Tag: Leadership

Strength-How do you measure it?

My granddaughter is a tiny girl. She is 14 years old, and her goal is to reach 5 feet tall. The doctor told her she would not make it and would fall short (no pun intended) by a few inches. She knew she was in for a genetic battle when all of her aunts were under 5 feet.

Her determination is impressive, so she makes up for it in other ways. After spending some time in the weight room preparing for volleyball tryouts, she was excited to share with us her accomplishments. “Everyone was impressed with me today. I can leg press….wait for it…390 lbs.” What? Are you kidding me? Wow! “That is not all; I did 20 pull-ups, but I was embarrassed by the crowd watching me.” Alright, little girl!

Strength can be deceiving! We never know our strength level until we are pushed to use it. Strength comes in many different forms and types. The pillars of strength are physical, mental, emotional , and spiritual.

  • Physical strength: Describes an individual’s ability to apply force or resistance-To to lift, move, carry, or pull objects—the state of being physically healthy and strong-physically fit.
  • Emotional strength: The ability to embrace, respond and process in an open and vulnerable way in the face of intense emotional experience. To transition from one response to another with awareness of emotions, feelings, a sense of comfort, and confidence.
  • Mental strength: An individuals ability to deal effectively with stressors, pressures and challenges and perform to the best of their ability, irrespective of the circumstances in which they find themselves. A willingness to continue to learn. Figuring things out, curiosity and to learn even when defeated.
  • Spiritual strength: Spirituality involves our capacity to dig deep and find the greater meaning in life, to align ourselves with a purpose that extends beyond ourselves, to find relationship and unity with something greater such as nature, God, or the transcendent. An individuals commitment to personal values, virtues and core beliefs to guide decisions.

We have many things to consider when thinking about how to measure strength, how to celebrate the strength, and how to admire others for the strengths they have. If you can get for point A to point B with very little work, is it the same as someone who traveled the same distance with many obstacles, challenges, and hardships?

Take an Inventory

When you have a little time, begin to take an inventory of the strengths you have as a leader. No need to hit the weight room for training like my granddaughter, but taking a look at what areas you have as strengths is an important inventory to take.

Are there areas in your completed inventory you would like to tune-up? Do you find any gaps? Are there areas you would like to improve? It is also important to ask others what they believe your areas of strengths are as you evaluate strengths. Others may recognize strengths in you that you did not realize you had, or they may point out that the strengths you think you have are a weakness.

How to build your strength:

  1. Focus on purpose
  2. Don’t be afraid to make changes
  3. Don’t overthink what you are doing
  4. Stretch yourself and don’t be afraid of discomfort
  5. Set simple short-term goals daily
  6. Develop habits to nourish your mind, body and soul
  7. Exercise your willpower and self-discipline at least once a day
  8. Take care of yourself, positive self talk
  9. Think positively
  10. Meditation and yoga are tools you can add
  11. Look for deeper meanings in what you see, hear, and read
  12. Get out, walk, enjoy nature, travel
  13. Read, ask questions, time to think
  14. Get plenty of rest
  15. Listen deeply
  16. Watch carefully
  17. Engage with others
  18. Experience new things often

Raise the bar

Do we need to raise the bar or lower it? How does this affect our standards? If you are working in a particular field or area and people are not reaching the current established levels set, what is the solution? Change the level, change the preparation, change the assessment or maintain the level? What is the solution?

What is the purpose of standards? Standards are critical to the safety, quality, and reliability of our products. Standards provide the regulations, processes, and services we receive. When we think about standards, we think about health and medical care. We know the people providing care for us have standards they have passed and use to keep us safe. We also believe the same thing about our educational services. There is no area where standards are not vital.

Recently, we have heard the news of shortages in the teaching field. Standards are being changed or lowered to accommodate this need to allow additional individuals to join the educational force. Other areas are having difficulties in finding people to fill their open positions as well. How will this work to accommodate the standards established for the regulations, processes, and services we receive for safety. Do we lower standards, change standards, or what solutions do you have?

The shortages of pilots are causing the airline industry to make decisions on how to change the standards, raise the retirement age, increase pay, and cancel flights to try to keep pilots on duty.

Lowering standards can be found in the education world as community colleges found lowering standards still had a higher failure rate. Preparing students to be college and career ready does not seem to be meeting these low standards, so the solution to lowering standards is a deeper issue. We need to look at the preparation of students coming from high school to college and then from middle school to high school. Where in the chain is the link the weakest? What do we need to strengthen? Meeting these low standards needs to happen first.

Do you know of other areas standards have been changed? What does this mean? What is your opinion? Please share your thoughts as we look for solutions to solve the many levels of the issues uncovered with standards.

Pieces will fit

Do you have a childhood memory of something you did with your family? One of my memories is opening a box full of different shapes, colors, and a picture to follow as you put the pieces together. Putting jigsaw puzzles together was one of those memories from my childhood. We enjoyed many hours working together to fit the pieces together to finally see the pieces fit together to create the picture on the box.

My daughter was able to enjoy this with her grandparents and with us. Now it is passed down to my grandchildren. When working on fitting the pieces together, you can accomplish so much more!

Building together

In our “connected” world today, we forget how to make the connection with the people in our lives through face-to-face time. Building time together can be valuable, and we must prioritize this as a non-negotiable time. Sitting around a table together thinking, problem-solving, talking, laughing, and engaging in real-time conversations is essential in building trusting relationships.

The puzzle pieces are not just on the table in front of you, but in the makeup of the relationships, you are forming with those sharing the table with you. Inviting those to share a seat at your table is the first step in fitting the pieces into positive relationships.

Two Rule Philosophy

Two Rule Philosophy helps everyone to be safe and good. Two basic needs we all have, want and strive to achieve. It is my passion and purpose to provide everyone with the tools they need to incorporate this into their lives and most importantly into every school setting to ensure every child is safe. There are many tools, resources, steps, and approaches to take to make this happen, but it is as easy as one, two.

My first tool for you to utilize in your school, workplace, home, organization is one I carried with me from my childhood. I hope to work with Shutterfly to incorporate some additional ideas in my book to present to you to utilize, but currently I would like you to try this tool.

We all fit together!

Currently, you can utilize Shutterfly to upload a picture to create a puzzle. This is a fantastic opportunity to work on building relationships with your team, co-workers, and volunteers. In addition, this is a great way to help your family work to have a scheduled family time with purpose as you work together to put your family picture together. You can use this to discuss a family memory you had on a trip, celebration, or special event. I have done this for each of my grandchildren as a way to work on building up each one by talking about the strengths they have and what we enjoy about who they are as individuals.

Two Rules aim is to have everyone working together to help All feel safe and good. When we can build together, we can tear down the walls we have been building up over the many years and look through the many lenses to see solutions instead of problems.

Complete the puzzles in connecting with All in order to build a collaborative environment where everyone is welcomed, and feels safe and good.

Waste not Wednesday

I am not like most people, I believe. My husband tells me often I am not normal. I rarely turn on the television and prefer to read. In my time of reading and in his time of turning on the television, I have heard about potential food shortages as the next fear on the rise in our country.

As an educator for 25 years, I know children do not always eat all the food prepared at school. We often prepare more than we need because, like in restaurants, it is better to be over-prepared than under. So what happens to all of the food in all places food is prepared and not used? It is thrown out is the answer, I believe!

Just a little food for thought! (Corny pun!). What if we could organize within our communities a way to gather the food not used and enjoy having pot lucks at local churches, parks, civic buildings, or other locations for anyone and all to come until the food was gone.

I would hope we would not have scenes of fighting or chaos but opportunities for those who need a little extra help to gain a free meal, engage in community spirit, and enjoy a few moments of being part of neighborly love.

We need each other now. Step up, speak up, show up and be the solution daily in a community that needs you to be part of it!

Your voice is important

Please share a comment, like a post, and share. Everyone creating a message needs a little encouragement to continue to develop, and it is always great to take a step forward by getting your voice heard. Your like, comment or share could be the one that helps another person!

Be Prepared

Quotes by Brenda Yoho

Keeping words of wisdom in your toolbox will help you when you are put on the spot to answer questions, send a response, or make a statement. It has always been my philosophy to be proactive and not reactive in any situation you face.

We never want to think of a time of tragedy, emergency, or traumatic event, but we must be prepared. The people we serve count on us to be ready and not respond to the emotions that take over in these catastrophic, life-changing events. This is when they need an authentic leader to guide, support, and provide at times of great need.

In my training with new school leaders, I have guided in preparing a resource toolbox of readiness for events we do not want to prepare to face. A few examples are:

  • Statement to staff and students (Student death)
  • Statement to the public (Student death)
  • Letter to parents of the deceased student.
  • Announcement of special recognition to remember the deceased student
  • Statement to staff and students (Staff members death)
  • Statement to the public (Staff members death)
  • Letter to the community (Staff members death)

Preparing for Media

Having a media plan is an essential part of your toolbox. Having your leadership team understand how to respond when a crisis or traumatic event occurs helps to reduce the misinformation and confusion if we maintain a strict communication line. When people go off script and begin to put in information, this leads to people inserting statements unrelated to this event.

  • Designate a spokesperson (For consistency)
  • Maintain an updated folder of talking points for each crisis event until all facts can be gathered for a detailed statement or report.
  • Personal and authentic communication is critical in helping everyone deal with the trauma of each crisis we face. Get in front of the cameras and speak directly to those served. They need your calm voice and approach.
  • Prepare yourself to expect the unexpected. Have a key person or object to look at. Have a folder with important messages you can share: Calm, Care, Consistency, Concern, and Correct information. C’s the moment before it overtakes you.

As a leader, I have had to, unfortunately, deal with more crises, death, and traumatic events than I wish to report. I am thankful for leaders who supported me during some of the most challenging times. We are emotionally connected to those we serve, work alongside, and the communities we live in and love. Gathering your strength and courage to speak to calm others is difficult when you want to bury your head to grieve. Finding your words can be difficult, so preparing them in advance is helpful. If you are reading this and think this would never happen to me, I hope it does not. However, prepare just in case. If it never happens, it was time spent preparing as a reflection of how important each individual is in the world we live in. Every life we serve is essential!

Be the Solution Daily Quote: 6-19-22

Monday always brings me hope and faith. Begin the day with a mindset focused on knowing it is not all on your shoulders. One of my favorite songs is Lean on me.

Continue to have faith and hope as you begin each day! Keep this song in your heart as you remember you are never alone. Lean on me and always ask because we all need someone each day.

Celebrate, Honor and Build

Juneteenth honors the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the United States and is a Federal Holiday. The name “Juneteenth” is a blend of two words: “June” and “nineteenth.” It’s thought to be the oldest African-American holiday, with annual celebrations on June 19th in different parts of the country dating back to 1866.

On February 1, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln approved the Joint Resolution of Congress, submitting the proposed amendment to the state legislatures. The necessary number of states (three-fourths) ratified it by December 6, 1865. The 13th Amendment to the Constitution: abolish slavery.

To learn more about the history of this important time period, look into the details provided in the many resources available. Understanding history is an important part of our foundation. We live in the present, learn from the past and grow in our future by all we have gained.

Stayed focused on building the pathway forward in a land where we all grow together! We are free to enjoy the beauty of the world we build together. Destroying or removing elements of the past cannot erase the important accomplishments of overcoming, achieving, and improving as a nation. Mistakes as humans will always be made along the pathway in the journey of life but repeating them is what we want to erase from our roads ahead as we remind ourselves of the roads traveled. Growing in who we are is in reminding ourselves of the valley we were in and the climb we made. It is not just looking at one picture on the destination being reached. We have to celebrate each step of the climb to celebrate with gratitude all of the work to overcome obstacles, hardships and challenges to achieve.

Thank you Dad!

I look out our back window and I can see all of the pine trees we planted as we first moved to this home. We planted all of the trees 30 years ago. It is amazing to see how much growth they have had and all of the memories shared in this little corner of the world we call home.

To all of the Dad’s we thank you for the memories you have provided and the way you have shaped those over time. All of the work, love and care will be shared for generations to come. Dad’s and Mom’s are important parts of a great team in building a foundation for the family! Happy Father’s Day!

Just a few of the pine trees are on the back side of our property. Right behind the trees, the county preserve begins. We enjoy deer, eagles, owls, pheasants, rabbits, and other animals that find their way to visit.

Solution Weekly- June 19-25, 2022

Happy Father’s Day

I want to send all of the Father’s a heartful message of gratitude for being the best for the children! Dad’s are so important to children and so thankful to have two great ones involved with my grandchildren. They have their dad and they have grandpa! Going to events they are involved in and sharing many memories. Enjoy all of the time you can!

Pieces will Fit

Do you have a childhood memory of something you did with your family? One of my memories is opening a box full of different shapes, colors, and a picture to follow as you put the pieces together. Putting jigsaw puzzles together was one of those memories from my childhood. We enjoyed many hours working together to fit the pieces together to finally see the pieces fit together to create the picture on the box.

Celebrate, Honor and Build

Juneteenth is a Federal Holiday being recognized on Monday across the United States. Juneteenth honors the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the United States. The name “Juneteenth” is a blend of two words: “June” and “nineteenth.” It’s thought to be the oldest African-American holiday, with annual celebrations on June 19th in different parts of the country dating back to 1866. Let’s celebrate and learn more!

Strength-How do you measure it?

Strength can be deceiving! We never know our strength level until we are pushed to use it. Strength comes in many different forms and types. The pillars of strength are physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. How strong are you? I think we can discover more about strength this week!

Raise the Bar

How low can you go? Always a fun dance challenge at weddings! I think we are doing the dance with our standards as we talk about lowering standards in areas. Announcements have been made to change the standards for acceptance into receiving a teaching license due to shortages, pilots’ standards have been lowered due to a shortage, and the U.S. Airforce lowered standards in their flight training to improve graduation rates falling. What other standards are changing?

Your Voice is Important

How do you share your thoughts? Do you comment on posts? Have you shared posts? I would like to know. Your voice is important.