Skip to content

Category: Community

What Real Hero Work Looks Like

We love superhero movies. There’s something about them that we can relate to. Good overcoming evil. The afflicted getting the justice they deserve. Peace being restored. All narratives that resonate with us. There’s no better example of this than last year’s box office hit Avengers Endgame.

Released in Spring 2019 to much fanfare, Endgame went on to shatter box office records becoming the highest-grossing movie in history on July 21, 2019, after 89 days of release. It was the climatic ending we all have been wait for after a decade of Marvel films building the anticipation.

One of my favourite scenes in the film comes near the end. Steve Rogers aka Captain America stands alone in the battle field as thousands of enemy soldiers, aircrafts and beasts begin to approach him. Looking at the overwhelming task in front of him, Captain America, in true Cap form, grits his teeth and tightens his iconic battle shield strap preparing to seemingly die honourably in battle.

We can sometimes allow the fantasy of superhero life clash with our reality and influence how we approach issues on a global scale. To clarify, we all have a small inherent desire to be ‘superheroes’ to save the world and the problems it’s currently facing.

At first glance this idea doesn’t seem problematic. Having a desire to do good is the essence of humanity. The problem lies in the area of how we scale what real effective problem solving looks like. One against a thousand is a romantic idea, but is often not practical or provides meaningful impact. As well the idea that the only means of achieving something significant is to approach large scale issues head on can lead to missing more optimal opportunities for progress.

If personal circumstances won’t allow you to participate in a march for racial inequality, donating to organizations that have been in this fight for sometime may prove to be more beneficial. Signing petitions, sharing legitimate information on social media and participating in progressive conversations aren’t massive undertakings but can lead to positive change.

Don’t be fooled by society’s perception of what real ‘hero’ work looks like. Simple, unassuming actions done consistently over a period of time build a stronger foundation to the ultimate goal. Recognition will be hard to come by, but is that the real reason we desire the hero status?

Leave a Comment

Some Extremes Are Good Us

“Too much of a good thing can be bad for you”.

Really? Is that really true 100% of the time? Or does it relate to what exactly that ‘good’ thing is?

An over indulgence of menial or trivial pleasures can lead to serious heath problems. Pizza is ‘good’ and ‘enjoyable’ but high cholesterol isn’t.

You know what we can never get enough of? Justice, equality, human rights, anti-racism, love. Too much of this can and never will be bad for us as individuals or collectively as a community.

As a matter of fact ‘too much’ of the things we need might just solve a plethora of the social issues we’ve been dealing with for decades. So no, not all extremes are bad. Especially the ones that tend to be less self focused.

Leave a Comment

Get Comfortable with being Uncomfortable

As I write this humanity is going through a phase of uncomfortable growth. The realization of systematic anti-black racism and how deep it flows in society today is only now being recognized by many.

That realization is coming at the expense of our comfort zones, regardless of who you are. If you’re a non-person of colour, having to unlearn some ideologies that you once assumed isn’t easy. And you shouldn’t assume otherwise.

As a person of colour, understanding that getting the attention of the ‘the powers that be’ is only the first step. Staying the course to see real lasting action and change take place is the real work.

Both mindsets require a level of pain tolerance through the process. Change and growth in anything is uncomfortable because it takes humility to learn what you do not know and endurance to keep the pace when you feel like quitting.

Whether in business, education or standing for social issues it’s all the same. We have to fall in love with being uncomfortable in order to accomplish something of significance. Pain and gain aren’t mutually exclusive of each other.

Leave a Comment

The New Emotional Intelligence

The Emotional Intelligence methodology has been rampant in recent years since 1996 especially when it comes to leadership in the workplace. Now more than ever it will be needed at the forefront in combating the effects of anti-black racism in places of employment.

Let’s take a quick step back and understand the term clearly. Mindtools.com defines Emotional Intelligence or (EI) as follows below:

Emotional intelligence or EI is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions, and those of the people around you. People with a high degree of emotional intelligence know what they’re feeling, what their emotions mean, and how these emotions can affect other people.

For leaders, having emotional intelligence is essential for success. After all, who is more likely to succeed – a leader who shouts at his team when he’s under stress, or a leader who stays in control, and calmly assesses the situation?

According to Daniel Goleman , an American psychologist who helped to popularize emotional intelligence, there are five key elements to it:

1. Self-awareness, 2. Self-regulation, 3. Motivation. 4. Empathy, 5. Social skills.

There’s no doubt in my mind that (EI) training for managers and executive leadership will need to increase as we walk through such a delicate time in history in North America.

But also as individuals we need to begin to unravel what information and issues are affecting us emotionally enough to have an adverse impact on how we make important decisions.

Skills to master Emotional Intelligence should be introduced or re-introduced in company policies and handbooks. There’s no reason (EI) shouldn’t be a foundational guiding principle in every organization as we move towards a more inclusive future.

Leave a Comment

Pause, Step back and Recalibrate

We all set out with good intentions. We read, strategize, and put 3, 6 and 12 month plans into place. We have no idea what will happen tomorrow but we plan like we do.

Sometimes unfortunate events force us to pause and really reassess what’s really going on outside the bubble of our lives.

The death of Ahmaud Arbery caused us to pause. The death of George Floyd caused us to pause. The death of Breonna Taylor caused us to pause.

The world hasn’t been the same for a month. Add Covid-19 to the mix and it’s 3-4 months. It’s pushed the true necessity and weight of our so called plans to the test.

You need to still write that book, but what’s the new direction going to be? Is the subject original matter still relevant? Is that business idea still in high demand or is there another immediate need that has been uncovered as a result of above recent events?

Traumatic events, especially global ones, are cause for pause to recalibrate our life’s intentions. When what we thought we knew about this world blows up, its time to allow new thoughts and ideas to take residence in our lives.

Leave a Comment

Networking Made Simple

If you want to write a book, support those you know who have written one. Buy it. Give them encouraging feedback. Tell others about it.

That’s just one example of building a community. Whatever creative focus you have, locate and support creatives that are already in that stream.

Yes it’s called networking. And networking is a fancy term for building a community. It’s the prerequisite for long term success.

Leave a Comment

Your True Circle Of Influence

Social media provides a platform for us to extend our circle of influence to people we’ve never met in countries we’ve never been to or sometimes even heard about.

But are we really extending some that hasn’t been perfected at it core?

What’s your relationship like with those in your household and how does your life affect them positively? What about close friends? Daily acquaintances? how do you impact their lives?

Do you give freely? Love freely? Help without expectation of something in return? How well do you know your neighbour(s)? Do you even know your their name?

Your true circle of influence starts at your core. Ground zero. Those closest to you. Social media and other alike tools are an extension of who we already are. It was never intended to be a starting point.

Leave a Comment

Tell Your Story Often

Blogs became popular in the late 2000’s because of the innate ability to provide a platform for sharing personal stories.

These stories were often reflective. Individuals detailing unexpected challenges and how they eventually conquered them. Sometimes it was just about being in the challenge and not knowing how to get out of it .

They were (and still are) appealing because they were personal. Relatable. These stories put us at ease because in that monument we realized we weren’t the only ones facing daily challenges.

Personal blogs have been replaced by content marketing strategies. Companies that do this well are good at sharing stories that touch us on a deeper level than just letting us know why their product or service is the one we should buy.

Whether in business or life, telling your story often is more beneficial then not telling it. Sharing the bad as well as the good reminds us all that journey to success is not without times we’d rather forget.

Leave a Comment

Purposeful Connections

It’s impossible to believe that every contact we network with will turnout to be a key contact down the road.

Not all good conversations translate into beneficial relationships. Some may be just for a moment, brining enlightenment to the vision you have for your life.

Other connections will be for only a specific amount of time. A week, a month, maybe longer.

And then, there are ones we decide not to follow through on and that’s okay.

We are not built with the capacity to make every connection a long term one. The key is to watch actions, consistent achievements and actions towards others as an indicator beyond just words from a conversation at a networking event.

Leave a Comment

You’re Customers Should Love You

About 8 years ago I had a scheduled quarterly business review with a major client from the the company I worked for. The meeting just happened to be on my birthday.

When I arrived at the client’s office and began prepping for the meeting, 2 of the client’s employees who I deal with frequently approached the boardroom where I was located with a cupcake in hand.

A few seconds later they were serenading happy birthday. I blew out the candle and after some pleasantries we eventually continued with the meeting.

Some might think gestures like this should be offered the other way around. Make no mistake we always take care of our customers. But when customers reciprocate in the same way then there’s something you’re doing right in the relationship.

This only happens when you see your customer more than just a transaction to hit monthly revenue goals.

Leave a Comment
%d bloggers like this: