Category: Lead Change Group

Make it work!

Today is Monday so what do you do?

Life is changing and time is speeding up.

If you don’t get going, this day will turn into Tuesday!

Each day is a gift we unwrap each day.

This is a statement I always make.

It is what we do with the minutes that turn to hours, hours to days and days to a new week! Oh my!

All of those add up to help describe and define…..

“Make it work!” what a great line! But what does it mean? If the shoe fits, wear it? Another phrase used. Well, if the shoe does not fit, are you suppose to make it work? Could we say instead, “Make it work better!” Maybe we could change it to, “Make it count!”

I don’t know about you, but wearing shoes that do not fit is horrible, and I do not want to do that at all. I also do not want to, “Make it Work!” I believe we can come up with a better way to greet our Monday!

When I first joined education as a teaching assistant in the 90’s, I would greet everyone with: “Good morning, Welcome to Pine Crest Elementary.” I would get laughs, smiles, and giggles. What a great way to start any day! Monday seems to get the moans, groans, and ugh sounds. It is time to change Mondays into more! What if we started with:

“Let’s work better together as we make it count every day!” The choices we make today impact the lives of tomorrow and build the foundation for the future. Thank you for being the solution daily!

F is for family

The school year has ended in many schools, but my daughter has a few more days left with her students. Each year she has a theme and spends a great deal of time investing in designing meaningful lessons that reach beyond her classroom.

Today was one of her letter days. Each letter represents a particular word and lesson. The children always look forward to these days. One of my favorites is P is for pancakes. They enjoy reading, measuring, mixing, and cooking up their pancakes.

She is a special needs teacher who sees the strengths in every child. Her school is located in a low economic setting. Many children she has had over the years have experienced some form of trauma. One of the most critical aspects of the job she believes is to provide positive supports, establish trusting relationships, and help children grow.

As I have watched her teach for years now, heard people describe her as an excellent teacher, and read notes from students and parents, the most crucial thing I see her do is to include everyone like family. There has never been a time in her life when anyone has ever been left out, felt different, or thought they were not welcome. Our family has always been this way, and she is teaching this to others.

Today was picture perfect with matching clothing for the entire classroom as they celebrated family day. The girls even got a little extra attention with painted nails (toes) at lunchtime. They gathered around to take family photos of their excellent school year.

This is the teaching children need in the classrooms across our country. Enjoy, respect, include and celebrate each other as a family. We are all in this world together to make it the best we can and these kids are on their way to brighter days. R is not about race but for respect. Respect for individuals and to appreciate each individual. C is not for critical but for courage. Courage to stand up for what you believe and to help another in need.

I know there is one classroom where children are happy each day. They know the adults at the school love them. The children work together to learn it is okay to be different, look different, and be unique. Every individual has great things to offer us.

I am beyond proud of her and what she does each day for children. She does the same as the mother of three exceptional children. I pray daily she can continue and other excellent teachers continue to provide for the children they serve. Lifting people is the solution and helping them to continue to grow.

Thoughts to ask, Think it Through

Today is a new day! A gift to unwrap full of opportunities! What will it bring today? It begins with the choices I make to start the journey today that leads the way.

As we set out each day in our life journey, our purposes drive us to achieve as we move toward our destination. We need to see results in our daily efforts that are helping us inch closer to the goal.

I ask, do you find yourself stopping to ask: Is it more important to have results or to enjoy the journey?

I ask this question because I have set my expectations to grow my foundation of followers. I have established this goal to demonstrate to publishers that I am ready to move forward with my book. I do not look at this as a task but a journey.

I need results to demonstrate growth as a writer and author. To show people are interested, inspired, and seek to learn more from me. However, the number of followers is not as significant to me as the journey itself.

It would be amazing to have thousands of followers, as I see on other author sites. I am an unknown individual who people get to know about one post at a time. It is exciting when we can connect, and I have had a few who we have had conversations together.

If my words can help one individual, they are worth sharing. My writing journey has provided me with joy. I am involved with so many different circles of authors, book marketers, editors, bloggers, and my list could go on. The enrichment of my learning and motivation is attributed to all of those in my current journey.

So going back to the question to “Think Thoughtfully on Thursday, ”: Is it more important to have results or enjoy the journey?

Can you have both? I think so! I hope so. If not, I choose to enjoy the journey. The journey provides many learning opportunities, focuses on skills you may not have had before, invites new people into your life, and highlights something bigger than you.

What do you think? Do you have a destination you are trying to reach? Is it the journey or the results that drive you?

What is the solution? If you know a better way to get my results to let me know, but in the meantime, I will enjoy this journey. Enjoy your journey as well! If you think I can help you, please let me know. There is nothing I am advertising for sale. Just trying to help other travelers on great journeys to destinations of success!

Why? This is a question I ask daily

I keep myself sheltered as much as possible from daily negativity. It is never good for anyone’s health to keep negative influences in your life daily. However, it would help if you kept yourself informed of current events to support others and yourself.

Statistics of the number of violent incidents, shootings, and crimes are on the rise. It is a regular news item that people become used to, I think; why?

“Deadliest weekend of the year in Chicago: 12 killed, 42 wounded in shootings”-Sun-Times, Chicago. May 24, 2021

“6-Year-Old Costa Mesa Boy Dies In Road Rage Shooting On 55 Freeway In City Of Orange” -CBSLN May 21,2021

“4-Year-Old Boy Found Dead on Dallas Street Was Sleeping When He Was Stolen Out of His Crib, Affidavit Says”-Inside Edition May 19,2021

I took just a few headlines from the news that stopped me. I froze when reported. No words could come to add anything to these incidents.

My solution for these continued acts of violence on our communities across our nation is this:

  • Start with the question, why? It is not because we have guns. Discuss why someone would want to cause harm or kill another person.
  • Why are people angry? In your discussions, ask this question. Think about how we got to the point of so much anger. It is not because of races, places, spaces or faces. It is about human relations! When we teach division, we get division. We have worked hard on bringing people together, and now we are pushing them apart.
  • Where do people belong in your community? Do you know the people in your neighborhood? What do they need to lift themselves up? We do not need to be enablers but teachers. “If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed himfor a lifetime.”
  • In the home is where we can help. Families today have a great deal on their plates. Find ways not to judge, not to be enabling but supportive. Discover what is needed a help them establish these needs.

Action Steps

  • Mental health services available in the community: make these part of your organization’s space, promote a partnership, place positive messages that it is okay!
  • Stop dividing people! No more talk about race, gender, or who you are as an individual to divide us. We will not keep making individuals feel like there is something wrong with them based on their skin color, gender, or who they are. It is the content of their character that defines them. The story written on their heart they portray to the world is “who they are.” I will not spend my life being a color but an individual focused on solutions for all human races.
  • “Won’t you be my neighbor” comes from a time when TV provided children with a daily dose of how to deal with society changes? Currently, there are not many opportunities for children to receive this messaging. As a community, establish a community group. Work as a group to determine needs. What can you do together to support each other?
  • As an organization, establish a community group. Invite businesses, community organizations, police departments, schools, and neighborhood groups together.
  • Generate a list of community needs.
  • Establish committees
  • Action plans/timelines
  • Necessary to keep this statement fresh in front of all members: Families love their children and are doing a great job with all they have to care for them. It is up to us to help lift them up to continue to serve with more. We are not enablers but providers of additional tools.

I am happy to help anyone with tackling this with your organization or school. We all have to make this a priority in order to move forward together in healing a nation from a pandemic with aftershocks. Be the solution daily for a brighter tomorrow.

Life is short….but the week seems long

As the sun rises and shines brightly to wake us to a new day or as we reach to hit the snooze button on the alarm clock, it is Monday! A workweek begins as the weekend is behind us now!

Where does the time go? Just like that, Friday turns to Monday. We get 168 hours every week. For most of us, we spend 40 hours of that time at work. So what do we do with the rest of the time? How much is spent watching TV? How much time do you spend on your phone, computer, or any other devices?

Take a look this week at the time you spend on activities. How do you want to improve? Make this Monday a day where you decide to invest your time wisely. You can track your screen time, maintain a calendar to highlight how you are spending time. Do you want to have more personal contact with others? Make a goal and track it.

Time is a gift with no return. Once the minute has passed, we can not get it back. No one can give you more time, but people can share time. Could you make the most of the time we have? It seems we are creating problems with no solutions, fighting about so much, and forgetting about gratitude. We have so much we can do with our time. Being the solution daily with a positive focus of hope, love, and gratitude seems to work the best for me.

Inner Questions for Outer Actions

As you sit quietly flipping through emails, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sources, you are searching for just the right one to answer a question, provide an idea, or spark your curiosity. We seek information to help us and not to harm us. We do not want or need information that will continue to push us down but lift us.

We need to stay informed and current with the news events, but negativity constantly equals negative results. A change in your surrounding and mindset will help to change this cycle.

I am a fan of the writing of Cleo Wade and in her latest book, Where to Begin is a great place to start! I want to share one of her poems titled only once. The poem reminds us that “everything is a habit” and to look at those we have. She lists out these habits for us to review like these:

  • Fear
  • Bravery
  • Loving good
  • Loving badly
  • Speaking up
  • Staying silent
  • Giving
  • Taking
  • Opening up
  • Shutting down
  • Gratitude
  • Ingratitude
  • Building
  • Destroying
  • Doing things kindly
  • Doing things unkindly

“Which of these habits are worthy? Of this life, you will most definitely get to live only once.”

If you are familiar with me, you know I believe every day is a gift we unwrap. It is full of opportunities! We can choose to be part of the problem or the solution; the choice is always ours to make. I have made these statements for decades as children crossed my path. We are blessed to live in a country where we have many free rights because of those in our past who choose to find solutions we benefit from today.

As you think about habits, choices, solutions, history, today, and the future, how do you see/feel/think about these things?

  • What is your responsibility to yourself? Do you stay silent, or do you speak up? Why?
  • What is your responsibility to others? Are you helping to build up in your community? Do you put others down?

Do you know what you stand for? What values do you have? Do you follow the leader or are you the leader?

There are more questions to ask, but this is a great place to begin. Understanding who you are, your values, and how you model for your community. It has never been easy to stand up for what you believe, but in the environment of today, it seems to be very difficult. We need to agree to disagree, have different viewpoints without feeling like an outcast, debate issues, not people, and learn to listen with open minds.

Emerging Stronger!

When we face challenges, we can find the leadership, skills, discipline, and resilience needed to overcome them. As we glance back at the past, we can see the many issues tugging at our hearts. Then we can feel the pains in our bodies from the battles we have endured. Finally, a light shines through as smiles begin to show through from the masks once hidden from view.

It has been a tough time. It continues to be a struggle, especially for our children. Each day brings us one day closer to solutions.

There is one thing I am optimistic about today. We can emerge stronger if we are wise in our planning. Many people count on your leadership! What we need to remember is not everyone is ready to move full steam ahead. In our plans, we have to make room for the social and emotional part.

During this time, many lost loved ones, dealt with illness themselves, or faced fears at levels we may not understand. What we do understand is the process through which individuals effectively apply knowledge, skills, attitudes, emotions, and empathy is through social-emotional learning. Along with this is maintaining positive relationships and decisions. We can begin with setting positive goals to achieve.

Keep in mind staff can experience secondary traumatic stress (STS). Depending on the type of organization or business you have, staff members can receive daily stress. Staff in school settings are definitely at risk of experiencing STS as children share in many different ways when they have stories to tell.

Solution Steps

  • Provide staff with opportunities to discuss
  • Have outlets for stress relief
  • Have fun
  • Talk about ways to manage emotions and stress
  • Provide opportunities for training on social-emotional, trauma, mental health, and overall self-care
  • Model how to support each other
  • Set up checkups with staff. Check in on them as much as you can

Thank you for being part of the solution daily.

Fundamental Friday

In our lives we have fundamental things, activities and principles that are important to us. We can believe strongly in some as an essential part of who we are or part of our purpose of being.

People seeking meaning beyond themselves seem to be happier, healthier, and live longer. I have no data to confirm that statement, only my observations. I like to think of myself in the category of seeking meaning beyond myself and in service to others. I am happy; I have had some health issues, but I am in remission, which has been a big positive. I have also had some near misses to death resulting in living longer. According to my formula, it works!

The fundamental definition is – serving as a basis supporting existence or determining essential structure or function. Looking at the four pillars of the fundamental parts to our life is : Happiness, Self-Care, Relationships and Health

Take out a calculator and do this quick math calculation. This is “life math.” -Guide to Unlocking the Power of Purpose by Richard Leider

  • Multiply your age x365__________.
  • Then, subtract that number from 30,000, an average life expectancy.
  • Divide that number by 365_______
  • Now you are clear that you have _____more years to live. What will you do?

I know you have heard me say before, but I will repeat it: “Every day is a gift full of opportunities to unwrap.” I repeat phrases and words a great deal. I believe it is important in order to help reinforce the ideas to those you are serving, coaching and modeling for each day. My staff called them “Yohoisims.”

  • “Make it a great day or not the choice is yours to make”
  • “It is what it is, so it will be”
  • “We don’t know what we don’t know, do we”
  • “You have one foot on the outside and mine on your backside if you do not make some positive changes.”
  • “Do you know why you are tired? You bark all day.”
  • Many others to share but enough of the Yoho for today.

Look at your four fundamental areas and decide what improvements you can make. The following years of your life should fundamentally be full of “FUN” “DAily”/ “MENTAL” “Learning”/ “Yourself”-focusing on happiness, self-care, relationships, and health.