Strength, tenacity, and courage under pressure unite Michael Wildes with other extraordinary human beings and are, in fact, the key lessons he learned from his father. As an immigration attorney and politician who serves as the 38th and current Mayor of Englewood, New Jersey, Wildes is at the forefront of cases that positively impact the world on a national and global scale. Wildes is an expert at helping individuals fulfill their dreams in the United States. He obtained an O-1 visa for Brazilian soccer star Pelé, so Pelé could participate in the rebuilding of the New York Cosmos soccer team, in addition to First Lady of the United States Melania Trump. Furthermore, Wildes’s success in defending the immigration rights of his clients allows him to advocate on behalf of all people, including obtaining a green card for English superstar and UNESCO Artist for Peace Sarah Brightman.
“Now is the time for all people to come together regardless of their background, and share their different experiences, viewpoints, and perspectives with one another in peace and harmony in order to build a stronger, more beautiful world for future generations,” states Wildes.
Adding value to the lives around you – and doing it every day in a practice spanning 60 years – is the remarkable legacy of the Wildes family. Wildes shared that his role model has always been his father. As an attorney born and raised in Olyphant, Pennsylvania, Leon Wildes earned international acclaim in 1972 when he successfully defended John Lennon from a deportation attempt.
For the launch of the Exponential Leadership Series at NOVUS hosted at SAP NextGen in New York, founder Kunal Sood invited Michael Wildes to join as the keynote speaker to envision the next 20 years in New York, and followed by a dialogue with myself around his bestselling book Safe Haven in America. In this book, Wildes presents the human face of immigration – the joy of a family and children, the results of fighting corruption, and coming through life and death situations all across the world with phenomenal courage. “We can unite exponential global leaders like Michael with extraordinary citizens in our world today to reimagine our approach to planet, peace, and partnership,” states Kunal Sood. “Opening minds to a new perspective with real impact is at the heart of the work that fuels us every day. Making the impossible possible is my life’s calling,” explains Sood, Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards Fellow/Metcalfe Prize Awardee and Founder of NOVUS and X Fellows.
The courage and determination to defend the rights of others is at the heart of exponential leadership. “When he spoke to the likes of John Lennon in his day, to housekeepers coming to America, to my mother, and my brother and I, it was with the same cadence, the same voice, the same message. Life didn’t change him, he added value to the lives around him. And he adds value every day,” shares Wildes. Michael Wildes embodies both the character strengths and virtues of the leadership necessary for us to be able to transform our world and create a better future.
See Michael’s video interview here: