Live in SE Virginia??? Great News!

23 05 2014

I wanted to share this great news about my spouse!   Please pass it on! Great news!!! Ray is now able to sell and start accepting clients. 
Here is an easy way to contact him here: www.RayDurham.com Please share this information with your friends and family. I have been a client for years at Tysinger and I will never purchase a car anywhere else. Pay them a visit and you will see why, even if you aren’t in the market for a car. Temp Bus Card





This IS my calling in life…

20 04 2014

Brad's Blurbs

This IS My Calling…

Through years of experience and observation in life, I have come to the fundamental conclusion that what matters the most, in our careers and especially in our lives, is our attitude and perspective from which we choose to embrace life.

I have discovered that my calling is to compassionately inspire everyone I encounter through authentic servant leadership.

Servant leaders are those who can rise to any occasion and take on any challenge in life regardless of its scope. These are the people who have discovered their calling in life and see the bigger picture.

These are the leaders that walk among us every day, the ones that get their hands dirty and lead through the service of others, giving of themselves to anyone with a willingness to learn and grow.

With enough time and effort, anyone can be taught a skill, but it is the content…

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Life Shines Through

8 01 2014

So inspiring, I had to share this sermon…

Life's Too Short To Sing The Melody

(I preached this sermon at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Peninsula on January 5th 2014.)

Responsive Reading: #588 in Singing the Living Tradition

While it is generally accepted amongst scholars of the Bible that the Book of Isaiah originates with the eighth-century Hebrew prophet Isaiah ben Amoz, it is also widely known that he did not write the book himself.  What’s more, given evidence such as the sudden change in style and theology after chapter forty, the book as a whole was probably the work of multiple authors.  Its various pieces were then arranged to create an overarching message about life in Israel before and after the Jewish exile in Babylon.

Aside from being the book of the Hebrew Bible most cited in the Christian New Testament — even if, for instance, Matthew gets some of it wrong, such as basing a pretty major claim on the…

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The 4 C’s of Leadership

9 12 2013

By  Bradley Harper MD FCAP, COL (Retired) US Army

Thank you for asking me for my Commander’s Philosophy.  When I was in Command and General Staff College we were required to create one, and this product served me well through four commands.

My Philosophy is simple, for I believe that important things are.  We spend a huge portion of our waking hours engaged in our workplace.  If that experience is unfulfilling, it is difficult to have an overall good quality of life.  As a Commander it was my job to impart to my staff what “Right” looked like.  I had subordinate leaders and very competent staff whom I desired to impart my vision so that when confronted with a challenge, they knew instinctively what action I would want them to take.  I knew many commanders who were afraid to take leave.  They were afraid that the organization would collapse without their constant guidance.  I had much the opposite philosophy.  I felt that my confidence in my guidance to my staff coupled with their competence and decency allowed me to be absent both to allow me some respite and to allow them to grow.  One does not learn how to ride a bike if the parent never lets go.  I would allow various of my deputies the chance to be acting commander for I recalled how much I had learned when I had been entrusted by my previous commanders with that responsibility. Part of my job was to grow those whom I was responsible for.

So. My Philosophy boils down to what I call the 4 C’s.  They stand for the following 4 words, and the precedence of the words is deliberate.

Compassion. I commanded health care organizations, so you would think that this would be unnecessary to articulate, but I had too often seen people in pain or fear treated as a “Case”, or a “Customer”.  A bad experience I had with an Army Doctor led me to go to Medical School.  Before we could initiate a therapeutic relationship with someone we had to establish trust.  You do that by showing that the patient is important to you.  That you sincerely want to do them good. I liked to quote Dr Larre, surgeon to Napolean’s Grand Armee` who wrote in his memoirs, “I cured a few. I helped many. I cared for them all.” I challenged my staff to be able to say the same at the end of every day.

Competence. I commanded small organizations. We were not Walter Reed.  We should look at what we treated, and get as good as possible at managing it.  Establish protocols and SOP’s. That which we can do well, do as best as we possibly could.  I said that you do not want to fly with a pilot who flies 3 times a year. You do not want to have your coronaries operated on by a surgeon who does one case a month to “keep his hand in”. If it is not something we do on a regular basis, refer to those who do. Also Competence requires that after you learn your job as well as you possibly can, you teach your subordinates your job, and learn your supervisor’s.  We were in an organization that was constantly evolving.  Every year 1/3rd of our military left for new assignments, and often I would have to send soldiers off to augment a unit in combat on short notice.  We could not afford to allow anyone to become indispensable. It limited our ability as an organization to grow, and stifled the education of our staff to be able to progress in their careers.

Conscientious. Our customers had to know what they could reliably expect from us.  We had to be humble.  Our organization existed so that soldiers could go to war, and recover from that.  If they doubted our Compassion or Competence, our ability to serve them would be impaired. If they doubted our promises, it would become impossible. If we could not deliver, tell them so, then seek means to serve their needs via other organizations, or see how we might be able to accomplish the mission in innovative ways. If we failed to meet their expectations, acknowledge that, and make it right.

Cost Effective.  I am not saying Cheap.  Quality is cost effective.  Getting something right the first time is extremely cost effective.  We will never have all the resources we would like in staff, facilities, or supplies.  Get over it. The more we do with what we have, the more we do.  Among the resources we have to manage is time, both ours and our patients’. Do not waste either. Think about how you spend your day, and realizing that you cannot do it all, prioritize.  At the end of the day I am asking that you provide good value, both to the patient and to the taxpayer.

I told my staff that when they had a new proposal for me, to show me how their idea supported one or more of my four principles.  The more principles that it fell under, the more likely I was to support it.  It freed my people to take ownership of their job.  Many have told me years later how much fun they had working there while I was in command.  If you have a bad commander, people say he was bad.  If you have a good commander, people say he was good.  When you have an excellent commander, people say they did it all themselves.

I likened my role to that of stage manager for a play.  My staff were the stars.  I was there to make sure they had the resources and proper environment to excel.  Then stand back and applaud.





Want to be a Strong Leader? Be Hopeful

20 09 2013

By Barbara Morris

Do you want to know how to improve your leadership potential one skill at a time? The first tip is to exemplify hopefulness.

Are you surprised to see “hopefulness” described as a leadership skill? Think about it for a minute. It’s hope that enables us to cope with life’s obstacles and problems. It’s hope that encourages contestants to audition for Canadian Idol, propels sports phenoms to new records, drives workers to achieve goals.

Team and organizational leaders who are hopeful tend to visualize positive future outcomes and are able to resolve problems and achieve goals with less effort than their gloomier counterparts. Leaders who exemplify hopefulness for their teams can instill positive thinking about the future and motivate team members to pursue ideas and solutions. Personifying hopefulness to others also helps them recognize they are adaptable and offers reassurance that they can overcome difficulties.

In fact, leaders who don’t have this skill often waste valuable reserves of energy getting employees back on track. One manager, for example, was awarded a team of four people and six months to complete a key company project. One individual on the team was a “complainer.” His thinking soon affected the others. Within a few weeks, all of them were expressing negative comments about the work. Progress inched ahead slower and slower. It was only when the manager started guiding the group firmly toward a clear and hopeful vision of the future that she was able to arrest the negativity. Keeping her team focused on a positive outcome enabled her to push them to be better.

The hopeful team is a powerful team. And this is why exemplifying hopefulness is an essential skill for effective leaders. It’s also a skill that can be learned. Start by personally practising hopeful thinking and practices. Here is a list of them.

  • Remember that risk-taking is a critical part of learning and developing leadership capabilities. Therefore when you experience losses or failures, think of them not as setbacks, but as learning opportunities by reflecting on what you would do differently next time.
  • Be aware of your own negative thinking and make a conscious effort to visualize positive outcomes. When handling a task for example, create a mental image of what the end result looks like. Then visualize yourself succeeding.
  • Pursue daily opportunities for laughter (people, activities, books, movies) – especially when times are difficult. Inject humour into conversations.
  • Care for yourself; fatigue plays strong role in negative thinking. Get enough sleep and exercise for at least 30 minutes every day; your body’s endorphins will support a hopeful outlook.

When working with employees, project teams and customers the following strategies can help you project hopeful thinking.

  • Make an effort to develop a reputation for positivity.
  • Hire positive people who are supportive.
  • On your way to work every morning, spend 10 minutes deciding how you’re going to convey hopefulness during the day. For example, be proactive and enthusiastic about your responsibilities, accept challenging goals with the anticipation of success; and communicate your expectations of others with optimism and confidence.
  • Appreciate the power of the messages you communicate – focus on being the leader who believes 100 per cent that the future will be better and communicate this with confidence to your employees and team members.
  • Set clear, achievable organizational and team goals that are meaningful to those who must accomplish them. This means defining goals in a way that enables others to feel they are making a valued contribution, rather than simply working. You can do this by ensuring that goals contribute to the vision and mission – and are challenging but also realistic. Energize group members by engaging them to develop creative strategies for achieving targets.
  • Accept bad news with equanimity. Don’t point fingers; instead, encourage your teams to learn from the experience and to identify specific ways to prevent the situation from reccurring or learning how to do better next time.

Whether you’re leading a large organization, a small company or a small team, by exemplifying hope you can engage, motivate and succeed. And remember, it can feel lonely to be the one who bears the burden of reality while helping others stay positive. So check in regularly with someone you like and trust to celebrate your progress developing this important leadership skill.

One final suggestion: keep in mind Superman’s (Christopher Reeve) words, “Once you choose hope, anything’s possible.”

Barbara Morris, president of Elevate Organizations,is a leadership development specialist and coach who helps individuals and organizational teams optimize potential and achieve goals.

Source: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/careers/careers-leadership/want-to-be-a-strong-leader-be-hopeful/article11790784/





True Leaders Need Connection, Vulnerability, Courage, Gratitude And Authenticity

15 09 2013

by johntwohig

Why should true leaders display Vulnerability, Courage, Gratitude and Authenticity? Who in their right mind would allow others to know that they are vulnerable? Well on the night of his second US Presidential Election, POTUS Barack Obama showed his vulnerability by declaring his love for his wife Michelle in front of the whole world. Vulnerability is one of the many factors that got him re-elected. Women in particular respond to this, with the majority of women voting for Obama.

True Leaders are all about Connection

Connection is intrinsic to everyone, without connection we cannot live. Connection brings meaning and purpose to our lives. Without connection we as people cannot survive. We fear disconnection; deep down inside it is our greatest fear. Our fear is that something we have done during our lives is so shameful that this will cause disconnection from our loved ones. Only psychopaths can survive without connection. A True Leader will have the ability to connect with people in abundance.

True Leaders are all about Vulnerability

We have all heard that voice in our heads, our ego, saying you are not good enough! If we get past that, the next question is, who do you think you are? The majority of C-Suite executives in America were polled and their greatest fear was they would get found out.  They believed they were not good enough to hold the high powered position they had worked up to.

Accepting your Vulnerability is fundamental to you as a person. Brene Brown in her TED Talk speaks of how Vulnerability is the birth place of Joy, Creativity, Belonging and Love. By accepting that you are enough, by ignoring your ego. Accepting our own faults and failings we listen better and our authenticity shines through. We become far better leaders for our authenticity and vulnerability.

True Leaders are all about Courage

Courage to be imperfect, courage to be vulnerable, just like Obama on election night. Courage means from the heart. Courage to be compassionate to ourselves, because if we cannot be compassionate to ourselves how can we be compassionate to others. If we are not compassionate how can we have connection or have empathy with other people. An understanding for others’ strengths and weaknesses is paramount to a leader. How can you do this if you have not got the courage to accept your own imperfections?

True Leaders are all about Gratitude

I wrote a few years back that Gratitude is one of the Universal Powers. Gratitude if practised every day helps you to remain grounded to your beliefs and values. You do not lose touch with your courage or your compassion. By having an Attitude of Gratitude as part of your daily routine it helps you to be accepting of what is going on around you. Both the things you can control and those you cannot.

True Leaders are all about Authenticity

Authenticity shines through like a beacon and people see this. Richard Branson is a living example of how to remain authentic in business. When you hear him speak he remains congruent to his values and principles. This is a very difficult thing to achieve but the true leaders do so intrinsically. Nelson Mandela, despite his time on Robin Island, never let his ego dictate how he dealt with the “White Minority” after he was released. In fact it made him all the more courageous as his compassion to them was incredible and his Authenticity shone brightly.

What is actually happening in today’s world?

In referring to Brene Browns TED Talk earlier she also says that we “Numb” ourselves so we cannot feel emotions. Americans today are the most indebted, obese, addicted and medicated generation in American history. It is a similar story here in Ireland. We want to block the trails and tribulations of everyday life. So we “Numb” them with food, drink, drugs and over spending.

The difficulty with that is we also block, joy, love, gratitude and happiness when we “Numb”. The “Numbing” process also brings another difficulty, we want to make everything certain. We want to blame everybody else for everything that is wrong with our lives. The right wing politics in America is evidence of this, I am right you are wrong, now shut the f**k up. This is a way to discharge pain and discomfort and we pretend that what we do does not impact on others.

Conclusion

People need Leadership, something sadly lacking in Ireland. What I wouldn’t give for a person to stand up like Obama did two weeks ago and proclaim loudly, I am vulnerable and I am happy. Today’s Leader needs all the above attributes and when he/she gets this right the resulting community will run through “Brick Walls” to work for this Leader. By understanding vulnerability, courage, gratitude and authenticity you become the photo fit of the True Leader. Do you agree?

Watch Video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=iCvmsMzlF7o

 

Co-Founder at the Ahain Group. The first blogger to name the MDEC Model. A social business enthusiast and looking to learn something new every day. Which is not difficult to find online. Keen golfer and Munster Rugby supporter. http://www.ahaingroup.com

Source: http://tweakyourbiz.com/growth/2012/11/21/true-leaders-need-connection-vulnerability-courage-gratitude-and-authenticity/





Think Your Organization Is Compassionate?

8 09 2013

By Emiliana R. Simon-ThomasEmily Nauman

Are you part of an organization—whether a workplace, religious congregation, or volunteer group—where people comfort one another and lend a hand when times are tough? Do your leaders seem to care about their members, and help with real-life challenges?

The answers to these questions aren’t just important for feel-good reasons. Recent research suggests that more compassionate workplaces reap substantive benefits when it comes to employee wellness, creative problem solving, productivity, and the bottom line.

In April, the Greater Good Science Center partnered with CompassionLab and the University of Michigan’s Center for Positive Organizational Scholarship to develop aCompassionate Organizations Quiz, asking readers about their experiences of compassion in an important organization in their life. Here’s what we learned.

The kind of organization matters. People in community service organizations and educational institutions rated their organizations as higher in compassion than people in other areas, including government, legal/criminal justice, business, charity, and health care. Curiously, people who chose “Other”—their organizations did not fit into any of the options listed—also reported more compassion.

At the other end of the spectrum were media organizations, which ranked lowest in compassion. This finding is consistent with another recent study conducted by CareerCast.com; out of 200 careers that were rated based on factors such as stress, work environment, and salary, Newspaper Reporter was designated the worst job in America.

Your age matters—and so does whether you have felt compassion from other people in your organization. 18-29 year olds and people over age 60 overall rated their organizations as more compassionate than people in other age groups. Though there were fewer survey takers across these age groups (approximately 200 total) compared to the 30-60-year-old range (approximately 800), this pattern suggests that people very early and very late in their lives harbor a more pro-social perspective toward the organizations they’re engaged with.

There’s an alternative “bright future” interpretation, of course: that the younger generation is in fact more compassionate, and this bleeds into the organizations to which younger people belong.

Then, the data show a drop for 30 year olds, which raises some big questions: Do their life circumstances—e.g., increasing career demands, new family additions, mortgage payments—make it harder for them to feel compassion, to extend compassion toward others, or to sense compassion from others? In a quiz like this, do people in their 30s become more likely to focus on their workplace as their “organization” as opposed to other, “extra curricular” organizations that may place more emphasis on care/support?

Regardless of the reasons for the drop, we can take heart in seeing that compassion in organizations seems to slowly inch back up over the lifespan, eventually surpassing that level people experience in young adulthood.

Another, perhaps unsurprising finding is that people who reported never having felt compassion from others in their organization rated their organization as less compassionate. For you to see your organization as compassionate, some co-worker has likely extended compassion toward you at some point or another.

Interestingly, this “felt compassion” experience affected the relationship between age and ratings of organizational compassion: When we consider only people who never received compassion, 18-29 year olds gave the lowest compassion ratings. This could be a tragic story of wasted potential: Nurtured with compassion, young people readily embrace their workplace or other organization as compassionate; deprived of compassion, their perceptions of it plummet.

The size of your organization matters. In general, people in smaller organizations—who probably run into one another, and talk about personal life details more often—reported greater levels of compassion than people in larger organizations.

As we saw earlier, however, this pattern changes when we take into account whether people had been targets of compassion themselves. For people who had never felt compassion directed toward them, medium-sized organizations (those with 101-1,000 people), were rated highest in compassion, while the smallest organizations were rated least compassionate.

While these findings merit further study, one possible interpretation of this data is that people in smaller organizations expect more compassion from co-workers than people in larger organizations, rendering a lack of personal experience with compassion more problematic in smaller organizations. If people haven’t experienced compassion in a smaller organization, that omission might sting more.

Where you live might matter. While people in the American Southwest tended to rate their organization as more compassionate, geographical location did not make a big difference in general. This finding is interesting in light of the results of our Love of Humanity quiz, on which we reported last month. This quiz, which looked at readers’ tendency to extend a sense of common humanity toward people in their local communities, citizens of their own country, or people around the world, pointed toward a similar trend in the Southwest: Those residents tended to report greater love of humanity than quiz takers from other areas of the United States.

Two factors we examined didn’t seem to have any systematic influence on peoples’ ratings of compassion in their organization: their gender and for how long they had been a member of the organization. Given certain cultural assumptions about gender differences in compassion (on which we reported last week), these findings suggest that gender does not systematically drive differences in how people experience and express compassion, particularly in organizational settings.

And while we might assume that the longer people belong to an organization, the more intimate—and perhaps compassionate—their social dynamics become, these data suggest otherwise. There is no time limit for organizational compassion. The time is now!

Overall, these quiz results begin to paint a picture of whether and where compassion figures into organizational cultures, and suggest how important it is for people to feel compassion from others in order to see their organizations as compassionate.

Though compassion is a relatively new field of scientific interest, research increasingly associates it with improvements to health, psychological well-being, and interpersonal functioning. With that being the case, these results raise questions worthy of deeper scientific inquiry into how organizations might foster compassion and how compassion might benefit organizations, especially workplaces. Stay tuned for more from our colleagues at CompassionLab and the Center for Positive Organizational Scholarship on this important front.

Compassionate Organizations Quiz

Take our Compassionate Organizations Quiz–and learn about the benefits of compassion at work.

Source: http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/think_your_organization_is_compassionate








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