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Archive for the ‘Home & Family’ Category

Launched My Blog on Huffington Post—“Our Children and the Crisis in Education”

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

I am pleased to announce that I am now a contributor to the Huffington Post. My first blog appeared on Wednesday, April 21. I chose the topic of education in the U.S. and the opportunities we have to really make a big, positive impact in the way we educate our children.

For far too long, we’ve neglected educating our children to become people who can think for themselves, take responsibility, be tolerant and respectful, and work with others in creative ways. Character development is central to the education process but has been lacking for some time. To fill that need, we need stronger partnerships between schools and parents to unleash the potential of every child—to learn, grow and become leaders of their lives. 

One successful program called The Leader in Me Process has been applied at A.B. Combs Elementary School in Raleigh, North Carolina. At its core is teaching children, starting at kindergarten, habits of leadership. They are learning how to be accountable, treat others with respect, solve problems creatively, listen to understand and be trustworthy. Academic scores have dramatically improved and behavior problems have significantly dropped. The whole school is involved with this process and parents are thrilled to partner with their school to promote leadership principles with their children at school and at home.  

This Leader in Me Process is being applied in over 200 schools worldwide with remarkable, measurable success. To learn more, please see my blog: “Our Children and the Crisis in Education.” 

You may also be interested in reading my book, The Leader in Me—How Schools and Parents Around the World are Inspiring Greatness, One Child at a Time. 

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25 Years of Dot-Com. What Do You Predict for the Future?

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

March 15, 2010 marked the 25th anniversary of the first “dot-com” registration on the Internet.  With over 100 million domain registrations and counting, we’ve witnessed an explosion of communication, commerce, idea-sharing, and human connectivity unlike anything else in human history. This truly marks a revolutionary and transformational shift in the way we live, gather information, do commerce, and connect with each other. No domain is unaffected. From societies, governments, communities, businesses to individuals and families, we have all been profoundly impacted by the massive migration to the Internet. 

The impact on societies across the globe cannot be understated as the Internet has provided a democratization tool for people to access information in real time across all boundaries. Still, there are some countries battling the policy of free access to the Internet as evidenced recently by China’s confrontation with Google. However, people find a way to get what they thirst for and eventually get around firewalls in ingenious ways.  

Who can forget the Twitter-revolution in Iran last year as thousands and thousands of Iranians took to the streets to give voice to their aspirations for legitimacy in their election outcomes? The human voice is deep and relentless. It cannot be suppressed. Our new Internet technology literally gives voice to countless people of all ages, ethnicities, race, gender, religions, political persuasions, rich or poor.  People who were previously disenfranchised are now empowered and equipped to express their voice! 

Recently, with the cataclysmic disaster in Haiti, donations poured instantly as people used their social networks and texting to pour their generous funds to the people of Haiti. It’s never been easier to click your way to making an instant impact in the lives of people in one’s own neighborhood or to far away neighbors across the globe.  

What Do You Predict for the Future of the Internet?

At the 25th Anniversay of .Com Policy Impact Forum in Washington DC on March 16, many prominent leaders from different fields discussed the impact of the dot-com sensation. These leaders shared their excitement along with their concerns for a free-wielding Internet/ technology. They looked through their “crystal ball” to predict what the future would hold with this powerful but challenging medium.  

So what are your thoughts? What do you predict is the future of the Internet? Are you better off today being connected 24/7? Are you feeling overwhelmed or do you feel more in charge of your life? Has your productivity increased or decreased? How do you discern the credibility or truth behind all the countless messages, ideas or agendas online? How are you using the Internet to find solutions to your pressing problems? How has the Internet brought you new opportunities or brought you closer to your family, friends, or loved ones? 

I encourage you to ask yourself: Where do I need to connect more? Where do I need to simply disconnect to gain better balance and control in my life? I know my grandchildren are already natives to the Internet. I am not. They face many great opportunities if they choose to anchor themselves on guiding principles that will help them determine what is good and what is not, and what is simply distracting or negative on the Internet. Without that anchor they are at risk of being enslaved by forces that will pull them in conflicting directions, leaving them without a principle-centered compass to help them take charge of their own lives.  

This is an exciting time with great opportunities for good. I look forward to the future and the promise of people all around the world and their desire for greatness. The Internet can be a powerful tool to fulfill that greatness!

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Nothing Fails Like Success

Monday, June 1st, 2009

Are you struggling to make changes or respond to changing conditions? I know many people right now are being forced to change the way they work or live because of our turbulent environment. What we might all consider in these times is what the great historian Arnold Toynbee once said:

Nothing fails like success.

What does that mean exactly? Well, if you consider the challenges you’re facing, you might just be using an old approach that isn’t equal to the challenge. In other words, when we have a challenge and the response is equal to the challenge, that’s called success. But once we have a new challenge, the old, once successful response no longer works. That’s why it’s called a failure.

We have to examine our paradigms (our view of things), our tools, our skills to determine if we’re approaching the problem in the right way. As a first step, we may even step back and make sure we’ve correctly defined the problem. Then we need to see if, based on the evidence of results or lack of results, if we need a new approach.

As you ponder your challenges, consider if you need a new mindset, a new skillset or toolset. You may need to adjust your view, try a different perspective or a new way to think about it. Then you may need to acquire some new skills or tools to tackle the problem. What ever the case, you may need to find a new model to drive success. This can be an exciting proposition because you will most likely find new growth and development in the process—this is success!

Remember: nothing fails like success. Be vigilant and be ready to continually learn and adapt to new challenges, which will surely come your way.

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Strengthening Families in Times of Crisis

Friday, May 8th, 2009

I was in Dallas on Monday, May 4 to make a presentation on strengthening families in times of crisis. Gathered in the room were people who have recently lost their jobs and find themselves looking for new work in a very tough environment. This gathering, of course, was a snapshot of millions of people all over the U.S. and in many parts of the world due to the economic crisis that has gripped us.

Being out of work and looking for work can have a troubling impact on families. The mounting stress, pressure and worries often impact a person’s ability to be the kind of spouse or parent they would like to be. Communication might break down. Fighting or quarrels might increase in your relationships. And family members might feel neglected, scared or withdrawn.

In such situations, I counsel people to remember who are the most important people in their lives and what matters most to them Yes, being out of a job might have you in a crisis, but your family is your most precious possession. So what can you do to strengthen your family in times of trouble?

There are three things that I encourage everyone to do with their families in good times or bad:

  1. Write a family mission statement—identify what kind of family you want to be. For instance, what qualities define your family, what kinds of feeling do you want in your home, how do you want to build relationships? Get everyone involved in these questions and write something that describes your family and how you want to be.
  2. Hold weekly family meetings—gather your family once a week to talk about issues, problems or good things in your family. Refer to your mission statement to see how you are doing. Enjoy this time together; do something fun.
  3. Remember the emotional bank account—similar to a bank account, you can make deposits or withdrawals from each of your family relationships. Make a conscious effort to make meaningful deposits in your relationships. When you make a withdrawal, apologize and correct the mistake.

As you do these things, you will find your relationships strengthened in your family. You will take control of your life and your family’s life rather than being tossed away by the storms of problems or crises that come your way. With a strong family, you will be more effective in your job search and your family will be your greatest source of strength and support.

For more ideas on strengthening families you may interested in reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families or other good books on the subject.

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