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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

Leading from the Stop by Elias Kanaris

Elias Kanaris was on a routine business trip on 9/11 when his plane was suddenly diverted, along with 37 other planes due to the terrorist attacks in the US. The plane landed at Gander International Airport in Newfoundland, Canada. With only 9,300 residents, the small community banded together to help an influx of stranded passengers that boosted town numbers to more than 16,000. Hosted by the Salvation Army, Elias expected this to be a short layover, but he ended up being stranded for five days.

Elias tells his unique and personal story, but he also adds three additional viewpoints – the locals who fed and housed them, the United Airlines pilot and crew who showed superb leadership and communicated well, and the other passengers. It’s a positive story of a small community rounding together to help strangers in a time of crisis. Elias also shares many life lessons from his experience. It’s a book targeted at people in leadership positions, but it has broad appeal to anyone interested in this historical day – or just a great positive real-life story.

With the media focus at the time on the terrorism in New York, the Pentagon and Washington DC, I didn’t know about these stranded 38 planes that had been diverted until I encountered this book. Leading from the Stop is a compelling read of this time. It made me teary-eyed in places because it’s beautifully written, and it took me back to all the feelings I had watching the news unfold on that world-changing day.

Leading from the Stop is a book about resilience and learning to make positive changes in times of adversity. Kindness, compassion and the best of humanity shine in this book. Published on the 20th Anniversary of 9/11, this is also a topical book as we face the current challenges of Covid around the world. This book is highly recommended.


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