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Leaders are Readers

Billy Joe 057 (1 of 1)Reading helps us to explore the world. I can remember as a child going into the library at Webster Elementary School in St. Paul, Minnesota and leaving with books to read. I never checked them out, but I had them. Upon my return, the Librarian would always ask, “Billy Joe, why don’t you check the books out?” Always in a hurry, the thought of checking the books out would somehow keep this engaged young reader from his weekly exploration of the world.

I love poetry, biographies, Dr. Seuss, and the compilation of Dickinson and Thoreau, books that engage the intellect and stimulate stronger analytical thinking skills. Today, I still read two to three books a month and I always write in them.

There are some interesting studies and statistics among American readers. One third of High School graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives; 42% of college graduates never read another book after college; 80% of US families did not buy or read a book last year; 70% of US adults have not been in a bookstore in the last 5 years. Studies have shown, 72% of American adults read a book in the past year for fun, while the percentage of Millennials, ages 18 to 29, was higher at 80%.

Reading can improve the memory. If your looking for a way to improve your memory and concentration and to relieve stress, reading can help you. “The brain stimulating activities from reading have shown to slow down cognitive decline in old age with people who participated in more mentally stimulating activities over their lifespans.”

The 8 benefits of reading: 1. Mental stimulation, 2. Stress reduction, 3. Knowledge, 4. Vocabulary Expansion, 5. Memory improvement, 6. Stronger Analytical thinking skills, 7. Improved focus and concentration, 8. Better writing skills.

With these thoughts in mind, taking a reading break can be as important as stopping to snack on your daily energy carb. A student asked me the question, “What do you personally get from reading?” With an enormous amount of thoughts running through my head, I came up with the following answer: “I read because it allows me the opportunity to examine, explore, exercise my thoughts, to stay in the now, to expand my vocabulary, to find myself in someone else’s words, to place myself in the other person’s place, to simply have some enjoyment.”

I believe that not all personal growth is organic. My experience has taught me that to grow, we must prospect in intellectual mines that others have cultivated and learn there. Finding lessons and inspiration in the success of others, is part of the real circle of life. We cannot not be afraid to LEAP into the destiny of our future, because fear is living without hope attached to it.

Someone once said, “The man who knows how to read and doesn’t, has no advantage over the man who doesn’t know how to read.”

Even as an average student, reading helped me to maintain an above average mindset. It was through books that I found the inspiration to climb the intellectual ladder of powerful thought, that helped to shape my future.

Zig Ziglar’s “See You At The Top” was one of my first motivational reads as a ninth grader. My Upward Bound teacher, Alfreda Garibaldi, helped me to realize that books and reading could help give me the confidence to boldly go, where many men had gone before; into the expanded world of reading.

As a leader, encouraging others to read has been a focal point of my personal development as a leader. Benjamin Franklin’s provocative quote on learning simply states’ “Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.” And just like the leaders before us, we must continue the quest for strong intellectual thought and learning. Let me close with a favorite quote from Dr. Seuss, “The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you will go.”

Remember this, your going to great places, so keep standing on the Rock! And enjoy your next read!

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The Black Wall Street Part 3

black-panther-logo-191924As of May 1st, 2018, the movie Black Panther has grossed $1.345 billion dollars to date. It is the world’s ninth highest grossing film of all time. Behind, 1. Avatar 2. Titanic 3. Star Wars: The Force Awakens 4. Jurassic World 5. Avengers: Infinity War 6. The Avengers 7. Furious 7 and 8. Avengers: Age of Ultron.

After the death of his father, T’challa, played by Chadwick Boseman, returns to the African nation of Wakanda to take his rightful place as King. When a powerful enemy abruptly appears to challenge his mettle as the new leader. When faced with conflict, the young King must engage the help of his collaborators and release the power of the Black Panther to save Wakanda and the world.

This sounds like a story line from real life. The Power of the Black Wall Street. It is the story of releasing our dormant ability and resurrecting in the hearts and minds of Tulsans, the socio-economic and spiritual forces that once made our city great. A belief and culture, where we were not limited by the mentality of self-afflicted standards, or the repressed anger of what could have been.

The push to free the mind to think outside the regular pop-culture. This revolutionary milestone is not a “re-imagination of something Black Americans have cherished for centuries”, but what they lived out and manifested in a city called Wa-Tulsa.

The Black Wall Street was our prolific moment. A time of fruitful endeavors, black professionalism, and business acrumen, that cast a large vision of the future. If only we could change the gray matter beneath our hair styles, lyrics, and rhythmic dance, to embrace the possible in the possibilities and tap into the power of the Black Wall Street.

The book of life reminds us to be changed by the renewal of our minds, (Romans 12:2), or get back to the business of challenging social chains and labels and stand in the ancestoral power of our greatness. “It’s easy for a good man to be King!”

With over 600 businesses owned and operated in the Greenwood district, our trade and prosperity were self-contained. The next generation of businesses will be marked by advanced technological studies, bio-medical advancements, solar energy, computer analytics, genetic engineering, global gentrification, and urban development. “Tulsa will no longer watch from the shadows. We cannot. We must not.”

I believe the future is bright! So, we cannot allow the success of our predecessors to die, to do so, would be to deny their very existence. We must embrace the future, while remembering the past.  A past, that is still relevant today. I am suggesting that our city should once again, be home to the nation’s wealthiest African Americans per capital and use those resources to impact the world globally. Because “What we bequeath to the future is ourselves, our best self!” Wa-Tulsa Forever!

Keep standing on the Rock!

 

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Shaquem The Dream

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 01 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl - UCF v Auburn

This weekend we witnessed the 82nd NFL Draft. I have personally been a witness to many of these over the years, being that I have been a fan for many years. But what precipitated this Gladiator event, complete with personalities, speed, and finesse?

It was the 1935 bidding war for a popular player named, Stan Kostka, a running back, who led the Minnesota Gophers to an undefeated season and became the salivation of every NFL team. After holding out for the most lucrative offer, the team from Brooklyn New York signed Stan for $5,000 dollars. The Draft was created to cut down on the creative ways of landing players the following year.

There have been a plethora of players, Hall of famers, MVP’s, skilled, and talented players drafted in the 82 years of the draft. This week, Shaquem “the dream” Griffin, proved to all of us, “It’s never too late to be what you might have become.” The 141st pick by the Seattle Seahawks, helped me rekindle my passion for the game that I enjoy so much.

Shaquem’s 20 reps on the 225 pound bench press and 40 yard dash in 4.38 seconds, the fastest by a Linebacker in 15 years, became the best draft choice of our generation. Our draft choice, who with one hand, taught us that determination, desire, and passion, are not defined by physical makeup but by heart. Chuck Swindoll, said it best, “I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me, 90% of how I respond to it.”

Born just less than two-minutes after his twin brother, Shaquem has proven that not even Amniotic Band Syndrome could impact the heart and soul of a man determined to rise. My favorite pick in the 2018 NFL Draft at number 141, Shaquem Griffin! No protest, no arrest, no domestic violence, no drugs, no drama, just a great kid, with a great heart.

The inspirational story of the year is Shaquem The Dream Griffin. You inspire us all to be better! Keep standing on the Rock!!

 

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Greatness Doesn’t Start Great

bjw_chair_wordpress2.jpgA great friend of mine made a statement to me a few years ago, that “Greatness starts somewhere but it doesn’t start great.” Great can be defined as unusual or considerable in degree, power or intensity. My thesaurus defines great as abundant, bulky, or colossal. Les Brown one of the world’s greatest speakers, inspires speakers with the admonishment, “You don’t have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great!”

The starting point of any great endeavor, is getting started. I believe in the beginning point of any project or goal. The energy and passion to launch out into the unknown, distinguishes those that achieve from those that simply, wish.

Steve Harvey in his “after the show” empowerment session, roused his audience with an inspirational talk about taking the leap. You might be scared, you might be unsure, you may have even failed in the past, but you have to take the leap. The jump into the abyss of the unknown, separates the successful from the doomed to fail; the average from the above average.

That’s why you can never allow someone put a label on you, labels have limitations. You were created with greatness in the mind of your Creator. In fact, “the potency of your potential is so great, God had to give you eternal life to realize it.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, didn’t start great; the Wright Brothers didn’t start great; Lucille Ball didn’t start great; And Helen Keller didn’t start great. Greatness started somewhere, but it didn’t start great. So remember, the dream is not too big! And your not crazy for thinking like that. The promise, the potential, and the potency of your dreams will be a reality in your future.

So, live out of your imagination instead of your memory and keep standing on the Rock!!

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Coaching Tips 101

training-and-coachingIn the world of coaching, a one size fits all mentality is not always correct. Every player or student has perhaps a unique way to be coached that is not common to everyone else. Seeing yourself as a resource for other people’s success, is part of the strategical purpose of coaching. It’s helping others to come into their own.

The legendary Bruins coach John Wooden, was known for reciting a seven-point creed for life, he said he received from his  father:

  1. Be true to yourself; 2. Make each day your masterpiece; 3. Help others; 4. Drink deeply from good books, especially the Bible; 5. Make friendship a fine art; 6. Build a shelter against rainy days; 7. Pray for guidance and give thanks for your blessings every day.

If you work with people, you’ve probably come to realize that not all people are the same. Because their not, you coach to bring out the best in that person as someone unique. Remember this, “Greatness starts somewhere but it doesn’t start great.”

My coaching business is designed to bring the best you to the path of your destiny. The power for life change is not found in the coach, but in the person who desires to take control of their life and to be accountable. This life transforming power comes from the individual who wants a life change, which is an inside job.

The word “coach” derives from the horse drawn coaches that were developed in the town of Kocs during the 15th century. The vehicles were originally used to transport royalty, but in time they also carried valuables, mail, and common passengers.

A Coach remains something or someone, who carries a valued person from where they are to where they want to be.

Here’s my tips: 1. We’re better together; 2. “Nobody is a whole chain, each one is a link.” 3. Nobody is a whole team; 4. Nobody is a whole Orchestra.

To help people win is a great mission in life. Zig Ziglar inspired us to remember, “We can have anything in life we want, if we’ll help enough people get what they want.” My Coach and Mentor, John C. Maxwell, instilled in us all, “We’re people of value, who value people.”

You have within you the power to win!

So, Keep standing on the Rock and winning!

 
 

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Fake It Tell You Make It

Your familiar with the saying, “fake it tell you make it?, you probably are. Many people in life had to push through the torrential rains of discouragement and self-doubt, before they landed feet first into their destiny.

Faking it until you make it means:  Standing there in the right place, at the right time, even if the odds are against you. The famous line from the Hunger Games, where Katniss Everdeen, sets out to win a series of extreme battles that are designed to stop her. “May the odds ever be in your favor!”

I want to encourage you to remember, that the odds are always in your favor, if you won’t give up. Brian Tracy once wrote: “Persistence is the iron quality of success. If you will persist long enough, you will eventually succeed.”

You can fake it until you make it but never stay stuck on fake. Remain genuine, sincere, and passionate about the dream you have in your heart. Leadership is about self-discovery and living out your purpose. Paul writing to the Roman Believers said this: “And we know (With great confidence) that God, who is deeply concerned about us, causes all things to work together, as a plan, for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.

I strengthen you to carry out the plan and leave behind everything that is not real and a part of God’s purpose for your life. “It’s hard to be a diamond in a world of rhinestones.”

Keep standing on the Rock!

 

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‘The size of your dream may be the most

‘The size of your dream may be the most accurate measure of the size of your God.’

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2017 in Uncategorized