Sunday, April 21, 2013

My Favorite Posts (Pt. 1)

I love every post I've written in this blog. Each one took hours to construct and then unmeasured time to incorporate into my life and my leadership style. However I have a few favorites. These are my favorites merely because of how much I learned when I wrote them and how much they have pushed me further into being a No Excuses Leader.

Homeless with Humor
 My opening post holds the theme of humor to handle aspects of adversity--namely funny homeless cardboard signs. These people may dip below the glass being half full but they are surely showing signs of resiliency and hardiness. I try regularly to give small sums to the homeless but more importantly I try and ask how they are doing. The stories of the homeless are often amazing. One of my favorite autobiographies is Land of the Lost Souls: My Life on the Streets by Cadillac Man.  Many people hold strong assumptions about the homeless and try to rationalize why he or she will not give to them.  While these assumptions may or may not be true, if another human being asks in good faith and I can help, I usually will. Mother Theresa wrote this poem that always resonates with me. 

My next favorite post is about Celebrating the Brilliance of Others.  A lot of this program is about learning to be the leader who develops others rather than shouts commands and demands obedience. One way to implement this is to really search for the strengths in others and encourage that growth.  Prior to graduate school I was an adult literacy tutor for 2 years. I worked with the same student and at least initially I realized the bulk of my work was building his self-esteem. He knew how to read fairly well yet he held himself back because there was no one who appreciated his strengths and helped develop them. One thing I miss about tutoring and working with my student is that he kept me humble. He was one of the hardest working and best students I've ever encountered. It took months and months of weekly meetings before he believed me. He taught me to keep humbleness in my life--I am able to do that in part by looking for and genuinely celebrating the brilliance of others.

My next favorite post was learning about John Francis and his 17 year vow of Silence. This man would help me redefine my definition of environmentalism to include the climate of human behavior. He would also help me explore my research design on silence. I have so much more to learn about silence but I've found it tremendously useful to conscientiously close my mouth, open my ears and fully listen to the person who is speaking to me. In most cases I do not attempt to multitask (studies are finding that like anger this trick lowers your IQ by up to 10 points). I believe embracing silence has helped me to be even more calm, silence my ego and accomplish more in less time.

These are my first three favorite posts for philosophy and action-based development.  Also, when I opened this blog I was willing to struggle for growth; I no longer feel that is necessary. I release that need and replace it with the notion that growth can be achieved by other means.

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