When Right Work Is Service to Others. Meet a Modern Day Hero: Rinaldo Brutoco

04/03/2017 03:04 pm ET

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” - Thomas Jefferson

Especially in these times, we have become acutely aware of the truth of Thomas Jefferson’s words.

Few people personify the concept of “constant vigilance” as much as Rinaldo Brutoco has in his life’s right work. As more and more cuts are announced from Washington for the environment, education, and health and welfare, and as our military budget increases, we are now a nation living in fear. More now than ever before, we must acknowledge those among us who are making positive impact for our culture, country and our world.

A real time hero for our times. A “David” who has consistently challenged one big “Goliath” after another! A professional among whose many partners, colleagues, and clients have included Mother Teresa, Mikhail Gorbachev, Deepak Chopra, Brother David Steindl-Rast, and Arianna Huffington. Rinaldo is a person whose 50 year career has been built upon the value of service to others and tireless vigilance for wrongs and injustices.

At the tender age of 25, Rinaldo litigated and won the biggest class action law suit in the US on behalf of every telephone user in the State of California. Now, at age 70, Rinaldo and The World Business Academy have filed suit against the CA State Lands Commission to demand an Environmental Impact Report on California’s last nuclear plant run by PGE to potentially prevent a catastrophic nuclear accident in CA the size of Fukishima, Japan.

Rinaldo is also a Cofounder of the World Business Academy, working with Deepak Chopra and about 100 other very distinguished thinkers and academics, dedicated to transforming business into a sacred steward for community and global well-being. Among many endeavors the Academy is leading are global efforts for safe and renewable energy technologies.

When I first met Rinaldo Brutoco, over 25 years ago, I was stunned by his passion to help others. He was a Robin Hood dedicated to doing whatever he could to change the consciousness of business whether he was working in a war zone and needing armor or in a temple needing robes.

In my book, Finding Right Work, Five Steps to a Life you Love, I outline the formula for right work:

When your core values, strongest talents, skills and abilities and top life priorities are aligned with your livelihood or work, you are in the right place.

Rinaldo Brutoco’s core value in life is service to others. Allow me to share with you a brief summary of Rinaldo’s service to our world and its people.

Much like an itinerant preacher, Rinaldo “hears the call” of a challenge or an injustice and walks towards the voice. He is an unsung hero who lives what he calls a “value-centric” life—deep values are at the core of his motivation rather than personal gain. Rinaldo’s “right livelihood” in his own words has been “defined by the times I live in”. His core value of service has been redefined by different needs, decade by decade, year by year and day by day. “Consciousness is not a substitute for competence” is one of his favorite quotes because he believes we all need to be conscious and we need to be extremely competent at the same time so that we can construct the world we want to live in rather than live in the world we’ve got. Along with Mikhail Gorbachev himself, he was one of four Co-Founders of the Gorbachev Foundation USA following his multi-year efforts to assist Premier Gorbachev and the Russian people (particularly Russian orphans) just before, during and after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Rinaldo has incubated many nonprofits at the World Business Academy, and he has invested in companies doing good in the world long before others knew they were there. For example, Rinaldo began over a decade ago as the Founder, Chief Designer and Chief Technical Officer of H2 Clipper, which has developed a revolutionary, highly-patented, hydrogen-powered dirigible which utilizes advanced aeronautical, clean energy, and materials technologies.

Throughout his life, Rinaldo’s dedication to service drives his commitment to continuously strengthen his talents, skills and abilities through lifelong learning. His value to others increased as his skill and talent level expanded. He wrote four books and numerous articles on a wide variety of subjects and became a mergers & acquisitions, tax, climate scientist, renewable energy, and communications technology expert among other accomplishments. He became a successful serial entrepreneur with many successful companies in his past. He originally went into business to prove that increased profitability could actually be achieved by consistently doing ‘the right thing’ for the planet and its people. Few would contest that he has proven this given his remarkable track record of business success in small and large companies combined. “The power of business,” says Rinaldo, “is that it can ground ideas and make them real. Business is actually capable of making our dreams real.”

The one sadness Rinaldo has in retrospect, as a grandfather, father and husband, is that he did not spend more “normal” time with his family. Another colleague and friend of Rinaldo’ s who now sits on the Board of JUST Capital (a non-profit he has been incubating for the last four years), Arianna Huffington, has come to the same conclusion and created a global organization to address it called, “Thrive Global.”

Thrive Global’s mission is to end the stress and burnout epidemic by offering companies and individuals sustainable, science-based solutions to enhance both well-being and performance. Recent science has shown that the pervasive belief that burnout is the price we must pay for success is a delusion. We know, instead, that when we prioritize our well-being, our decision-making, creativity, and productivity improve dramatically. Thrive Global is committed to accelerating the culture shift that allows people to reclaim their lives and move from merely surviving to thriving. And, Rinaldo recently launched a new service called “Optimist Daily” that shares “nuggets” of optimistic, “solutions news” stories on Thrive Global every day. It is a way to reinforce Arianna’s belief that re-establishing balance in our lives includes focusing on the “positive”, even more than the “negative” stories which are the daily fodder of mainstream news outlets. Learn more at ThriveGlobal.com.

Rinaldo Brutoco’s accomplishments are too many to list here. Suffice it to say that based on HH the Dalai Lama’s quote, “All happiness is caused by thinking of others. All unhappiness is caused by thinking of oneself”, Rinaldo Brutoco is one of the happiest people I know. He has continuously reinvented his own right work and livelihood based on global, community, and social needs which he either filled or inspired change big enough to fill them.

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