Friday, June 30, 2017

Does hate talk work?

I think many today assume unfortunately that bullying is going to happen in the locker room with adolescents but definitely not in the Oval Office! How is it possible that anyone would ever make an excuse or attempt an explanation to defend someone who continues to attack women in the most sadistic fashion. The words of my mom will always ring in my ears, ‘If you have nothing nice to say then DON’T SAY ANYTHING AT ALL!’ Does combating verbal fire with verbal fire quench the political battle before us? Does hatred and out right animosity make the world a better place?

I am amazed at how one of the commentators made the statement that the issue with the individual in the Oval Office wasn’t about tweets but about character. This struck me that the person who truly has a passion to pursue being all about value and character doesn’t seek to defend themselves but is willing to walk away and let the truth speak for itself! The only reason a person continues to hurl vitriolic talk is that they fear being exposed.

A week ago I had someone slam me for providing disciple to a youth by having this parent come and get their kid for unruly behavior. I was floored when the response was how bad I was as if I had caused the drama. The issue that struck, much like the tweets about a morning talk show host, was that this individual used foul mouth demeaning terms. Initially I couldn’t believe it but knew I had to let go and not respond.

I get it that when someone bad mouths you that the natural tendency is to respond in like fashion. The difficulty is that hate talk only begets hate talk whether that’s on Facebook, Twitter or any social media platform. The opportunity is to rise above the fray and be positive in the face of full out negative dissing. I was impressed by a group of Women Senators who regardless of party affiliation spoke and simply said ‘STOP IT’ this is beneath the dignity of the office.

What happens when the most powerful person in the universe chooses to hate talk and becomes the example for the youth of tomorrow? I can’t fathom having a discussion with my grandson in 4 years about respecting the office of the United States President but not approving of the actions of the individual. How tragic, sad and crazy that this type of discussion is taking place.

Why does a person choose hate talk as a platform of self-expression? Is it because of insecurity and fear of others discovering their true self, warts, zits and all? What ever happened to ‘turning the other cheek’ and being able to develop a thick skin that allows crazy stuff to roll off? Revenge has become the law of the land sadly. If someone hits you then the choice is whether you come back with a weapon or a big cousin to bring supposed justice.

Simply put by many yesterday, ‘STOP IT!’. Yes, an apology would help but at least recognize the continuing damage you are doing to our country and especially women!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

What is real leadership?

Real leadership isn’t measured by a salary, newspaper article or how many millions of followers ‘you’ have on social media. The real test of leadership is whether you are willing to do the behind the scenes work with no credit regardless of the outcome! I’m so fortunate to be around a group of seniors who continue to ‘blow me away’ by their true servant leadership skills. It’s true that they won’t be known for their covert work behind the scenes except for those they have helped and loved without expecting anything in return.

The real determinate of a person’s character isn’t what they do out in the public but what they do behind closed doors without any photos or desire to get attention. I know that working with kids, teens and young adults that come out of unfortunate situations won’t get national attention. My desire is to fly underneath the radar to be an influencer that helps others see that going the extra mile for someone that is usually forgotten is what life is all about. The challenge is that the culture of today is all about getting attention, credit or a reward and too often about being right.

So, what is real leadership truly about? Is it about being busy, counting the number of appointments you have in a week or just maybe slowing down to invest in a few not many people to see your life and theirs turn around and get better? I have been so fortunate to be around a few who have taught me so much about servant leadership and the reality that few will follow a bossy leader or have their life transformed. (Yes, I confess to being an Apple fan but not someone that raises Jobs to near divine quality in leadership.)

 A servant leader is willing to sacrifice himself in so many ways that the needs of others automatically come to the forefront. This person knows that life change comes through hard work, self-denial and an openness to learn from another. The opportunity is for servant leaders to be humble coaches who are willing to walk alongside of others who are struggling and do it without making them feel inferior. It’s amazing what can happen when you choose to be all about being a helper without getting any recognition. Imagine what life in the business sector would be like if few were into stepping on top of each other to get to the top of the corporate ladder?

I have a close friend who is practicing servant leadership by choosing to train an older teen about his business. I know that ultimately my friend is taking a risk in that this teen wasn’t the fastest learner initially but now is making awesome progress. Too often leadership is totally defined by how many followers you have, yet, in this context the power of helping one is where most life sees change and transformation!

Time to rebrand and redefine leadership that sees the relevance of the individual and not equating numbers of followers with being successful. Think what will happen when a father chooses to be that servant leader to his son or daughter? Imagine the impact in today’s world if our children are valued more than our business or personal choices? Just as the incredible need to be a big brother/sister or mentor to an at risk youth or consider being a foster parent will change the face of our planet!

We Rise By Lifting Others UP!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Don’t forget your dad!

Are dads usually forgotten or underrated in contrast to moms? I know that Mother’s Day Cards sales are right up there with Christmas, Easter and Valentine’s day. I know that my mom was truly the center of my life because my dad was gone most of my ‘teen hood’ flying missions in Vietnam to protect his country and family. I was almost totally unaware of the type of childhood my dad was raised around. It wasn’t until after my mom’s battle with cancer over an eight-year period that I could better appreciate my dad’s passion to not allow the bad stuff in his life to color my life.

My mom was an attention getter who was fearless when it came to making new friends or being willing to see the stranger in need. My dad on the other hand was quiet, private but very thoughtful in a way that didn’t strike me until later in his journey with Dementia. My hope is to encourage all of us to better understand the different roles that moms and dads have to be more able to say I love you and some big thanks!! My dad was always a very positive person who grew up with a stepdad that was always negative towards him. Yet, I have no memory of my dad putting anyone down but was always there to help.

I will never forget towards the end of my dad’s life that a close friend from his military days came to visit. Little did I know that Bill D’s visit would give me a window into a dad I didn’t totally know. As my dad’s younger friend shared how my dad had walked alongside of him during a dark period of his life that he wouldn’t have survived as an aviator in the Air Force. I was totally taken back when Bill D sent me an essay he had written about my dad on his persistence and push for him to always pursue doing the impossible regardless of how long or how much effort it took. Simple message was to never give up!

Dads too often get a bad rap because they are gone because of work, yes today most moms work also and usually are the disciplinarian or enforcer. I have rebelled over the years with at times having to be the bearer of either bad news or ‘You’re Grounded!’ with my own kids. Yet, one the of the amazing gifts my mom gave me was to learn how to appreciate and love someone, i.e. my dad, who was very different from me. I inherited more my mom’s personality of being a people person and outgoing. Whereas my passion for learning and reading was clearly my dad’s DNA in me. Yet, as a kid growing up I saw my dad as this authority figure who automatically demanded respected but as I reflect on my kid pics and my life he was always there and was the one who provided the means and venue for us to have fun trips.

My dad chose not to TELL me what to do in life but instead walked with my personal journey as someone who encouraged and complimented me all the time. Looking back, I’m somewhat confused as to how he didn’t push me to go into the Air Force and serve our country. Yet, his simple and persuasive message was to be a quiet not attention seeking servant leader. He was someone who had a personal and quiet faith. I was too full of my new-found faith to notice that my dad was the one who took us to church, prayed with us and influenced my mom not to be too quick to speak out.

So, as Father’s Day approaches I will look at a lot of my dad pics and remember my childhood, teeenhood and now adulthood without him. Yes, it’s time to praise and thank both our moms and dads for the role they have played in my life!