Wake Up America!

Every day, we recommit to healing ourselves and each other, and to co-creating alongside comrades, allies, and family a culture where each person feels seen, heard, and supported.

We acknowledge, respect, and celebrate differences and commonalities.

We intentionally build and nurture a beloved community…

If you are not aware, this is verbiage taken right from the Black Lives Matter website. So in light of this, I have two words for BLM leaders and followers, BERNELL TRAMMELL. He was a 60 year old black man murdered allegedly for being a Trump supporter.

He may have been seen and heard, but did his views matter?

Do you really acknowledge, respect & celebrate differences and commonalities? If you do, where is the outrage over THIS man’s loss of life? Where is the outrage for the innocent children who have lost their lives in the midst of our so-called summer of love?

Throughout history both Democratic & Republican leaders have fought for the rights of black Americans. Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King & John F. Kennedy – just to name a few. This isn’t about politics. This is about leaders who either don’t know how to lead or no longer desire to lead. It’s time to call them out!

The hypocrisy of the leaders who are in hiding & have allowed anarchists & Marxists to take over is sickening & it should frighten every American citizen. It’s time to wake up America!

Hide-and-Go-Seek

Remember when we were kids, hide-and-go-seek was a popular game.  Personally, it wasn’t one of my favorites, but I went along with it probably due to peer pressure.  It reminds me of what’s happening right now with leadership.  We have an upcoming Presidential election, perhaps the most important election in our lifetime.  Because if Lady Liberty loses, this country will likely never be the same.

Our capitalistic republic is being challenged by anarchists, Marxists (communists) and socialists. And we are so polarized as a nation that we either don’t see it, or we’ve lost our fight.  We have one party candidate who seems to be playing his own game of hide-and-go-seek.  We don’t really know what he stands for because his messaging is limited, and he hasn’t agreed to a real debate.

We have another candidate who isn’t playing hide-and-go-seek, but rather king-of-the-hill.  That’s another game I always disliked.  It wasn’t collaborative, it wasn’t about building rapport and connection.  It was about pushing other people down.

I love my country and I’m tired of the childhood game playing.  This isn’t a game.  This is about our freedoms, our rights and the future of our country. And if you think I’m over-reacting, just take a hard look at what’s happening in many of our bigger cities.  Children are being murdered because local leaders have gone into hiding. There is a movement underfoot that hasn’t blinked since the murder of innocents has been ignored.

And why are we here?  Likeability.  Likeability is one of the most often overlooked attributes of a leader.  And when it comes down to it, it matters perhaps the most.  The good-bad news is that I don’t believe either candidate is truly likeable.  And if either one of them could embrace this concept and put their egos aside for the sake of this country, it would likely mean the difference in this election and whether free market capitalism will win over communism and socialism.

Yes, that’s where we are.  We take our freedoms for granted. If you aren’t tuned into that, please do yourself a favor and Google Marxism and capitalism.  You could Google socialism, but the current Marxist movement is not socialism.  It’s thinly disguised communism feeding off our current climate of complacency, chaos and cowardice. Is that what you want for this country?  If it is, I’ll likely resort to the childhood game I despised, because many of my freedoms (and yours too) will likely be lost, forever.

Lead, Follow or Please Get Out of the Way!

I had this impressed upon me from the beginning of my career.  Leaders need to lead, unless they can’t or shouldn’t or are incapable, in which case they need to follow or step aside.

It’s painfully obvious right now, who’s leading, who’s following (and not allowing others to lead) and who really just needs to get out of the way.

The chaos in which we are enduring should never have come to this.  I’m stunned by the number of community and state leaders who have either gone into hiding or emerge periodically with sound bites that aren’t helpful, effective, or remotely encouraging. 

We should all take note of the leaders who are present.  They are speaking up and acknowledging the horrific atrocities of the past week.  At the same time, they are in solidarity with the peaceful protesters as well as those in law enforcement and the National Guard, who are trying to restore law and order – because that’s their job. 

Some are watching their cities burn because the job is really too big for them.  They need to get out of the way – Now!  I pray for our country.  I pray for justice and equality for all.  I pray for an end to racism.  And most of all, I pray that we remove those from office who are incapable of leading or following and are frankly just in the way!  The American people deserve better!

Systems Thinking – We Need It

Perhaps because I’m working on a couple systems thinking training modules for a client of mine, (and I’m most grateful for them) this is top of mind.  Though my longing for leaders (political, civil, religious – all leaders) to think systemically, has been percolating for quite some time.

In its simplest form, systems thinking is about looking at the whole first and the parts or components secondarily.  Analytical thinking is just the reverse.  I didn’t perceive that systems thinking was utilized when Obama Care landed our door and Congress had to pass this legislation in order to read it and learn what was actually in the bill (this is more than my opinion – I was invited to participate in a few calls with members of the Obama administration to discuss this act after it was passed).  I didn’t perceive a great deal of systems thinkers regarding the myriad of state-led responses to Covid-19.  And I pray that we don’t miss another needed opportunity to use systems thinking in taking steps to heal our country in light of unnecessary force to detain a man of color, which likely contributed to his death.

My soul cries for unity in our country.  That doesn’t mean that we have to agree on everything and that we can’t have opinions.  As Morgan Freeman recently posted on LinkedIn, just because we don’t agree on everything doesn’t mean I don’t like you or that we can’t be friends.

And something to consider.  When we use an analytical approach to solve a systems problem, we are likely to end up with unintended consequences.  It’s time to start with our desired future state.  I really think that most of us want to live in a country in which we feel we are equally respected and have the ability to satisfy our very basic of needs:  safety, love, shelter, etc. and thrive, if we desire. This ideal state must be crafted with input from many who are represented in our country (the system).  And in keeping with systems thinking, we’d develop key performance indicators (KPI’s) so we can measure if we’re on track to achieve our desired state.  Next, we do a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis to define our current state.

Then we work on strategies and action items to bridge the gap between where we are (current state) and where we desire to be (future state).  Lastly, it’s imperative to do an environmental scan.  What obstacles or barriers might make it difficult to work through the plan?  What might be changing in the environment that would affect the plan?

I’m a coach.  Coaches have been using systems thinking for years.  It’s how we help clients vocalize their truths.  I have found, in my years of using systems thinking, that if representative voices are involved in crafting the plan, the pieces of the puzzle come together, and together, we create unity.

Connection is Key

As human beings, we are naturally social creatures. We crave connection! However, too many of us miss genuine opportunities to connect. We may be thinking about what we want to say, or otherwise be distracted. One of the keys to really connecting with others is attentive listening!

We’ve all sat through that training session where we were told hearing is not really listening. A few weeks ago, I was attending a meeting and a gentleman who like me, is self-employed, came up and introduced himself to me. I smiled, repeated his name and stated, “we’ve actually met before. I met you a few months ago at this same meeting.” It honestly didn’t bother me that he’d forgotten we’d already met. It was a busy networking meeting and I’m quite sure I’ve forgotten introductions too, because I wasn’t allowing myself to be fully present (big disconnection habit). What surprised me was that when we were done with our exchange, I stated, “it was nice to see you again” to which he replied, “well it was nice meeting you.” Indeed, did you hear a word I said? Probably, but did you listen to what I said? If he was really interested in connecting with me, he could have said something to the effect, “Thanks for reminding me about our earlier introduction. It was great catching up with you.”

How about you? Are you just hearing others or really listening? Unlock your power of connection!