Today is my mother’s birthday! No, I am not going to tell you how old she is. I want to share with you some great ways that she has helped me in life other than giving birth to me. She instilled in me a love for languages and other cultures at a young age. (I am now a Spanish Instructor for a living.) She helped me develop leadership skills by giving me challenges to face in life at a young age that were within my ability to achieve. She helped me develop a solid work ethic by giving me chores to do as soon as I was old enough to walk. She helped me with life skills like learning to cook, clean, do laundry etc. She told me that I wouldn’t always live under my parent’s roof and would need to be able to do those things for myself. She taught me to drive. All in all, I have an awesome Mom! Thanks for everything Mom!

 

 

One of the struggles that the American public seems to have with our current crop of politicians on both sides of the isle is that they are afraid to lead. When decisions are based on opinion polls instead of what the politician knows is the right thing to do, then our country is in trouble.

Leaders do something that most are afraid to do. Simply put, they lead. They take a stand even when it is the unpopular thing to do. They move an organization (or country) forward with vision and inspiration for the future.

Will you lead? Or just follow the polls?

 

Recently, there has been a lot of conflict in the news. Gay marriage and the “Rebel Flag” conflicts are two that come to mind. One thing that I have noticed in these and many other conflicts is that when people encounter someone who holds the opposing viewpoint, there is a growing tendency to simply label the other side as stupid, ignorant, a fool, etc. The truth is that well meaning, intelligent people often have opposing views. When that view is held by a passing stranger, it isn’t such a big deal, but when that view is held by a business partner, coworker, family member or other person with whom you have regular contact, it is important to separate the viewpoint held from the person who holds that view. Learning to disagree without being disagreeable is an important skill. It is a skill very worth learning.

Will you take the time to get to know that person before trying to shout them down? Maybe she isn’t such a cold hearted wench just because she holds a different view from yours. Maybe he isn’t an ignorant backwoods redneck just because his idea differs from your’s. Not all people seem capable of being reasonable, but for those of us who live in society, it is a great thing to be friends with those who hold other ideals.

What could happen next? (The KKK and Black Panthers have a hug fest?)

 

 

I am in the middle of planning my wedding. There are many things to get done, but the important thing to remember is that it isn’t just about one day and the party. It is about the marriage for a lifetime. Each day, each new day, we have to fall back in love with each other all over again.

In careers, like in many marriages, people fall out love with their passions. It is important to push through the dip, that time when you just don’t feel like loving anymore. On the other side of the tough time is a deeper love and passion for what you want to do with your life and you will be stronger for it!

Do you remember what made you smile? Those dreams of a better tomorrow? Do you remember when you woke up excited about the project you are now drudging through? What was it that made you love it then? Can you find it again?

 

Are you maintaining the status quo? Or are you pushing for something new? Leaders have to lead somewhere. If you are leading toward the average, then people don’t really need you to lead them. Try something new and even if you fail that is better than not trying anything at all! What are you doing to challenge the average?

 
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