning to work with the press
Taking a year off from Harvard
Going to Oxford University for 4 years
Working for IBM and working for President Clinton at the White House
Starting to focus on leadership development
Leadership for women
Writing with her husband
Having to prove herself over and over again
Book: Live Your Joy
Smiling through the challenges
How have things changed over the past 30 years
The rise of Trumpism and the increase in animosity
Self care and making sure to make it at a priority
The downside of socials media
The power of polarising views
Trying to be seen and heard
Building resilience and embracing success
Focusing on micro-resilience
Why resilience doesn’t have to be big things
The biggest challenge is incorporating it into your life
Day to day routine and what that looks like
If you were to give a TED Talk…
Building your own “first aid kit”
Making a choice and the silence behind it - Martin Seligman
I choose to….
The importance of sharing what’s in your “first aid kit”
Figuring out what type of support you need in challenging situations
From training to failure to - training to growth
The power of your words
Reframing things - a great side and a good side
How you can connect with Bonnie
Final words of wisdom from Bonnie
Learning to get up when you fall down
Get back into the race
Leadership - www.bluecircleleadership.com
Listen to the Straight Up Podcast: https://straightupwithbonniestjohn.buzzsprout.com
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