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Daily Joys and Simple Pleasures

Daily Joys and Simple Pleasures

Courage Doesn’t Always Roar

Everyone comes to a time in their work or life when they would benefit from help.  This is my time. I am asking for your support

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Your Vote Matters

IF YOU ARE TEMPTED to think casting a vote doesn’t matter…think on this:  Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children’s Defense Fund, was the first black woman admitted to the bar in Mississippi (1965).  She said in I DREAM A WORLD, ” People would do their voter registration and they would be thrown off their plantations the next day.  In 1964 and 1965 courageous ordinary people gave up their little homes and their food, withstood bombings and shootings, and lost everything to exercise their right to vote.

Edelman said, “Ordinary women of grace are, in a sense, my real role models. What always struck me is how unbitter they were. They had the capacity to keep struggling.  I think that is a message that this quick-fix culture needs, this culture that thinks things should be solved instantly or cheaply.  They’re always searching for cheap grace.”

The time she references is just fifty years ago.  And still, there are disincentives being put in place to keep people from voting.  It is a singular privilege and right of an American citizen.  Vote. Women have had the right since 1920 thanks to decades are hard-won work and the 19th amendment.  Honor those who made it possible: vote.

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Do You Dread Your Monday?

Monday

Monday

Maybe this is the week you ask a little of your employer. Or a lot!

Mondays come with a sense of dread for a lot of people. Numbers of people haul their hips to a job they hate, and do work that holds little meaning for them for a paycheck that barely pays the bills. I know it’s true because people tell me of their workplace experiences. Over objections, I often ask, “What IF you brought ONE of your personal passions to the workplace?” I get a litany of reasons why it would never work. “Have you tried?” The answer is usually a resigned,  “No.”

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For several years I held a job that had no relationship to any of my dreams. Bit by bit I brought my passions, interests and skills to the desk at which I worked daily. By the time I left, I was responsible for creating signage, and coordinated every event and party that occurred in the large facility. I changed the way people got to retire out of positions that they’d faithfully served in for decades.

It took time, perseverance and will to ask for the changes. Sometimes I was told, “No.” Mostly I took that answer to mean, “Not yet.” When I left that position in (gasp, so long ago)1984, I was sorry to go. And they were sorry to see me leave. If I’d never imagined a different way of getting to do my work, I would have been racing to the day that I could leave.

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What skill, talent, ability do you have that you love doing when you are NOT at work that could be leveraged into use at your workplace? It might be tempting to think they deserve “that” part of you. Consider that YOU deserve that part of you to be expressed in the course of your hours that you trade for a paycheck. Consider what it would be like to go to sleep Sunday night with a sense of anticipation for going to work the next day.  Consider that. . . maybe this is the week.

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A LIFELONG Leadership Story

Taken from LEAN FORWARD INTO YOUR LIFE, Conari Press, 2007, Mary Anne Radmacher

From early in my childhood I heard my father recount a story which typified his management and leadership style. The building in which he was a graveyard-shift foreman had sheet metal for a roof.  It was a good thing in the hot summer,   somehow  serving to help cool the building. In the winter, however, it was a liability. The snow  piled and worked to invert the sheet metal, causing serious concern about a roof collapse.  The roof had to be cleared of its snow. It was a dangerous job. Climbing a ladder to a warehouse roof in a snow storm to shovel snow off sheet metal wasn’t anyone’s idea of a good time. But it was necessary for everyone’s safety that four people subject themselves to this danger. All were grateful that Oregon was not long subjected to seasonal  snow storms.

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In advance of the effort my father did two things. He placed enough equipment and outdoor gear for four people in the corner by the door. Then, when it was time he left his desk, went to the corner, and started suiting up. He assured me, each time he told me the story, that he was willing to go on the roof and get the job done alone. Although he never had to do the job by himself. He was  always joined by three other men. Each time, it was a different group, but by the time my dad was suited up and put his hand to one of the four snow shovels, there were three men in line behind, read to grab the other shovels.

When I was older he elaborated on the story just a little.  He explained to me why he would never accept offered promotions into management, off the production-facility floor.

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“In a suit, you tell four men that they have to climb on the roof and put themselves at risk for the greater good. On the production floor, you climb on the roof for the greater good, putting yourself at risk, and there are people who follow. Not because you told them to, but because you led the way.”

In the first couple of years of operating myown business, I kept a shovel in the corner of the space in which I worked to remind me of the kind of leader I wanted to be.

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