A Day of Peace … Well, It’s a Start


International Day of Peace Poster

I call on all warring parties to lay down their weapons and observe a global ceasefire. To them I say: stop the killings and the destruction, and create space for lasting peace.”

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

On this annual day of focus on conflict around the globe, I have some suggestions for your further attention on this and the following days of our lives:

 

GIana Consulting:  

Read Chery Gegleman’s blog series on peace by her and some special guests.  Chery has created a strong series of posts around the theme of peace.  This is not a collection of fuzzy-thinking feel-good pieces, but solid and useful observations about how we can do better.

The Arbinger Institute:  

Read The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict by the Arbinger Institute.  It’s a short book in narrative form with a relatively simple message about how we interact with each other can either increase or decrease the conflict we experience.  Either way, our choice …

Reflection:

Watch this Youtube video about Peace Day and consider the presence of conflict in your personal, communal, and global lives.

Then take some quiet and protected time to consider how conflict affects us all as we live on our shared planet, and identify some ways in which you can act to reduce or eliminate conflict in your own and other’s lives.

Then act on what you have learned.

Be one of the billions thinking about, working on, and praying for peace today … and tomorrow.

“We Are Who We Hang Out With …”


LeadershipMany groups across the virtual and physical landscapes claim to support solid leadership development … many fail to live up to their promises.

I seek alignment with others who are serious about promoting effective and authentic leadership practices.  

The communities which seem to best do this share some combination of these traits:

1)  Strong leadership is clear at the top …

The Bell Curve concept holds true, even when you collect only the best and brightest into a group.  In any group, a general distribution will occur.  The majority clump into the middle and some folks fall at either end of the continuum.  

This is not an indictment of those who rank lower, but just an observation.  After all, even the lowest ranking graduate from medical school has still earned the title “Doctor“.

Strong leadership is clearly in place, through strong and clearly articulated visions, innovative practices, commitment to inclusion, and consistent focus on doing it better next time.  Continue reading

A Few Words About People …


PeopleExecupundit (also known as Michael Wade) is one of a handful of thinkers who I read every blessed day …

Click the title below if:

1)   You are now curious about why I pay so much attention to Michael.

2)  You cannot resist clicking on links, especially when you are not sure where they go.

3)  You already know who Michael Wade is and just want to drop by and say “Howdy”.

4)  You have developed a passion around treating people much differently than most corporate policies and processes do.

5)  You used to work in HR and then found God.

The Reminder (via Michael Wade)

Appreciating another person’s ability to pack a large amount of valuable perspective into a few short sentences in the Heartland …

John


Housekeeper“it is important to recognize that our achievements not only speak well of us, they speak well of those persons and forces – seen, unseen, and unnoticed – that have been active in our lives.”

Author Unknown, but brilliant

The Big Dog in the room usually is one of two types of folks:

1)  The Big Dog who thinks they are the most important thing in the room.

2)  The Big Dog who knows that the others in the room help create whatever is possible.

Our family, our friends, our colleagues past and present, and our mentors, heroes, and inspirations all contribute to who we are today.

Our experiences and culture shape our beliefs, our values, and our attitudes.

One of the most useful truths of life that we learn is the value of everyone’s contributions.   Often, one person – the most visible person, the most powerful person, the richest person – receives the accolades and recognition.   Hopefully, they deserve some praise for doing what they do well.

However, the star actor would be nothing without all the members of the production team.  The President would be overwhelmed without his advisers, assistants, and under-whatevers.   The CEO would have nobody working to make her vision real.

Shoot, we would not even have clean floors, working microphones, data to crunch, or people to listen … someone has to clean, set up, research, and invite, right?

In a more personal vein, imagine the trash not being picked up every week like magic or the food in the grocery store not being sorted and displayed.  Someone is providing utilities to me as I type these words, thank goodness.

Even those people and experiences which are “less than ideal” contribute to the shaping of our own contributions.  Be grateful for experience, which teaches us … sometimes gently, sometimes excitingly, but also sometimes painfully.

A real leader knows that they themselves are not the all … and recognizes others accordingly.  

Lauding someone else’s efforts does not diminish your own abilities.  It might just enhance them and insure that what you count on for your performance continues to appear.

Remembering who contributes what to the modest success I have in the Heartland ….

John

About Chickens, Freedom, and Respect …


It is clear that thought is not free if the profession of certain opinions makes it impossible to earn a living. 

Bertrand Russell

I have been wrestling with something for some time now and this morning, I happened across this serendipitous quote.  My thinking has sharpened as a result

First, I do not particularly care for anyone who is not tolerant of those with whom he or she disagrees.  

This applies to those who oppose equal civil rights for all, which includes marriage to whichever consenting adult you choose and to those who say that I am not allowed to support a cause of my choice.  This allow includes those whose support of equal civil rights fuels overreaction and distrust.

Second, I love the taste and the memories of Chick-Fil-A.  

When I lived in Tyler, Texas, one of my favorite things was to hit the mall (there was only one at that time) and treat my children to that restaurant with the delicious chicken meals and those funky cows who can’t spell right.

It’s hard to give up something that both tastes good and reminds me of happy times.

Third, a hard truth about freedom in any respect is that if it does not apply to everyone, it ain’t.

So make your choices about whether to patronize or not, decide how you feel about gay marriage and equality and act on those beliefs, and be a responsible and thoughtful adult and citizen.

Just remember to give the other guy the same respect and appropriateness you would like to see extended to you when you voice your beliefs and values.

… and that’s all I have to say about that in the Heartland ….

John